Study: Fukushima Radiation Has Already Killed 14,000 Americans

Already 14,000 U.S. Deaths From Fukushima ?

A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal International Journal of Health Services alleges that 14,000 people have already died in the United States due to Fukushima.

Specifically, the authors of the study claim:

An estimated 14,000 excess deaths in the United States are linked to the radioactive fallout from the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan, according to a major new article in the December 2011 edition of the International Journal of Health Services. This is the first peer-reviewed study published in a medical journal documenting the health hazards of Fukushima.

[The authors] note that their estimate of 14,000 excess U.S. deaths in the 14 weeks after the Fukushima meltdowns is comparable to the 16,500 excess deaths in the 17 weeks after the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986. The rise in reported deaths after Fukushima was largest among U.S. infants under age one. The 2010-2011 increase for infant deaths in the spring was 1.8 percent, compared to a decrease of 8.37 percent in the preceding 14 weeks.

The authors seem – at first glance – to have pretty solid credentials. Janette Sherman, M.D. worked for the Atomic Energy Commission (forerunner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission) at the University of California in Berkeley, and for the U.S. Navy Radiation Defense Laboratory in San Francisco. She served on the EPA’s advisory board for 6 years, and has been an advisor to the National Cancer Institute on breast cancer. Dr. Sherman specializes in internal medicine and toxicology with an emphasis on chemicals and nuclear radiation.

Joseph J. Mangano is a public health administrator and researcher who has studied the connection between low-dose radiation exposure and subsequent risk of diseases such as cancer and damage to newborns. He has published numerous articles and letters in medical and other journals in addition to books, including Low Level Radiation and Immune System Disorders: An Atomic Era Legacy.

Sherman also claims that a study in British Columbia of infants under 1 year of age allegedly corroborates the increased deaths due to Fukushima:

But a Scientific American blog post and Med Page Today slam the study as being voodoo science. However, Scientific American does admit:

Certainly radiation from Fukushima is dangerous, and could very well lead to negative health effects—even across the Pacific.

What Do Other Experts Say?

Pediatrician Helen Caldicott said recently:

May I say that North America has received quite a large fallout itself.


We’re going to see an incredible increase in cancer, leukemia, and — down the time track — genetic disease. Not just in Japan but in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly North America.

Caldicott also wrote in a New York Times Op-Ed:

Children are innately sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of radiation, fetuses even more so. Like Chernobyl, the accident at Fukushima is of global proportions. Unusual levels of radiation have been discovered in British Columbia, along the West Coast and East Coast of the United States and in Europe, and heavy contamination has been found in oceanic waters.

Nuclear engineer Gunderson says that the Japanese will suffer one million cancer deaths from Fukushima, and that we’ll see a statistically meaningful increase in cancer on the West Coast of America and Canada from Fukushima. Gundersen says that – after Japan – the most radioactive areas are the Cascades and Portland.

There is certainly evidence that West Coast residents – especially in Seattle, Portland and other areas near the Cascades – have been hit with some radiation. And there is certainly evidence that radioactive contamination has spread in the United States, and will continue to spread for some time to come.

Why Is The Science So Hotly Debated?

Why is there so much dispute about the number of deaths which Fukushima could cause on the West Coast?

Because radiation safety standards are set based on the assumption that everyone exposed is a healthy man in his 20s – and that radioactive particles ingested into the body cause no more damage than radiation hitting the outside of the body.

However – in the real world – radiation affects small children much more than full-grown adults. And small particles of radiation – called “internal emitters” – which get inside the body are much more dangerous than general exposures to radiation. See this and this.

In addition, American and Canadian authorities have virtually stopped monitoring airborn radiation, and are not testing fish for radiation. (Indeed, the EPA reacted to Fukushima by raising “acceptable” radiation levels.)

So – as in Japan – radiation is usually discovered by citizens and the handful of research scientists with funding to check, and not the government. See this, this, this, this, this and this.

The Japanese government’s entire strategy from day one has been to cover up the severity of the Fukushima accident. This has likely led to unnecessary, additional deaths.

Indeed, the core problem is that all of the world’s nuclear agencies are wholly captured by the nuclear industry … as are virtually all of the supposedly independent health agencies.

So the failure of the American, Canadian and other governments to test for and share results is making it difficult to hold an open scientific debate about what is happening.

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  • WBlogReader

    Good scary blog news. Not to lessen the problem with nuclear fission facilities, but how do we compare this accident, and the potential of future fission related exposure, to the excess deaths due to petroleum and coal burning, which supposedly release tons more radioactive particles into the atmosphere? Unnatural Plutonium from fission seems more dangerous than some of the radioactive carbon associated particles? Many questions, but it seems any ionizing radiation is more harmful than beneficial…I wonder if dentists and doctors could use ultrasonic instead of x-rays to detect damage? Climate warming from carbon burning, vs. hazards from fission?

