by Marco Torres
March 30, 2011
is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate
for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public
Health and Environmental Science and is a professional
speaker on topics such as disease prevention,
environmental toxins and health policy.
Those of us in-the-know about the shabby researched agenda-pushing
National Post can lend credence to the fact that it's one of the
poorest examples of journalism on the planet.
However, the most recent article by
Lawrence Solomon emphasizing a study in which plutonium "may in
fact enhance human health" takes junk science to new level.
We've all heard the psychotic ramblings from reporters who have
reiterated junk studies by the Journal of Pediatrics claiming that
mercury is good for us:
What about the nonsensical reports that
cell phone radiation prevents brain disorders:
non-organic vegetables grown
with pesticides contain more vitamins, or that
The list goes on and on. We're living in a society far
beyond the twilight zone.
Most people don't believe these stories, even when I insist they
have been reported on - that is until I actually produce the
I believe Mr. Solomon's latest and very productive attempt at
entering the junk science or junk journalistic hall of fame should
be well rewarded. In fact, it deserves 1st place,
essentially blowing away all other previous contenders.
In his article
Some Plutonium for Pluto, he recalls an assessment of
an older study,
"beagles who received low doses
contracted fewer cancers than beagles who weren’t irradiated and
beagles who received very low doses - in the range of 8 cGy to
22 cGy - came down with no lung tumors at all."
“These statistics indicate the likelihood that low doses of
alpha-particle radiation protected against and reduced the
incidence of lung cancer relative to the controls,” reported the
researchers, based at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, one
of the Department of Energy’s 10 national laboratories.
Solomon then elaborates his gibberish
stance stating that,
"the researchers’ findings, which
appeared in an article entitled
Carcinogenesis from inhaled
239PuO2 in beagles: Evidence for radiation
homeostasis at low doses?, add weight to the growing evidence
that low levels of radiation, contrary to conventional wisdom,
have health benefits."
All the study really showed was that
lower doses of radiation produced less tumors. Duh...
Who funds studies like this? We have to
The reality, of course, is that plutonium and cesium are some of the
most carcinogenic substances on earth. One molecule of plutonium
lodged in your lung is capable of producing a deadly carcinogenic
cascade of events which sends the immune system into a tail spin.
Isotopes and compounds of plutonium are
radioactive poisons that
accumulate in bone marrow. Studies of the effects of plutonium
releases, even small ones, as well as the widespread radiation
poisoning sickness and death following the
Atomic bombings of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, have provided considerable information
regarding the dangers, symptoms and prognosis of radioactive
The plutonium induced radiation mentioned in this study strictly
relates to alpha-particle plutonium. However, there are three types
of radiation which are released-alpha, beta, and gamma during the
decay of plutonium.
Alpha particles can travel only a short distance and cannot travel
through human skin. Beta particles can penetrate human skin, but
they cannot go all the way through the body. Gamma radiation can go
all the way through the body. Alpha particles, beta particles, and
gamma radiation all expose the body to
There are confirmed reports of all three
types of radiation (alpha, beta and gamma) now stemming from the
Fukushima plant in Japan.
Even though alpha radiation does not penetrate the skin, it does
irradiate internal organs if plutonium is inhaled or ingested. It is
more dangerous when inhaled than when ingested. The risk of lung
cancer increases once the total dose equivalent of inhaled radiation
mSv. Radiation levels in near Fukushima were
at 500 mSv almost two weeks ago.
Many reports are now speculating that
radiation levels may be above 700 mSv.
Once in the bloodstream, plutonium moves throughout the body and
into the bones, liver, or other body organs. Plutonium that reaches
body organs generally stays in the body for decades and continues to
expose the surrounding tissue to radiation and thus may cause
But according to Lawrence Solomon, we need not worry about one of
the deadliest elements on earth, because a little bit of plutonium
is good for us with "health benefits."
Could somebody please send Mr. Solomon a plane ticket to Japan and
courtesy service to the Fukushima plant with the appropriate
equipment? I don't wish that he inhale or come in contact with
plutonium, but I do think he deserves to see what is actually
happening to the Japanese people (many who have risked their lives
to save others), especially those who have inhaled and come in
contact with plutonium particles.
I don't think he would come back the same man or the same
journalist, if we can call him that.