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For Immediate Release
June 3, 2011

 

Contact: Joseph J. Mangano
609-399-4343
Odiejoe@aol.com

PHILADELPHIA INFANT DEATHS SOAR 48% AFTER MID-MARCH HIGH LEVELS OF JAPANESE NUCLEAR FALLOUT MAY BE FACTOR

June 3, 2011 – Infant deaths have risen 48% in Philadelphia since mid-March, when fallout from the meltdowns at Japanese nuclear reactors reached the U.S., according to data published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Soaring infant deaths occurred as the highest levels of radiation in drinking water in the nation were found in Philadelphia by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), raising the possibility of a link between Japanese radiation and risk of infant death.

“The fetus and infant are very susceptible to the harm caused by radiation,” says Joseph Mangano MPH MBA.  “The Fukushima meltdowns are still releasing radiation, so trends should be followed,” he adds.  Mangano is a health researcher, and Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project, a New York-based health research group.

The radioactive plume from Japan traveled by air and reached the U.S. on March 17, six days after a powerful earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns at four reactors at the Fukushima plant.  EPA data shows that the highest U.S. levels of radioactive Iodine-131 (I-131) in drinking water after March 17 were found in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia infant deaths reported to the CDC averaged 5.0 per week for the five weeks ending March 19.  The average jumped to 7.4, a 48.0% increase, in the following 10 weeks.  The increase was statistically significant.  U.S. infant deaths increased 2.3%.  The 74 deaths in the 10-week period were well above similar periods in 2009 and 2010.

Infant mortality data are from CDC publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.  They are preliminary statistics (final figures are not available until 2014), but preliminary trends are often similar to final ones.

The highest levels of I-131 in drinking water found by EPA were in two Philadelphia stations (Queen and Belmont) of 2.2 and 1.3 picocuries per liter of water.  All but one of the dozens of other measurements around the nation was below 0.7.  I-131 is one of over 100 radioactive chemicals found only in nuclear reactors and atomic bombs.

The CDC data can be accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/mmwr_wk/wk_cvol.html; EPA data is at http://www.epa.gov/japan2011/rert/radnet_sampling_data.html#milk.

Health researchers at the Radiation and Public Health Project (www.radiation.org) have published 27 medical journal articles and 7 books on health risks of radiation exposure.

                                    Philadelphia
Week Ending              Infant Deaths

BEFORE JAPAN FALLOUT ARRIVES

February 19, 2011

  3

February 26, 2011

13

March 5, 2011

  3

March 12, 2011

  3

March 19, 2011

  3

AFTER JAPAN FALLOUT ARRIVES

March 26, 2011

12

April 2, 2011

  6

April 9, 2011

10

April 16, 2011

  1

April 23, 2011

  7

April 30, 2011

  7

May 7, 2011

  4

May 14, 2011

  7

May 21, 2011

15

May 28, 2011

  5

 

Total Deaths (Weekly Average)


Before Japan Fallout

25 (5.0)

After Japan Fallout

74 (7.4)

% Change in Average

    +48.0%

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.  http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/mmwr_wk/wk_cvol.html.

 

Iodine-131 in Drinking Water
Highest Levels in U.S., March/April 2011

Location

Date

I-131 Level

Philadelphia (Queen)

April 4

    2.20

Philadelphia (Belmont)

April 14

    1.90

Chattanooga TN

March 28

    1.60

Philadelphia (Belmont)

April 4

    1.30

Philadelphia (Queen)

April 14

    1.20

Oak Ridge TN

March 29

    0.63

Philadelphia (Baxter)

April  4

    0.46

 

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: RADNET Sampling System. http://www.epa.gov/japan2011/rert/radnet_sampling_data.html#milk