Just the Facts, Ma’am. Just the Facts.
April 25, 2013 – 10:45
You’d think the facts would persuade people like the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) . But that appears not to be the case.
Gideon Forman, their executive director, apparently told health authorities in Haliburton region that kids living near nuclear energy facilities face higher risks of leukemia. Forman, who is not a medical doctor, cited the widely discredited German study Kinderkrebs in der umgebung von Kernkraftwerken (KiKK), published in 2008. (The title translates to “Childhood Cancer in the Environment of Nuclear Power Plants.”)
Here’s the problem. It’s just not true.
In fact, several follow-up studies have reviewed the KiKK work. Every one of them concluded that the kids’ leukemia risk could NOT be blamed on the nearby nuclear energy facility.
Even CAPE acknowledges in its own literature that the German study proved nothing: “The authors state that the reason for the elevated risk is unexplained, as the levels of radioactive emissions from these facilities are considered too low to explain the increase in childhood leukemia.” (Source: Cathy Vakil and Linda Harvey, Human Health Implications of the Nuclear Energy Industry, p. 62)
As the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission said in its review of the KiKK studies, “any claims of a link between childhood leukemia and radiation from nuclear power plants are unfounded and not supported by a wealth of evidence resulting from multiple epidemiology studies.”
And as the commission chairman, Dr. Michael Binder, wrote last August in a letter to the Hamilton Spectator specifically rebutting CAPE’s allegations, “The truth is that studies have shown over and over that people living near nuclear power plants are as healthy as the rest of the population.”
Forman also cited scientific studies to show that “all reactors release radioactive material routinely” but failed completely to put this into perspective. The truth is that nuclear energy facilities generally add less than 0.1% to the background radiation that occurs naturally.
In fact, Canadians receive over 100 times more radiation dose naturally through the food we eat than from Canada’s nuclear energy facilities.
Those are the facts. Shouldn’t doctors deal in facts rather than fiction?