To the Editor,

Babies Teeth

Joseph Mangano holds a baby tooth dating back to 1953. By Todd Plitt, USA TODAY

A study on childhood cancer near nuclear power plants in Florida, U.S., was released in April. According to the study by the Radiation and Public Health Project, levels of fission product strontium-90 in the teeth of children living in southeast Florida had increased with 37% from 1986-1989 to 1994-1997. The highest levels were found near the Turkey Point and St. Lucie reactors.

The amount of radioactive strontium-90 appeared to be 85% higher in the teeth of children with cancer than those without. The results might suggest a link between cancer and exposures to radioactivity from the reactors, but further studies are still needed to confirm this.

(587.5518) WISE Amsterdam – The study was conducted by the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP) and funded by the Health Foundation of South Florida. RHPH is an independent non-profit research organization, established by scientists and physicians to investigate the links between environmental radiation, cancer and public health. The main authors of the study are Dr. Ernest Sternglass, Professor Emeritus Radiation Physics of the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Jerry Brown, Founding Professor Florida International University and Joseph Mangano, national coordinator of RPHP.

Four nuclear reactors are in operation in southeast Florida: Turkey Point-3 and -4 in Miami-Dade County and St. Lucie-1 and -2 in St. Lucie County. Concerns have been raised about reported increases in childhood cancer. RPHP studied data on radioactive releases from the plants, radioactivity concentrations in rain- and drinking water, cancer rates in the region and levels of strontium-90 in baby’s teeth in the region. The main findings of the RPHP study are:

Radioactivity emissions
Radioactivity in Miami-Dade County (Turkey Point) rainwater rose from a minimum in 1987-1988 to a plateau in 1990-1993, and later by some 60% in the last half of the 1990s. Atmospheric bomb testing by the U.S. ended in 1963 and by other countries in 1980. Accidental releases by underground bomb testing ended in 1992-1993. The releases by these test were an important source of beta-emitting radionuclides. As the activity in water still increased in the late 1990s, the persistence of (high beta) radioactivity in precipitation and drinking water near Turkey Point and St. Lucie therefore is likely to be caused by those two NPPs.

Radioactivity in drinking water:
The highest levels of fission product strontium-90 in drinking water in southeast Florida were found within 5-20 miles (8-32 kilometers) of the Turkey Point and St. Lucie reactors. Fission products like strontium-90, cesium-137 and iodine-131 are always released during normal operation of a reactor. The are released by the plant by air or water discharges. The levels of strontium-90 decreased with distance from the plants. This appears to rule out past nuclear bomb tests as the source of strontium-90 in drinking water. Contamination by nuclear tests would have caused equal activity levels all over Florida instead of the highest levels found near the two NPPs.

Cancer rates in Southeast Florida:
From the early 1980s to the late 1990s, cancer incidence in children under 10 rose 35.2% in the five counties closest to the Turkey Point and St. Lucie reactors. Childhood cancer in the whole U.S. had only risen with 10.8%. So, the amount of childhood cancer rose more quickly in the regions of the two NPPs. A high amount of 325.3% increase in childhood cancer was observed in St. Lucie County.

Radioactivity in Florida Baby Teeth:
The authors collected baby teeth for measurements on strontium-90 concentrations. The study found that levels of strontium-90 in 250 Miami-Dade County baby teeth have been rising since the early 1980s. The current level is even as high as in the late 1950s, when the U.S., U.K., and the Soviet Union conducted atmospheric bomb tests. As the major releases of strontium-90 have ended since the atmospheric tests stopped, the authors suspect another cause for the (increased) presence of strontium-90 in teeth.

A comparison of the 461 baby teeth from six southeast counties near the two NPPs with 24 teeth from 12 other Florida counties (more than 40 miles from any NPP) showed that strontium-90 levels in the six southeast counties have a significant 44% higher concentration of strontium-90.

