The Alliance For A Clean Environment
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Dr. Baum – University of Pittsburgh
Dailey Cancer Study

University of Pittsburgh Study –
1979-1992 – Three Mile Island–(TMI) Site of nation’s worst nuclear disaster.

31, 135 - Department of Health interviews within 2 months of accident – Study used statistical modeling and standard mortality ratios

    • Initial results indicated a significantly higher mortality from all causes among the TMI population compared with tri-county area.

    • Largest contributor to mortality was heart disease.

    • Elevation in mortality from cancers of the bronchus, trachea, and lung were observed in women, as well as an increase in lymphatic and hematopoietic tissue cancers in more men.

    • Increases in risk for breast cancer in relation to increasing levels of likely exposure to gamma radiation, suggesting a possible link between dose of radiation and increased risk.

Conclusions - University of Pittsburgh study:

Authors of study claim they found no consistent evidence suggesting that the low-dose radiation released during the TMI accident had a measurable impact on the mortality of those living in the area for the 13 years after the event. They acknowledge that further study is warranted.

Comment from Eric Epstein – TMIA Planning Council:

“I’m very skeptical that the University of Pittsburgh is objective and capable of conducting a non-biased epidemiologic study.” He enclosed information to back up his statement.

Three Mile Island Alert - TMI Community Group was recognized by the House and NRC.

The University of Pittsburgh study concluded the worst national disaster, at TMI, did not cause an increase in cancer rates in the area.

    • Human data provided by nuclear accidents indicate that the lowest doses of ionizing radiation cause the greatest damage per unit of radiation.

    • The meltdown at TMI nuclear power plant spewed more than 10 MILLION CURIES of radioactivity into the environment, most into the air. Most people received only low-dose levels.

    • Government & Industry spokespeople have repeatedly assured the public that no one was harmed.

    • However, governments own health data tell quite a different story. Comparing period three months prior to accident against four months after accident, PA’s infant mortality rate increased 16% and Maryland’s increased 41%. Gould and Goldman calculate that perhaps as many as 50,000 deaths occurred during 1980-1982 as a result of the TMI accident.

Dr. E.J. Sternglass – Professor Emeritus of Radiology – Jan. 4,1994:

    • Latest large scale studies indicate that inhaled or ingested radioactive materials at very low doses damage the immune system.

    • They produce free-radicals that destroy cell-membranes of the immune system that develop in the bone-marrow and the thymus gland.

    • As a result, the ability of the body to fight infections and destroy tumor cells is impaired, and infants are born prematurely and have a much greater risk of dying from all causes or surviving with reduced immune system function and brain damage.

Still - Dr. Andrew Baum – Picked by Dailey to do cancer study in our area to be paid by industry In an April, 1988 Psychology Today article discussed research he and several colleagues had conducted on TMI area residents.

    • Baum noted that worry and uncertainty over future physical health effects “are associated with stress that persists for years. Chronic stress and the emotional, hormonal and immunological changes associated with it may cause or exacerbate many illnesses.

    • We found that the Three Mile Island group reported more physical complaints, such as headaches and back pain, as well as more anxiety and depression.

    • We also uncovered long-term changes in levels of hormones, such as epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol, that the body secretes during stress.

    • These hormones affect various bodily functions, immune-system function…..

“Our observations at Three Mile Island support the idea that long-term psychological problems are more likely after technological disasters than after natural ones.”

ACE agrees that stress is a contributing factor to ill health, but in this case, there was great danger from radiation exposure released at TMI and it is irresponsible to illude that the health problems of the people at TMI are psychological problems.

P.O. Box 3063
Stowe, PA 19464

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