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I’ve been exploring the link between diabetes and depleted uranium pollution. There is a link found between the increased incidence of diabetes and the pollution of uranium in the atmsphere from nuclear testing, from the use of recycled uranium in weapons, from releases into the environment from uranium mining and milling. When you map the incidences of diabetes you see a clear co-relation with atmospheric circulation. particularly in the Northern Hemisphere.
.Estimated dose (Micro-Sieverts) Activity
5 sleeping next to your spouse for one year
10 a year of watching TV at an average rate
10 a year of wearing a luminous dial watch
10 a year of living in the USA from nuclear fuel and power plants
10 a day from background radiation (average, varys a lot throughout the world)
20 having a chest x-ray
65 flying from Melbourne to London, via Singapore
300 Yearly dose due to body’s potassium-40
460 maximum possible offsite dose from Three Mile Island Accident
400 – 1000 Average annual dose from Medical sources
7,000 having a PET scan
8,000 having a chest CT (CAT) scan
50,000 off-site dose from accident at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (estimates vary widely)
2,000,000 Typical single dose to Cancer region from Radiation Therapy
700,000 – 13,000,000 staff and firefighters at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant during and immediately after the accident
65,000,000 Typical total dose to Cancer region from Radiation Therapy.
The problem is the radiation is accumulative so if you are exposed to uranium in the air, after a nuclear accident, uptake of inhaled uranium is 60% and that is added to doses from other sources.
We are not immune to this problem in Australia. At Jabiru where Ranger mines uranium, dosage rates are 0.10mSv per year well below the limit recommended by ICRP which is 1MSv. Yet diabetes accounted for 8% of deaths in East Arnhem land, Barkly and Central regions in 2002. This was more than double the diabetes rate in Darwin environs (3%).
My interest is that I spent 7 months in Jabiru in the early 90’s and I have diabetes, which developed in 2,000. Working at the laboratory close to the mine site, would have increased my exposure. They moved the town from this site because of higher levels of uranium pollution near the mine.
The limit for drinking water is 30 micrograms/l and uptake from food is less than 0.05 . I’ve thought that my diabetes was genetically linked because my father and two brothers have it, none of them were in Jabiru, but now I see other factors here contributing to the diabetes, French nuclear testing in the Pacific (ended 1963), uranium mining and Fukushima.
Lauren Moret is the whistleblower on this whole genetic timebomb. As I wrote in my poem Hot Spots, from Jabiru Dreaming. ‘uranium the clock ticking away”. I am reminded that Guboo the Aboriginal elder said, Chenobyl was a warning of what could happen if we follow this path, now we have something in Fukushima, many magnitudes more disasterous. The rate of diabetes in indigenous communities over 65 years is 36%. Gulf war veterans are coming back after exposure to depleted uranium from munitions with very high levels. Now there’s a link with metal failure in planes, not to mention genetic defects in animals and humans.
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