In 1982, the average concentration of strontium-90 in southeast Florida baby teeth was 2.23 picoCuries per gram Calcium. By 1995, it reached 5.29 picoCurie/g Calcium. That significant rise of +137% makes it almost impossible to ascribe the current levels to past atmospheric nuclear bomb tests. That is because of the fact that one would expect a decline in strontium-90 levels as the atmospheric tests had ended and strontium-90 from that cause is more and more disappearing from the natural environment.

From 17 teeth from children diagnosed with cancer and living in the counties near the NPPs, 14 were found to have strontium-90 levels above the average for those without cancer in the same counties. Furthermore, 11 out of these 14 teeth have significantly higher strontium-90 concentrations. On average, strontium-90 levels in cancer teeth were 85% higher than those found in non-cancer teeth.

Conclusions and recommendations
The authors conclude that the radioactivity releases from the Turkey Point and St. Lucie NPPs are the primary cause of rising strontium-90 levels in southeast Florida baby teeth, which is the highest in the counties near the plants.

Strontium-90 levels are significantly higher in teeth from children with cancer. The higher levels of strontium-90 in children with cancer raises the question whether exposure to emissions by the two NPPs may be a possible cause for the cancer. The authors are quite strong in their conclusions when they state that “there is now substantial evidence that exposure […] is a significant causal factor”. But as this is only a first study on strontium-90 levels in Florida they also recommend that more detailed studies on cancer rates and a relation with strontium-90 levels are necessary before full conclusions can be drawn.

The possible radiation-cancer link should also be considered in future federal policies regulating the operation of nuclear reactors, especially on renewal or extension of the licenses of aging reactors.

More information about the Radiation and Public Health Project can be found at their website: The website also includes earlier study results of the project.


1. Environmental Radiation from Nuclear Reactors and Childhood Cancer in Southeast Florida, Radiation and Public Health Project, 9 April 2003

2.Press release RPHP, 9 April 2003

Contact: J. Mangano, National Coordinator, RPHP, 786 Carroll Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215, U.S.
Tel: +1 718 857 9825

Footnote: The SCIENCE of radiation both at the mining tailings level and radon gas is such that the tailings dams do not ‘smother’ the radon released by the tailings.  Radon is water-soluble so it passes through and out of the water to be airborne).The release of strontium from nuclear power plants is a  thousands times more deadly than uranium and its sister decay products. The test results eg kids cancer rates near nuclear power plants in Florida much higher than elsewhere.

Strontium 90 comes through the mother’s milk and the body mistakes Strontium for Calcium which is harmless and it needs. So mum’s unwittingly who store the Sr-90 in their breast tissue then pass it onto their babies doing what Nature intended them to do – feed their babies naturally.

The impact of the Sr-90 is far greater on the babies than the mums. So every time we hear of miners claiming another finding of uranium, think breast milk, nuclear power plants and how we’re poisoning ourselves with Australian made yellowcake.

Baby teeth offer radioactive clues
By Gary Stoller, USA TODAY
A new study [2004] concludes that counties within 40 miles of six nuclear power plants have higher levels of radioactive strontium-90 than other counties in their states.
[The tragedy here is that this is now well-known and documented] 

Submitted: David Bradbury

Possibly related Post

‘Uranium making Punjab kids retarded’
Balwant Garg, TNN, Jun 14, 2010

BATHINDA: Confirming Punjab’s worst fear and The Times of India reports, a resounding document from Germany’s Microtrace Mineral Lab has revealed that hair samples of 80% of 149 neurologically disabled children….. have high levels of uranium.

The report from a world-renowned laboratory also establishes the presence of dangerous heavy metals in water….story here

6 replies »

  1. It’s such a shame that politicians are given a vote which appears to enables them to choose to let our children’s lives hang on something as precarious as that which we are reading both above and below.

    Nobody believes the spin that the earth is unsustainable. It is becoming this way through nuclear toxicity. I am not opposed to anything sensible however this is blatantly senseless.

    You don’t mind to sacrifice OUR children. Tell us, Would you sacrifice YOUR children?


