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Breaking: New Study Links Mountaintop Removal to 60,000 Additional Cancer Cases

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cory777 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 12:53 PM
Original message
Breaking: New Study Links Mountaintop Removal to 60,000 Additional Cancer Cases
Source: Common Dreams

Among the 1.2 million American citizens living in mountaintop removal mining counties in central Appalachia, an additional 60,000 cases of cancer are directly linked to the federally sanctioned strip-mining practice.

"Abolish Mountaintop Removal"

That is the damning conclusion in a breakthrough study, released last night in the peer-reviewed Journal of Community Health: The Publication for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Led by West Virginia University researcher Dr. Michael Hendryx, among others, the study entitled Self-Reported Cancer Rates in Two Rural Areas of West Virginia with and Without Mountaintop Coal Mining drew from a groundbreaking community-based participatory research survey conducted in Boone County, West Virginia in the spring of 2011, which gathered person-level health data from communities directly impacted by mountaintop mining, and compared to communities without mining.

A door to door survey of 769 adults found that the cancer rate was twice as high in a community exposed to mountaintop removal mining compared to a non-mining control community, said Hendryx, Associate Professor at the Department of Community Medicine and Director of West Virginia Rural Health Research Center at West Virginia University. This significantly higher risk was found after control for age, sex, smoking, occupational exposure and family cancer history. The study adds to the growing evidence that mountaintop mining environments are harmful to human health.

Bottom line: Far from simply being an environmental issue, mountaintop removal is killing American residents.

Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/07/27-2#.TjBN...



News That Matters http://activistnews.blogspot.com/
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PDJane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. Every environmental issue is, eventually,
a human health issue. They are not separate.
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
2. And that's just from mining the stuff
Burning it isn't exactly health either.

But hey! Let's focus instead on eradicating a different technology that might kill someone someday if a record tsunami/earthquake hit it... rather than the technology that just goes happily along killing tens of thousands when it operates normally.

:sarcasm:
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. We need neither coal nor nuclear.
Edited on Wed Jul-27-11 06:43 PM by kristopher
They both are very poor choices compared to the completely viable alternative of moving to renewables.

That is why all future energy plans focus on massive deployment of solar, wind etc.
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. For the next few decades we do
Even the most "massive" actual plans don't get us close.

So you've elected to keep the one that kills tens of thousands when it DOESN'T break.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. No, I elect to get rid of both of them.
They are a matched pair forming the heart of a system of power production and distribution that must be replaced with a far more efficient distributed, renewable grid.

The Japanese are right now demonstrating that when nuclear breaks the consequences are severe enough to warrant enduring long term power shortages rather than using nuclear. In case you haven't been paying attention, they seem to have arrived at a consensus where they feel nuclear needs to be replaced as soon as possible.



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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. In case you haven't been paying attention
That supposed "consensus" is killing far more people than the radiation from the plant. And the extra polution resulting there and in Germany is not without a significant health impact too.

People eventually figure that out.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. There is nothing "supposed" about it.
The people living with the consequences of multiple nuclear meltdowns want to get rid of nuclear and are willing to suffer significant personal sacrifice to do so.

It's unfortunate you don't appreciate the significance of the events you are witnessing.
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Your confirmation bias does not constitute "significance"
Sorry.

Of course you conveniently ignore large contruction plans in China/India/SA/etc/etc. No significance there. Nah.

Sure... there's little surprise when people overreact to current events when they have yet to fully appreciate the consequences. Smary people eventually get past that... and the Japanese don't lack in smarts.

The idiocy of shutting a high percentage of operating plants and accelerating the pain just makes that more apparent.

Heck... try to think about it objectively for just a second. Didn't the German power companies try to influence the decision by threatening to shut off the other reactors so that people could see what the impact would be without them? A few overreacting politicians in Japan are doing that very thing thinking they're listening to public opinion.

