Buchanan, New York is a town in the United States where tens of thousands of people have been diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer, and it sits just 35 miles from New York City. Also nearby is the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, which is situated on the Hudson River and serves the electricity needs of approximately 2 million people, with two working reactors which have operated since the mid 1970s.
For years, the public has been told that nuclear power is a safe and clean alternative to other fuels, but the people of Indian Point and surrounding areas know those claims are untrue, and it appears they are now paying the price of all the failed promises of nuclear energy.
Thyroid Cancer rates, in and around this area, have seen a huge spike in the last 15 years. Some say as many as 20,000 thyroid cancer cases.
What Does The Thyroid Gland Do?
Thanks to heightened awareness among sufferers and the medical community, thyroid cancer diagnoses are on the rise, making cancer of the thyroid, one of the most common in the US.
Looking at thyroid cancer statistics for the entire USA, as of March 2015, there were about 62,450 new cases of thyroid cancer (47,230 in women, and 15,220 in men) and 1,950 deaths from thyroid cancer (1,080 women and 870 men).
There are different types of thyroid cancers, and a great deal of mystery surrounds how and why some people are affected and others are not, but there is one, sure-fire, unmistakable way to get thyroid cancer and that’s by exposure to radiation, specifically, Iodine-131 which is a gas produced by the fissioning of uranium.
The thyroid gland requires iodine, a naturally occurring chemical, but it doesn’t distinguish between radioactive Iodine 131 and naturally occurring iodine. Iodine 131 enters the human body via the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe, damaging and killing cells, a process that can lead to cancer and other diseases.
Th people who call Indian Point home have unwittingly lived next to a veritable cancer-generating machine for decades. Life is enough of a challenge without man-made poisons silently infiltrating your body through the air you breathe and water you drink.
There are a staggering number of thyroid cancer victims in and around Indian Point, which have become known as cancer clusters. Groups are speaking out, people are frightened, and New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, called for its closure:
“An international team of researchers led by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health found a clear dose-response relationship, in which higher absorption of radiation from I-131 led to an increased risk for thyroid cancer that has not seemed to diminish over time.”
But with the discovery of this blatant health hazard, where is the outrage? Where is the media? Why isn’t this front page news?
Not surprisingly, Indian Point victims and their families are outraged and they demand to know why the government hasn’t protected them. They want answers, because it seems that every time the general public is told that there is nothing to worry about, the opposite is true.
Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant is now over 40 years old and running on expired licenses. It’s a ticking time-bomb which continues to vent thyroid cancer-causing radiation. Are we looking at a possible Chernobyl just miles from New York City?
It’s possible, especially when you consider that there have been 9 incidents in the last year alone. Chernobyl experienced only 1 incident before the horrific explosion in 1986.
The most recent incident was a tritium leak, a radioactive substance leaking into the ground water. Officials said that it didn’t leave the site and was contained, but truthful information is scarce when nuclear accidents happen, just as it was at Chernobyl and Fukushima.
Thyroid cancer can cause several symptoms:
- You may get a lump or swelling in your neck. This is the most common symptom
- You may have pain in your neck and sometimes in your ears
- You may have trouble swallowing
- You may have trouble breathing or have constant wheezing
- Your voice may be hoarse
- You may have a frequent cough that is not related to a cold
Due to Indian Point’s vulnerability to terrorism, a laundry list of safety problems, the storage of 1500 tons of radioactive waste onsite, and the lack of a workable evacuation plan, activists such as Riverkeeper have been working toward the permanent shutdown of the plant, and you too can get involved.
There are many thyroid cancers in the area of Indian Point and a Fukushima or Chernobyl-type disaster is waiting to happen in this old and dangerous plant that is only 30 miles from NYC. Call & write the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to shut down Indian Point Power Plant. 1-800-368-5642. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Wash.D.C. 2055-001. Also safety concerns: 1-800-695-7403.
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