Peace Science Made Accessible, Understandable, and Useful.

EPA Considers Rolling Back Radiation Exposure Protections

EPA Considers Rolling Back Radiation Exposure Protections

Context:

The EPA is considering rolling back regulations on radiation exposure. This is a horrible idea, just ask the victims of nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific.

In the News:

“The Trump administration isn’t well known for its policymaking abilities. Far too often, the rules and regulations stemming from the executive branch are self-defeating, make little sense, and fail to hold up in a court of law. Last week, however, the Associated Press reported on a potential rollback of EPA regulations that is particularly worthy of mention in the category of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ideas. According to the AP: ‘the EPA is pursuing rule changes that experts say would weaken the way radiation exposure is regulated, turning to scientific outliers who argue that a bit of radiation damage is actually good for you — like a little bit of sunlight.’ Unfortunately, radiation is not, in fact, akin to your daily dose of vitamin D. For decades, the US government has stated that any exposure to harmful radiation is a cancer risk that should be avoided at all costs. The vast majority of scientists agree. But the current president of the United States has a tendency to disregard science and facts in favor of the advice of those he deems successful — the rich and powerful.”

Insight from Peace Science:

  • The total explosive yield of nuclear weapons detonated in the Marshall Islands was the equivalent of dropping 1.6 Hiroshima-sized bombs every day for the 12 years of U.S. testing (1946 to 1958).
  • In 2004, the U.S. National Cancer Institute estimated that about half of the cancer cases that would occur as a result of Marshall Islands nuclear testing are still to come.
  • Cancer studies have shown that workers during the British nuclear tests in Australia have a 23% higher cancer rate and are 18% more likely to die of cancer than the general public.
  • French Polynesia, ground zero for France’s nuclear weapon testing, has the highest rate of acute myeloid leukemia and thyroid cancer in the world— both radiation-induced types of cancer.

References:

Print
Next article Female Inclusion in Afghan Security Forces: “Get on board or get out — it’s happening”
Previous article Special Issue: Gender & Conflict