  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Compound F

    I’d be interested in knowing if Richard Morin (the radiologist quoted in medpage today) has any financial interests in GE or Toshiba, e.g., who gives him grant or equipment support. Hmm?

    I saw the names come up in association with a radiology conference at which he hosted at least one session. These companies not only made the fuku reactors, but they are big in radiology, too, I believe.

  • Compound F

    also, let’s not forget Mr. Obama’s buddy Jeff Immelt. Speaking bluntly, I smell rats.

  • You suggest that there is a lot of debate about the science involved in the Fukushima radiation spills. I am not sure about this, but I see no debate whatsoever. The reason there is no debate it, as you suggest, the regulatory and health watchdog organizations are owned by the nuclear power companies.

    When you say there is a lot of debate, you seem to be looking at what’s happening between the few independent critics and the spokespeople for the governments, the power companies, and their representatives in the media. Yes there might be some disputation there. But, they are not raising a stink that anyone not already reading your blog are able to smell.

    Yes there were lots of people and organizations talking about people using planes as weapons before 9-11, but not enough for the people listening to condileeza rice to laugh when she said, to the contrary, that no one would have thought of such a thing before 9-11. And too, when the deaths occur, the people in charge of health organizations and nuclear watchdogs will say they had never considered the possibility that Fukushima would cause any problems for Americans…We should not be surprised when they are shocked and so amazed…


  • Tailwind

    Oldie but goodie in the world of science: Correlation is NOT causation.

    • purple

      Correlation Is highly suggestive, and worthy of investigation by agencies with the resources to do so. But they won’t and we know why.

  • A Batazzi

    Thank god I live in SA…!

  • Dana

    The down-play of the real dangers of the Fukushima disaster is a disturbing repeat performance of the government- and media-responses to Chernobyl, in 1986. Alternative French media have often “joked” — in dark humor — that Mitterrand’s assurance was that, thank heavens, the radioactive cloud had had the good sense to take a left turn at the French border …

    What also goes largely overlooked, with regard to the impact of radiation on health, power plant “accidents” aside, are the 50-plus years of nuclear explosions / weapons testing, across the globe, between 1945 and 1998. Watch this 7 minute animation, by Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto, specifying the locations of 2053 nuclear tests and the nations that conducted them. No doubt there have been studies conducted on the effects of this half-century of delirious military bravado, but they haven’t entered the public conscience.

    The human species has been fooling around with highly eco- and self- destructive behavior for close to forever, but most disastrously since the Industrial era, ie, cheap energy.

    Nuclear catastrophes, wars, industrial pollution / climate change, famine, soil depletion, etc, are the direct consequences of a single common denominator.

    Guess what it is.

    Better than to bewail one tragedy, while passively awaiting the next, would be to address the core issue: the near-global, debt-based economic system, predicated upon infinite growth, which has amounted to an insatiable, unidirectional vacuum of common wealth.

    Hence, Chernobyl, Fukushima, Gulf of Mexico, Exxon-Valdez, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. There will be no end to the disasters until and unless we find a way out of monolithic financial enslavement.

    • JK

      Guess what?…..The solution to all of humanities problems is due to make His appearance in the near foreseeable future. Meanwhile ditch the scammers that recently have given us AGW and all who promote an even bigger, older scam, Evolution. And prepare yourselves for the greatest event in human history. How? Change your mindset, bias, cosmology. How? Get off your duff and do some proper research of your own.

      • I am wondering what your motive is for such a vague reply? Are you promoting the up and coming NWO and its world president? Or are you representing the return of Jesus Christ?

      • Morten Ulveseth

        Evolution is a scam. Interesting. Let me guess, you’re religious.
        Did you know that even most people in your own religion is laughing\crying at you?

        Protip: read a science book.

        • MightyMonarch

          Evolution is not scientific. Perhaps you should read a grade school science textbook before parroting the near religious fanaticism of evolutionists.

  • ggerwgrwergwr

    the media continues to cover this and everythign else to do with radiation up

    WHY? Owned by the same companies profiting from these death traps….

    guess what else? They could build safe clean reactors using thorium but they cannot WEAPONIZE it

    anyone who honestly weighs the cost vs. the benefits of nuclear ANYTHING (with current tech anyway) comes up with the inescapable conclusion that they don’t care if WE ALL DIE.

    and why? Like all through history we are merely pawns and peasants, owned like cattle with only the rights they decide to allow us today

    and it will continue until people finally care, and that might be too late by then ,,, wink wink to you low level fraternity types getting some crumbs to sell out your descendants and the whole world. (You only get one and EVERYONE’s watching you right back, even if they don’t know it yet)

  • Wayne R. McKinney, PhD

    I have monitored the background radiation across the entire USA before, during, and after the Fukushima event. You can do it on the web. There is no detectable increase in background radiation, and anyone who says there is is either has an agenda, or is completely ignorant of the relevant science. Excess deaths do not exist from Fukushima. It is not even worth discussing. I am being kind in my description of such criminal madness.