    The nuclear power industry is having another bad year.

    A study published in January in ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVES (a federal government journal) concludes that people who lived near the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear plant in Pennsylvania in 1979 are more likely to get lung cancer, leukemia and all cancers combined, compared to people living further from the plant.[1]

    The TMI nuclear reactor released radioactivity into the surrounding air in March, 1979 during a loss-of-coolant accident that crippled the plant.

    A 1990 study had concluded that certain cancers were occurring among nearby residents at unusually high rates, but that radiation released during the accident was probably not the cause.[2] The latest study, by Stephen Wing and others, says those rising cancer rates WERE caused by radiation.[3]

    The nuclear power corporations are working overtime to discredit Wing and the other authors of the new study.

    In Germany and in other countries, increased leukemia rates near nuclear installations had been observed.

    Increased leukemia rates were reported for children living in the town of Seascale [4,5], near nuclear weapon factories in Great Britain [6], in the vicinity of the nuclear installation of Dounreay,Scotland [7], near the French nuclear reprocessing plant of La Hague [8], and forseveral locations in Germany [9].

    Recent results from Japan, though based only on mortality, seem to confirm the general association [10,11]. A comprehensive study around nuclear power plants in England [12,13], again revealed significant increases in cancer mortality rates.

    In case you live in this world and are planning a family, here is the list of Nuclear Power Plants World Wide

  2. We were wondering what Strontium-90 was/is. Who to ask? We looked up wikipedia and it says this. It wouldn’t be very hard for the poli’s that G. Wentworth is talking about to look it up either.

    As South Australian residents we know that cancers are out of control. We also heard that the British tested the Maralinga bombs on human bones. I guess this is also our legacy as it’s eeking out of the water and soil into our air. Thanks Britain/Australia We owe you one.

    Biochemistry of Strontium-90

    Together with caesium isotopes 134Cs, 137Cs, and iodine isotope 131I it was among the most important isotopes regarding health impacts after the Chernobyl disaster.

    Strontium-90 is a “bone seeker” that exhibits biochemical behavior similar to calcium, the next lighter Group 2 element.

    After entering the organism, most often by ingestion with contaminated food or water, about 70-80% of the dose gets excreted.

    Virtually all remaining strontium-90 is deposited in bones and bone marrow, with the remaining 1% remaining in blood and soft tissues.

    Its presence in bones can cause bone cancer, cancer of nearby tissues, and leukemia. Exposition to 90Sr can be tested by a bioassay, most commonly by urinalysis.

  3. Strontium 90, with a half life of @28 years, was one of the main components of the fallout from the over 1000 (one thousand) atmospheric nuclear tests from the 1940’s through the 1960’s- The U.S., Russia, China, France, the U.K., and very likely israel are all guilty- It contaminated the grass, was eaten by cows, passed on into the milk or crops. All of us alive during these tests have strontium 90 in our bones. Though most was excreted, what remained stayed in the bones and marrow, and is a leading cause of bone cancer and leukemia.

    But no one seems to want to even talk about it. Wonder why we see an increase in cancer levels?
    One of the causes is the strontium 90, and these polluting plants make it worse.

  4. Yes, it has all gone very quiet about the strontium from the nuclear tests. But,since March 11th 2011, other radiation concerns have come up. And they’re not going to go away just because the nuclear/uranium lobby and its servant governments will tell us that, a year later – “it’s all over”. It is not all over. The Fukushima nuclear wreck is still leaking radiation into the air and the ocean. And, like those tests long ago, these radioactive isotopes are making their way around the world, increasing the cancer risks of those near to the plant, and joining all the other uranium/nuclear facilities in increasing the risks for all of us.

    Officials from national meteorological agencies in countries like France and Austria
    followed the Fukushima plume and made colorful maps available on the internet. Within six days of the meltdowns, the plume had reached the U.S. and, within 18 days, it had circled the Northern Hemisphere.

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