Recycled Radioactive Metals May Be in Your Home

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Under Special Government permits, "decontaminated" radioactive metal is being sold to manufacture everything from knives, forks, and belt buckles to zippers, eyeglasses, dental fillings, and IUDs.  The Department of energy (DOE), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the radioactive metal processing industry are pushing for new regulations and that would relax current standards and dispense with the need for special radioactive recycling licensing.  By one estimate, the DOE disposed of 7,500 tons of these troublesome metals in 1996 alone.  The new standard being sought would allow companies to recycle millions of tons of low-level radioactive metal a year while raising the acceptable levels of millirems (mrems), a unit of measure that estimates the damage radiation does to human tissue.  By the NRC's own estimate, the proposed standards could cause 100,000 cancer fatalities in the United States alone.
Metal companies want to raise the standard from an almost unmeasurable amount to something more in  the vicinity of 10 mrems per year.  The NRC studies the health effects of that exact standard back in 1990 and found that this dosage would lead to about 92,755 additional cancer deaths in the United States alone.  According to Progressive reporter Cusac, some Scientists argue that exposure to continual low-dose radiation is potentially more dangerous than a one-time, high-level dose.  She cites Steve Wing, epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill:  "The cancer curve rises more steeply at low doses than high doses."  Richard Clapp, associate professor in the department of environmental health at the Boston University School of Public Health, says that the greatest threat comes from those household products with which you have the most contact, where "you're sitting on it or if it's part of your desk, or in the frame of your bed - where you have constant exposure for several hours.

While the DOE waits for new standards to be released, says Cusac, "hot metal" is being marketed to other countries.  Three major U.S. oil companies (Texaco, Mobil, and Phillips) shipped 5.5 million pounds of radioactive scrap metal to China in 1993.  In June 1996, chinese officials stopped a U.S. shipment of 78 tons of radioactive scrap metal that exceeded China's safety limit, some of it by 30-fold.& nbsp; As of January 1998, 178 buildings in Taiwan containing 1,573 residential apartments, had been identified as radioactive

Radioactive recycled metal has shown up in domestic markets as well.  When a Buffalo, New York television station offered to survey suspect gold jewelry in the 1980's it turned up three radioactive pieces in the first two days which prompted the New York State health Department to begin a comprehensive campaign to find radioactive, contaminated jewelry.  According to the journal, Health Physics, in 1986, out of more than 160,000 pieces surveyed, 170 pieces were radioactive.  News accounts reported that at least 14 people had developed finger cancer and several more had fingers and even parts of their hands amputated because of "hot" jewelry.

"This is not a glamorous industry," said Tom Gilman, government accounts manager for U.S. Ecology, which buys, cleans, and resells low-level radioactive scrap metal.  Most of it comes from commercial sites, but some comes from  DOE.  U.S. Ecology "scrubs" and sells it as clean scrap.  From there the metal travels to a steel mill and enters the general consumer market.  Gilman claims that U.S. Ecology is "turning waste into assets."  He is careful to add, however, that the metal his company is recycling into the metal stream isn't completely clean.  "'Acceptable' levels is the word to use," he explains, "There's always going to be some level of radioactivity."

another means of 'turning waste into assets'

Update by Author: Anne-Marie Cusac
 "The recycling of radioactive metal into household products could pose a serious public-health threat in the coming century.  The radioactive metal recycled from decommissioned nuclear reactors in the United States alone could number in the millions of tons.  But by the NRC's own estimate, even an exposure standard of 10 millirems a year (the standard favored by the radioactive metal industry) would lead to 92,755 cancer deaths in the United States alone.
"Since my story was published, the commerce in hot metals has been proceeding briskly.  In mid-September, Nuclear Waste News reported: 'Western authorities are growing increasingly concerned about illegal trafficking in radioactive scrap metal from Russia and other former Communist states.'  According to the article, the contaminated metal, 'most of which comes from decommissioned nuclear power stations, radiation monitoring equipment, and waste containers, is finding its way into metal products, including household items in Europe.'  The International Atomic Energy Agency says that the problem is growing, partly as a result of the recent fall in the value of the ruble, and that some of the metal is 'going even further afield.'

"One new development suggests that radioactive metal recyclers in the United States are looking toward hot metal imports as a big moneymaker.  In September (1997), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a license to Allied Technology Group of Richland, Washington.  The license gives that company permission to import approximately 1.5 million pounds of 'radioactive scrap tubing and tube plate' from the Taiwan Power Company's Chinshan Nuclear Power Station for the purposes of 'decontamination and recovery of the metal for recycling,' say James Kennedy, senior project manager in the division of Waste Management at the NRC. Shipments should begin (began) in February, 1998. 