    To paraphrase Goethe in more modern speech: Gegen die Dumheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Brown’s Gas can eliminate nuclear waste. It looks like thorium based nuclear reactors can eliminate or radically reduce the possibilities of Nuclear Accidents in day to day use. Between the 2, we should be able to eliminate the problems of Nuclear Reactors and actually save money doing so.
    You can find video with the press announcement of Brown’s Gas ability to neutralize nuclear waste demonstration to San Francisco Department of Energy Field Office in 1992… And discussion video on Thorium based nuclear reactors at:
    How many have died if any is not an issue easily resolved. We can get rid of what is acknowledged as an incredibly expensive and growing problem. The combined quarantine areas of Chernobyl, Fukushima and Hanford, Washington total in size over half the state of Texas. Let’s keep nuclear power while radically reducing cost and risk. We don’t need to know how many people have died in order to make changes for the better.

  • HajjaRomi

    The video you link to (Gundersen preducting statistically meaningful increase in cancer in North America) is “no longer available” on YouTube. Hmmmm…. I wonder why?

  • Greg

    Uh, 52 yrs old and suddenly having siezures and chest pain linked to the water. First siezure after swimming in a CA river for 2 days, 2nd after drinking unfiltered tap water. For the past 2 months, ANYTIME I drink unfiltered tap water, I suffer disabling chest pain. Requested testing of water supply for radionuclides from water company…no response. 2 years ago, doctors would have ran barium x-rays and put a camera down my throat. Today, the docter smiles and says “see you in 6 months”. That’s if I have 6 months. If I scream any louder, they will just call me crazy. The toys of tomorrow will not be droids and flat screens, they will be giegercounters and silver ionizing water filters. It’s too late to ask for help, it’s time to protect yourself.

    • #HashTagDeals

      so you think the radiation levels in the CA river (i.e. has gone through the cycle of water: evaporation, dispersant, rain, filtration) is so much higher duty the Japanese meltdown on the other side of the planet that it now causes chest pains? Doesn’t seem to be scientific.

      • Dave

        … Are you implying that that’s enough to filter out water contaminated by nuclear particles? Cause you’d be very wrong..

        • noneyo_getit_0011232

          What is there to filter out that is not there already? I am a student physics researcher and you seem to be completely unaware that the vast majority of radioactive matter is natural. It has been in the earth’s crust since long before even human prehistoric times. Where do you think underground stores of helium come from? Dead serious (look this up please) it is the result of tremendous amounts of alpha decay (helium nuclei decay products). There was even a natural nuclear reactor found in Africa that operated for some time about 1.7 billion years ago when U-235 was in higher concentration… it had groundwater to moderate it and eventually had the reactions die out on their own. The NEST group (DOE/Homeland-Security “nuclear bomb squad”) greatly prefers to do surveys BEFORE they search for a nuke because radiation levels that are natural vary quite a bit… so they need a baseline.

          There is a town in Iran by the name of Ramsar that has a background 80 times normal (and has had it that way going back into prehistory). The only really statistically significant effects that are easy to observe in the 2000 people living there are LESS cancer. The same is true of spots in the Ural mountains where much of Chernobyl’s fallout ended up. Remember… we use radiation on cancer because radiation hurts cancer a LOT more than it hurts healthy tissue.

          I despise how closed mouth the power companies or totalitarian governments can be about nuclear power… BUT I hold hysteria-capitalizing conspiracy-nut environmentalists in equal contempt. Greenpeace has a remarkable LACK of actual scientists in their employ (at all levels). You try and talk science to them and they claim you are in on the conspiracy.

          Now I do like the Union of Concerned Scientists website… just be careful to get things direct from them because I see them misquoted quite often.

          Real science is about details and actually trusting scientists to know their respective fields. There is complete consensus amongst the physics community that radiation/nuclear hysteria still makes intelligent public discourse about nuclear power impossible.

          • Sean Oliver

            You sir couldn’t be more wrong and if you try to equate natural radiation to man made radiation(man made being the one with the extra neutron smashed into it by mechanical means by man) you most certainly are either working for the nuclear industry propaganda machine, or are hopeful to do so or are so absolutely and profoundly ignorant of the facts that all you can do is repeat the lies shoved at us for the last 70 years from the nuclear industry apologists! Get a real education about that which you spew and know nothing about or are lying about! You are a danger to humanity! If you actually believe what you say there’s no hope for you! If you’re an apologist for the nuclear industry, you are scum!

    • Lol

      You’re just getting old.

  • Venture Guy

    who were the peers reviewing this? Do you have a UFO to sell them?

    • Ed

      Think about how stupid the average person is

      And then realize that half of ’em are stupider than that.

  • disinformation@disinformation.

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