Major Paper : Canada Government Covered Up “Massive Amounts Of Radiation In Air”
A Major Canadian Paper Reports That The Government Covered Up Massive Amounts Of Radioactive Material From Fukushima In Canadian Air” And Are Continuing To Manipulate Radiation Monitoring Data.
August 4th, 2011
While the alternative media has reporting on a cover up of the Fukushima nuclear fallout throughout the disaster we haven’t seen a mainstream news source do much more than act as a stenographer for the government and the nuclear industry through the ordeal.
This could clearly be seen in the nuclear fallout maps.
To be fair, Forbes blogger Jeff McMahon called out the government for switching their so-called safety levels but really haven’t heard much from him since. The rest of the media has been silent.
Today a major Canadian paper has finally lashed out at the government of Canada after finally coming to the realization the cronies knew about and covered up “massive amounts of radioactive material from Fukushima in Canadian air”.
Before I send you to the link, I would like to clarify the caption beneath the photo of the expert they interviewed which reads as follows:
Gordon Edwards, president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, says that while radiation coming from Fukushima will lead to higher cancer rates among Canadians, the risk posed to individuals is very small.
Shame on this man for spewing the nuclear apologist talking point that while the population is at a higher risk the risk to an individual is small. The Feds spit out the same bullshit saying claiming that allowing 1 in 2,200 people to get cancer from radiation in the water presents a risk the overall population but not the the individual.
Forbes’ McMahon does an excellent job of objectively explaining that for those 1 in 2,200 who get cancer — and the 1 in in 4,4o0 who die from that radiation caused cancer — there clearly is a risk to those individuals.
That kind of statement failed to reassure the public in part because of the issue of informed consent—Americans never consented to swallowing any radiation from Fukushima—and in part because the statement is obviously false.
There is a question whether the milk was safe.
In spite of the relative level of Fukushima radiation, which many minimized through comparison to radiation from x-rays and airplane flights—medical experts agree that any increased exposure to radiation increases risk of cancer, and so, no increase in radiation is unquestionably safe.
Whether you choose to see the Fukushima fallout as safe depends on the perspective you adopt, as David J. Brenner, a professor of radiation biophysics and the director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University Medical Center, elucidated recently in The Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists:
Should this worry us? We know that the extra individual cancer risks from this long-term exposure will be very small indeed. Most of us have about a 40 percent chance of getting cancer at some point in our lives, and the radiation dose from the extra radioactive cesium in the food supply will not significantly increase our individual cancer risks.
But there’s another way we can and should think about the risk: not from the perspective of individuals, but from the perspective of the entire population. A tiny extra risk to a few people is one thing. But here we have a potential tiny extra risk to millions or even billions of people. Think of buying a lottery ticket — just like the millions of other people who buy a ticket, your chances of winning are miniscule. Yet among these millions of lottery players, a few people will certainly win; we just can’t predict who they will be. Likewise, will there be some extra cancers among the very large numbers of people exposed to extremely small radiation risks? It’s likely, but we really don’t know for sure.
A few people certainly will “win,” which is why it’s so interesting that the EPA’s standard for radionuclides in drinking water is so much more conservative than the FDA’s standard for radionuclides in food.
The two agencies anticipate different endurances of exposure—long-term in the EPA’s view, short-term in FDA’s. But faced with the commercial implications of its actions, FDA tolerates a higher level of mortality than EPA does.
FDA has a technical quibble with that last sentence. FDA spokesman Siobhan Delancey says:
Risk coefficients (one in a million, two in ten thousand) are statistically based population estimates of risk. As such they cannot be used to predict individual risk and there is likely to be variation around those numbers. Thus we cannot say precisely that “one in a million people will die of cancer from drinking water at the EPA MCL” or that “two in ten thousand people will die of cancer from consuming food at the level of an FDA DIL.” These are estimates only and apply to populations as a whole.
The government, while assuring us of safety, comforts itself in the abstraction of the population-wide view, but from Dr. Brenner’s perspective, the population-wide view is a lottery and someone’s number may come up.
Let that person decide whether we should be alarmed.
Now here is part of the report from the Canadian Paper Georgia Straight.
Japan’s Fukushima catastrophe brings big radiation spikes to B.C.
After Japan’s Fukushima catastrophe, Canadian government officials reassured jittery Canadians that the radioactive plume billowing from the destroyed nuclear reactors posed zero health risks in this country.
In fact, there was reason to worry. Health Canada detected massive amounts of radioactive material from Fukushima in Canadian air in March and April at monitoring stations across the country.
The level of radioactive iodine spiked above the federal maximum allowed limit in the air at four of the five sites where Health Canada monitors levels of specific radioisotopes.
On March 18, seven days after an earthquake and tsunami triggered eventual nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, the first radioactive material wafted over the Victoria suburb of Sidney on Vancouver Island.
For 22 days, a Health Canada monitoring station in Sidney detected iodine-131 levels in the air that were 61 percent above the government’s allowable limit. In Resolute Bay, Nunavut, the levels were 3.5 times the limit.
Meanwhile, government officials claimed there was nothing to worry about. “The quantities of radioactive materials reaching Canada as a result of the Japanese nuclear incident are very small and do not pose any health risk to Canadians,” Health Canada says on its website. “The very slight increases in radiation across the country have been smaller than the normal day-to-day fluctuations from background radiation.”