"Meanwhile, the NRC is working on the development of a new standard that could allow for a huge increase in the amount of radioactive metal allowed into consumer goods.  The Commission plans to solicit public comment on the issue beginning next August (of 1999?  It must be a small calling.  Anyone hear about this?)

"But the public has little idea that radioactive metal could be turning up in frying pans and belt buckles.  The mainstream media has not covered this issue.  Such a lapse of this important health issue effectively blocks public monitoring of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission"

Nuclear News

Nuclear Waste Disposal, and Internally Planted Nuclear Bombs by Illuminati Operatives.

U. S. National Cancer Institute Fails to Share Evidence on Cancer Risks Violations of the National Cancer Act

The U. S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) has
instant access to the media, Public Relations
operations, and close contacts with Congress.
Fully utilizing these outreach resources NCI
issues a prodigious ongoing stream of
information, press releases, databases, and
public educational materials. The latter include
the Comprehensive Public Cancer Database System
dealing with screening, diagnosis, clinical
research, and the latest claimed advances in
treatment. In sharp contrast, NCI makes little or
no effort to warn the public of well-documented
risks, based on experimental and/or
epidemiological evidence, from unknowing exposure
to a wide range of industrial carcinogens,
including those in consumer products, food,
cosmetics, toiletries, and household products. As
importantly, the National Cancer Institute has
also failed to warn of potential carcinogenic
risks on the basis of incomplete or suggestive,
although not definitive, evidence and also to
direct high priority to research and advocacy on
such risks. Such failure disregards fundamental
principles of public health and the scientific
basis of the Precautionary Principle. This
mandates the categorical responsibility of
industry to provide unequivocal evidence on the
safety of any new candidate product or process
before its introduction into commerce, thereby
ensuring that it does not pose potential or
recognized human or environmental risks.

Denial of Citizens"™ Right-to-Know

The U. S. National Cancer Institute has not
attempted to develop a registry of avoidable
carcinogenic exposures, including body burden
data (p. 19), and make it available to the
public. This is in striking contrast to the
extensive user-friendly public educational
outreach programs of NCI and ACS on cancer
treatment and screening. Until such a registry
becomes available, in the absence of an acute
emergency, patients should specifically request
full documentation on the risks of any drug,
available in the Warnings and Precautions section
of the annual Physicians Desk Reference. This is
also in striking contrast to the misleading May
1998 response by past NCI Director Klausner to a
question by Congressman Obey whether NCI"™s Cancer
Information Service provides the public with a
registry of avoidable carcinogens. NCI"™s silence
effectively denies U.S. citizens of their
fundamental democratic Right-to-Know of
information on avoidable causes of a wide range
of cancers which could empower them to reduce
their own risks of disease and death. In this,
the cancer establishment appears to make common
cause with the chemical industry.

This longstanding denial of citizens"™
Right-to-Know impacts disproportionately on low
income black and other ethnic minorities, besides
raising serious concerns on environmental
justice. These population sub-groups are at
particularly high risk in view of their general
discriminatory location near petrochemical
plants, hazardous waste sites, municipal
incinerators, and nuclear reactors. However, the
cancer establishment has rarely, if ever,
undertaken epidemiological cluster analyses of
claimed excess incidences of a wide range of
cancers in such communities, let alone
investigate their relation to local exposure to industrial carcinogens.

The cancer establishment"™s denial of
Right-to-Know extends to failure to provide
Federal and State agencies with scientific data
on carcinogenicity on which regulatory decisions
are critically based, claiming that this is not
their responsibility. However, regulatory
agencies are charged with a wide range of other
responsibilities. They also lack the authority
and wealth of scientific and educational
resources specifically directed to cancer which
are heavily invested in the cancer establishment;
regulatory agencies are also susceptible to
industry lobbying and, more importantly, pressure
from pro-industry administrations. Most
critically, NCI and ACS have rarely, if ever,
provided such data to Congress as a necessary
basis for developing appropriate legislation and
regulatory authority, apart from failing to
inform the public-at-large (12, 34).

It should be stressed that NCI's silence on
primary cancer prevention is in violation of the
1971 National Cancer Act's specific charge "to
disseminate cancer information to the public."
This silence is in further denial of the 1988
Amendments to the National Cancer Program (Title
42, Sec. 285A), which call for "an expanded and
intensified research program for the prevention
of cancer caused by occupational or environmental exposure to carcinogens."