Let's hope Mother Nature plays fair, or the Japanese people will wake up in a few months to realize that they killed hundreds of people (and made hundreds of thousands suffer) because they were scared of something that (in it's worst scenario) might give a few dozen/hundred people cancer in a couple decades.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. It is the people at the local level who are blocking restart.
The nuclear industry has based its entire effort at reviving their impractical technology by deliberately pressing the false claim that renewable energy sources are not adequate to address our energy and carbon reduction goals.

The move away from nuclear by Germany and Japan is the proof that claim is false. The example they represent is going to positively affect the global transition far too much for the propaganda of the nuclear and coal industries to counter. Without the veil of myths that Germany and Japan are busting, nuclear is clearly shown for the poor choice it is.

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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
3. Heavy metals contamination is a serious problem that gets soft-soaped in the news media
Here's an example of an article that appeared in a regional newspaper chain owned by Media General. Young adults in a Virginia mining town have their teeth completely falling out of their heads (a classic symptom of prolonged heavy metals exposure), and this article attributes it to drinking Mountain Dew.


http://www2.tricities.com/news/2011/jul/23/r-ar-1191098 /

WISE, VA - Sure, people say that drinking soda will rot your teeth, but Renee Harvey didnt realize that it really could and really would leave her needing dentures at the age of 33.

Last year, I had my bottom teeth took out, and two years ago I had my top teeth took out, she said. I didnt know it was that bad.

Harvey, a mother of three from Coeburn, Va., was fitted for dentures at this years Remote Area Medical (RAM) expedition, an annual event that provides free medical, dental and vision care to the poor, uninsured and underinsured at the Wise County Fairgrounds.

When she had the bottom teeth removed two years ago, she said, the rest of her teeth looked OK. In just a years time, though, those teeth went bad as well.

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Altoid_Cyclist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I remember seeing something on TV about that.
Once you can control the media, you can guarantee that anything in the name of the almighty dollar will be "explained" in some dubious manner.

MTR, coal ash, fracking, drilling off shore.......the list is just too long to include all of the industrial crimes that can be committed with a slap on the wrist at most.

Oh wait....isn't Blankenship doing hard time for their (Massey) murderous way of doing business? Yeah, I didn't think so.
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. You think that's bad?
A law firm for the National Mining Association suggested in response to similar research about birth defects near mountaintop mining operations that they were in fact caused by . . . inbreeding.

http://blogs.wvgazette.com/coaltattoo/2011/07/11/mounta...
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. What? Never seen Deliverance?
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LongTomH Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
4. These figures will only increase over time
Cancers frequently take decades to appear after exposure to environmental carcinogens.
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OwnedByFerrets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
6. LALALALALA Marijuana is dangerous Marijuana is deadly
:banghead:
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
9. Tax Cuts for the Rich .... and they get to destroy NATURE and human life -- !!
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
13. The approach behind this study is similar to the NYAS published study on Chernobyl
The approach was deemed by nuclear power supporters as not being a rigorous enough way of establishing cause and effect and they rejected out of hand those findings. In fact, they were so vociferous in their condemnation of this well accepted method that they raked New York Academies of Science's Proceedings for even publishing it.

For purposes of comparison here is a snip of the abstract. The entire piece can be found at the NYAS website IIRC.

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume 1181 Issue Chernobyl
Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, Pages 31 - 220

Chapter II. Consequences of the Chernobyl Catastrophe for Public Health


Alexey B. Nesterenko a , Vassily B. Nesterenko a , and Alexey V. Yablokov b
a
Institute of Radiation Safety (BELRAD), Minsk, Belarus b Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
Address for correspondence: Alexey V. Yablokov, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky Prospect 33, Office 319, 119071 Moscow,
Russia. Voice: +7-495-952-80-19; fax: +7-495-952-80-19. Yablokov@ecopolicy.ru
Deceased


