400 % Spike in Rare Birth Defects Near Leaking Hanford Nuclear Site
Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) : The Hanford Nuclear site in Washington is attracting renewed attention as rare birth defects, including babies born with parts of their brain missing, spike around the facility. An epidemiologist assigned by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims the incidents are not focused near the Hanford site, prompting the question how it can be that the CDC official failed to notice that the Hanford site is located in the center of the cluster.
Incidence 400 percent above normal. The Washington State Health Department is trying to identify the cause of an unusually high number of rare birth defects in south central Washington, around the leaking Hanford nuclear site. In 2013, seven cases of anencephaly, a rare and often fatal birth defect were reported in a remote region of Washington State, clustered around the Hanford site.
There is still no explanation for the spike, said State Health Department officials. The seven cases reported in 2013 bring the number of reported cases in the region, which includes Yakima, Benton and Franklin, up to 30 since 2010.
Ancephaly is a rare form of birth defect in which children fail to develop parts of their brain. While the national rate is at 2.1 cases per 10,000 births, the rate in the affected region has increased to a staggering 8,7 cases per 10,000 birth, which is 4,14 times or over 400 percent above average.
While the Washington State Health Department stress the need for a detailed study of the cluster, there is little doubt about the cause for the alarming rate of the severe birth defects among local residents who are pointing at the leaking Hanford nuclear site.
The Hanford Nuclear Facility is located approximately 300 kilometers southeast of Seattle. The site was, among other used for the production of the Plutonium for the bombs which incinerated tens of thousands in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killed tens of thousands more from radiation poisoning, and caused generations of human suffering from radiation in Japan.
After the end of the second world war the Hanford facility was upgraded and expanded for cold war nuclear weapons production.
The last reactor at Hanford was shut down in 1987, but both solid and liquid radioactive waste remained at the site. The site has repeatedly caused grave concerns due to leaks.
February 2013, Governor Jay Inslee drew attention to the fact, that at least six of the tanks, which are containing radioactive waste, were leaking. The alarm was raised, after decreasing radioactivity levels were observed within the tanks, while no elevated levels were observed outside of the double shell tanks themselves. The situation developed into a scandal due to federal authorities failure to respond in due time and, according to critics, with appropriate measures.
CDC Epidemiologist claims Incidents are not Focused near Hanford – A Map tells Otherwise. The local Yakima Herald Republic (YHR) cites epidemiologist Mandy Stahre, who is assigned to the Washington state by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as saying that the incidents did not show up seasonably, which they probably would if the cases were tied to pesticide exposure.
The CDC epidemiologist directly contradicts readily available evidence, claiming that the incidents are not focused near the Hanford site.
Yakima, Benton, and Franklin are geographically straddling the leaking Hanford nuclear facility. NBCNews cites CDC epidemiologist Mandy Stahre as sort of hoping the incidents would have gone away, saying:
“We’re really concerned about the fact that the anencephaly rates are still so high. We were sort of hoping that this may have been a statistical anomaly or would go away.”
Genetic councilor Susie Ball is cited by YHR as saying that for birth defects like anencephaly to happen, there needs to be an overlap of both genetic and environmental factors.
While CDC expert Mandy Stahre apparently is “puzzled” by the over 400 percent spike in the tragic birth defect, the most puzzling mystery appears to be how a CDC epidemiologist can claim that the incidents are not focused near the Hanford site. That is, presuming that a CDC official is capable of looking at a map and to locate Yakima, Benton, Franklin, and the Hanford nuclear site which is centered in between them.
Ch/L – nsnbc 24.04.2014
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