The silence of the ACS and its track record on
primary prevention (Appendix V) is in contrast to
their misleading claims for advocacy, as
emphasized in its Cancer Facts and Figures 2002:
"Cancer is a political, as well as medical,
social, psychological, and economic issue. Every
day, legislators make decisions that impact the
lives of millions of Americans who have been
touched by cancer. To affect those decisions
positively, the Society has identified advocacy
as part of its mission and as one of its top
corporate priorities, and works nationwide to
promote beneficial policies, laws, and
regulations for those affected by cancer."

Avoidable causes fall into four categories,
posing widely differing types of empowerment,
ranging from the personal to political:

Consumer products: NCI and ACS have failed to
inform the public of available information on
common carcinogenic ingredients and contaminants
in food, cosmetics and toiletries, and household
products. They have also failed to provide such
information to Congress, and to urge regulatory
agencies to require explicit identification and
warning labels for all such carcinogens. Such
market place pressures would then enable
consumers to boycott those industries marketing
unsafe products in favor of socially responsible
businesses, which are increasingly marketing safer products.

Medical: A wide range of carcinogenic drugs are
commonly prescribed to patients in the absence of
legally-required informed consent, and of any
safe alternatives. The cancer establishment has
failed to systematize such information and
circulate it to all physicians and the public,
and to recommend explicit warning labels on all
carcinogenic drugs. Patients should thus request
their physicians to provide them with any such
evidence (experimental and epidemiological) of
cancer risks, as identified in the Warnings and
Precautions section of the annual Physicians Desk
Reference (PDR). For drugs so identified,
patients should request available non-carcinogenic alternatives.

There is now strong evidence that allegedly "low
dose" ionizing radiation from diagnostic
procedures, particularly CT scans and
fluoroscopy, poses significant risks of cancer.
These risks are avoidable, as average doses can
be substantially reduced without any loss of
image quality. Emergencies apart, patients should
seek radiologists who are increasingly practicing
dose-reduction imaging procedures.

Environmental: The cancer establishment has
failed to collate and systematize avoidable
information on carcinogenic contaminants in air
and water on an ongoing basis, and to make this
readily available to the public (12). This
information has now become available, at
community and zip code locations, in the
Environmental Defense"™s Scorecard (p. 17). Such
information would enable activist citizen groups
to take political action at the state level in
efforts to reduce these carcinogenic exposures.
It should be stressed that neither NCI nor ACS
have considered, let alone initiated,
epidemiological analyses to investigate possible
cancer clusters in highly polluted communities.

Occupational: There is substantial information on
a wide range of carcinogenic products and
processes to which some 11 million men and 4
million women are exposed (12). While industries
employing more than 10 workers are required, by
the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration, to supply them with Material
Safety Data Sheets, such information is generally
inadequate and often misleading. While some
unions take aggressive action to reduce
occupational carcinogenic exposure, this is by no
means the rule. Furthermore, plants employing
less than 10 workers, generally lower
socio-economic ethnic minorities, are virtually
exempt from any such protective measures. Again,
NCI and ACS should systematize such information
and make it fully available to unions and workers on a national basis.

Finally, the cancer establishment's massive
funding of a nationwide network of research
institutes and hospitals virtually ensures the
silence or reticence of their captive
epidemiologists and other scientists on primary
prevention. These constraints were strikingly
exemplified in a widely-publicized May 2002
Public Broadcasting Service television report,
and Chemicals, on the relationship between
chemical exposures and childhood cancer, and
other diseases. The program featured
well-qualified experts, some funded by the cancer
establishment, who expressed strong concerns
while misleadingly stressing the inadequacy of
current information. One stated: "We suspect that
children who are exposed to pesticides are at
greater risk of childhood cancer than other
children. But mostly we don't know." Another
claimed: "We have a very serious lack of
information of how to go about preventing these
diseases, because we haven't had enough
information." For these reasons, the experts
called for a "śNational Children's Study"ť over the
next 20 years at a cost of $50 million annually.
However, this proposal trivialized substantial
and longstanding available scientific information
on avoidable causes of childhood cancer, of which
the public still remains uninformed by the cancer
establishment. Additionally, no mention was made
of the primary responsibility of the NCI and ACS,
whose funding is more than adequate, to undertake
further research on avoidable causes of childhood cancer.


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Excerpted from
Cancer Before it Starts: How to Win the War on
Cancer, 2003 by Samuel S. Epstein, M. D.


Cancer Prevention Coalition
University of Illinois at Chicago
School of Public Health
2121 W. Taylor St., MC 922
Chicago, IL 60612

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