After working vigilantly to protect her kids from asbestos by moving out of an asbestos-filled home in Bayview Hunters Point onto Treasure Island, Sandy Agee found she had literally jumped from the frying pan into the fire. At this writing, Sandy and two of her children are exhibiting worrisome physical symptoms they developed only after moving to the island. Sandy’s blood tests came back positive for “thyroid problems.”
Due to San Francisco’s housing crunch, Treasure Island became a repository for low-income families and people at risk of homelessness. Consequently, the Navy’s ad nauseam public reassurances to largely poor and people of color at Treasure Island that no dangerous levels of radioactivity now exist imparts a suspicious race and class taint to its minimizations and denials.
March 11 will make the second anniversary of the triple catastrophes that occurred in Japan: the earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima. Over the last two years people are asking whether the Fukushima nuclear disaster is worse than what occurred in 1986 in Chernobyl.
The good news is that 11 months after the Fukushima meltdown, thousands of Japanese marched in the streets to protest the continuing operation of nuclear power plants in their country, and urged a shift to renewable energy. Meanwhile in the U.S. the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved the building of two new nuclear power plants in Georgia.
Earthquake evacuees living in temporary housing and shelters in the hard-hit city of Ishinomaki have developed deep thrombophlebitis, the swelling of a vein caused by a blood clot. Diseases of the blood and circulatory and lymphatic systems are among the most widespread consequences of the Chernobyl contamination, especially among evacuees.
Nuclear fallout knows no state or national boundaries and will contribute to increase in illnesses, decrease in intelligence and in instability throughout the world. No country can maintain itself if its citizens are economically, intellectually, politically and socially impoverished. Given the continuing and known problems caused by the Chernobyl catastrophe, we must ask ourselves: Before we commit ourselves to economic and technological support of nuclear energy, who, what and where are we willing to sacrifice and for how long?
The media are doing damage control to help keep people from flooding out of Japan and further destabilizing the Japanese economy. Given the evidence, the history of disasters and epidemics of disease, reporting on Japan’s absence of a radiation threat is criminal.
We will be paying with our health for generations for this greenwashing program which will actually benefit only PG&E and major electronics manufacturers. The media tell us that any health concerns are groundless, but the truth is very different.
In Illinois, federal judges have allowed at least two lawsuits to proceed against correctional officials for using full body scanners to reveal the anatomy of both prisoners and visitors without removing their clothing. This is the very same device that airports are seeking to implement on some inbound flights to the United States.
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