In fact, Health Canada’s own data shows this isn’t true. The iodine-131 level in the air in Sidney peaked at 3.6 millibecquerels per cubic metre on March 20. That’s more than 300 times higher than the background level, which is 0.01 or fewer millibecquerels per cubic metre.
“There have been massive radiation spikes in Canada because of Fukushima,” said Gordon Edwards, president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.
“The authorities don’t want people to have an understanding of this. The government of Canada tends to pooh-pooh the dangers of nuclear power because it is a promoter of nuclear energy and uranium sales.”
Edwards has advised the federal auditor-general’s office and the Ontario government on nuclear-power issues and is a math professor at Montreal’s Vanier College.
In a phone interview from his Montreal home, he said radiation from Fukushima will lead to higher rates of cancer and other diseases among Canadians. But don’t panic. Edwards cautioned that the risk is very small for any particular individual.
“It’s not the risk to an individual that’s the problem but how much society is at risk. When you are exposing millions of people to an insult, even if the average dose is quite small, we are going to see fatal health effects,” he said.
Some impacts may have already occurred in North America. Infant mortality in eight cities in the U.S. Northwest jumped 35 percent after Fukushima, according to an article by internist and toxicologist Janette Sherman and epidemiologist Joseph Mangano on the Counterpunch website in June. The number of infant deaths rose from 9.25 per week in the four weeks prior to March 19 to 12.5 per week in the following 10 weeks, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control data.
“There has been a dismissiveness about the long-term hazards of nuclear power,” said Dr. Curren Warf, adolescent-medicine division head at B.C. Children’s Hospital.
Warf was on the board of the Nobel Peace Prize–winning U.S. antinuclear group Physicians for Social Responsibility before he moved to B.C. in 2009.
“These were some of the most advanced nuclear power plants in the world. But a natural earthquake and tsunami rendered their safety measures completely meaningless,” he said in a phone interview while on vacation in Tofino on Vancouver Island.
It’s not clear what health impacts British Columbians will face from the fallout from Fukushima, Warf said. But he added, “It should be a warning to Canada, the U.S., and the rest of the world about the vulnerability of nuclear power plants to natural catastrophes. These things have typically been dismissed in much of the planning.”
Dr. Erica Frank agrees. “The main concern I’ve had is we are not paying attention to Fukushima as a warning sign. Given the catastrophic long-term issues and what to do about nuclear waste, I had hoped it would be more of a wake-up [call] than it was,” said Frank, a professor of population and public health in UBC’s faculty of medicine and a past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility.
She called on Canada to follow Germany’s lead, which, in response to Fukushima, decided in May to phase out all of its nuclear power plants by 2022. “If Germany can do it, we can too,” she said in a phone interview from her Vancouver home.
In another report the paper points out how the government is manipulating the data so they can under report that amount of nuclear fallout.
Confused by all the nuke lingo about becquerels and sieverts and what it means for your health? So were most of the nuclear experts we talked to for this story.
It also doesn’t help that Health Canada’s data on the radioactive fallout from Fukushima is so sparse and confusingly reported that it’s hard to figure out whether or not it exceeds government limits.
Health Canada reports on monitoring data for only three or four of the hundreds of radioactive substances spewing out of the crippled Japanese nuclear plant.
“They’re measuring only a fraction of the radioactive fallout from Fukushima,” said Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, speaking from Montreal.
Health Canada’s radiation-monitoring webpage downplays any fallout concerns, saying radiation reaching Canada has been “within normal background levels”. That’s based largely on data from a second network of 35 other monitoring stations that have less sensitive equipment (including 12 in B.C.).
But an analysis of the data from these stations shows radiation levels did hit sustained above-normal levels for an average of 36 days in March and April after Fukushima. [...] The worst-hit city in Canada was Regina. It saw a 90-percent spike in its radiation level, from 0.36 to 0.69 microsieverts per day.[...]
But this data downplays the radiation from Fukushima, Edwards said. The less sensitive equipment also picks up large amounts of background radiation from natural sources like the sun and soil.
It also doesn’t spot jumps in the type of radioactive substances released in a nuclear accident, like iodine-131. Another problem: sieverts are a questionable way to measure radiation because they include a subjective calculation of the radiation’s impact on a person, and so the results can be manipulated to play down impacts, Edwards said.
“It’s a shell game. Microsieverts are quite a distance removed from the raw data. They’re blending in stuff from nature to make the data look innocuous,” he says.
[...] You have to scroll down to the bottom of Health Canada’s radiation webpage to find the more striking data from the five stations monitoring specific radioactive substances.
This data shows the air at the five stations contained an average of 33.3 millibecquerels of radioactive iodine per cubic metre during 30.4 days of elevated radiation.
That works out to double the 16.7 millibecquerels per cubic metre of iodine-131 that would be permitted over those 30.4 days, according to the maximum limit set by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. (The commission’s ceiling is 200 millibecquerels per cubic metre of exposure in the air on a daily basis for an entire year. That equates to 16.7 millibecquerels per cubic metre over 30.4 days.)
The station in Sidney, B.C., detected 19.4 millibecquerels per cubic metre of iodine-131 in the air during a 22-day-long spike in radiation. That was 61 percent higher than the maximum dose of 12.1 millibecquerels per cubic metre permitted for 22 days.
Source: Georgia Straight