ABSTRACT

Problems complicating a full assessment of the effects from Chernobyl included official secrecy and falsification of medical records by the USSR for the first 3.5 years after the catastrophe and the lack of reliable medical statistics in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Official data concerning the thousands of cleanup workers (Chernobyl liquidators) who worked to control the emissions are especially difficult to reconstruct. Using criteria demanded by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) resulted in marked underestimates of the number of fatalities and the extent and degree of sickness among those exposed to radioactive fallout from Chernobyl. Data on exposures were absent or grossly inadequate, while mounting indications of adverse effects became more and more apparent. Using objective information collected by scientists in the affected areascomparisons of morbidity and mortality in territories characterized by identical physiography, demography, and economy, which differed only in the levels and spectra of radioactive contaminationrevealed significant abnormalities associated with irradiation, unrelated to age or sex (e.g., stable chromosomal aberrations), as well as other genetic and nongenetic pathologies.

<snip>

This section describes the spectrum and the scale of the nonmalignant diseases that have been found among exposed populations. Adverse effects as a result of Chernobyl irradiation have been found in every group that has been studied. Brain damage has been found in individuals directly exposedliquidators and those living in the contaminated territories, as well as in their offspring. Premature cataracts; tooth and mouth abnormalities; and blood, lymphatic, heart, lung, gastrointestinal, urologic, bone, and skin diseases afflict and impair people, young and old alike. Endocrine dysfunction, particularly thyroid disease, is far more common than might be expected, with some 1,000 cases of thyroid dysfunction for every case of thyroid cancer, a marked increase after the catastrophe. There are genetic damage and birth defects especially in children of liquidators and in children born in areas with high levels of radioisotope contamination. Immunological abnormalities and increases in viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases are rife among individuals in the heavily contaminated areas. For more than 20 years, overall morbidity has remained high in those exposed to the irradiation released by Chernobyl. One cannot give credence to the explanation that these numbers are due solely to socioeconomic factors. The negative health consequences of the catastrophe are amply documented in this chapter and concern millions of people.

The most recent forecast by international agencies predicted there would be between 9,000 and 28,000 fatal cancers between 1986 and 2056, obviously underestimating the risk factors and the collective doses. On the basis of I-131 and Cs-137 radioisotope doses to which populations were exposed and a comparison of cancer mortality in the heavily and the less contaminated territories and pre- and post-Chernobyl cancer levels, a more realistic figure is 212,000 to 245,000 deaths in Europe and 19,000 in the rest of the world. High levels of Te-132, Ru-103, Ru-106, and Cs-134 persisted months after the Chernobyl catastrophe and the continuing radiation from Cs-137, Sr-90, Pu, and Am will generate new neoplasms for hundreds of years.

A detailed study reveals that 3.84.0% of all deaths in the contaminated territories of Ukraine and Russia from 1990 to 2004 were caused by the Chernobyl catastrophe. The lack of evidence of increased mortality in other affected countries is not proof of the absence of effects from the radioactive fallout. Since 1990, mortality among liquidators has exceeded the mortality rate in corresponding population groups. From 112,000 to 125,000 liquidators died before 2005that is, some 15% of the 830,000 members of the Chernobyl cleanup teams. The calculations suggest that the Chernobyl catastrophe has already killed several hundred thousand human beings in a population of several hundred million that was unfortunate enough to live in territories affected by the fallout. The number of Chernobyl victims will continue to grow over many future generations.


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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. It is by no means a "well accepted method"
Edited on Wed Jul-27-11 09:18 PM by FBaggins
"If I can't think of another cause then it must be from the things I can think of" isn't close to actual science.

At least this "study" doesn't suffer from the psycological imact of years of news throwing the numbers off.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Right, that is why it is used around the world every day - because it isn't accepted.
Do you reject the coal study also or are you comfortable with the false distinction you've manufactured?
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Used around the world every day?
Sure... "Correlation=causation" is used all around the world every day.

But not by scientists.

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. That explains why the NYAS accepted the method as legitimate.
They clearly don't know how to do "science" like you do.

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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-27-11 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
17. Thanks for posting.
:kick:
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