The Cholesterol Correlation – The Caesium-137 Correlation

The Cholesterol Correlation – The Caesium-137 Correlation

Caesium-137 is a well studied radioisotope because of its “high affinity to fine soil particles”.

Caesium-137, Cesium-137, or Cs-137 is one of radioisotopes of caesium with a nominal atomic mass of 137.

It is an artificial radionuclide with a half-life of 30 years or so, which was released into the stratosphere by the testing of above ground thermonuclear weapons in the late 1950s and early 1960s and deposited as fallout.

Its high affinity to fine soil particles, relatively long half-life, and world-wide distribution have made it almost a universal environmental tracer for studying upslope soil erosion and downstream sedimentation.

Globally speaking, the temporal patterns of caesium-137 input are characterised by:
1) detectable caesium-137 began in 1954;
2) the first peak appeared in 1958/1959;
3) the second peak occurred at 1962-1964;
4) and the termination of caesium-137 input around mid-1980s.

Some areas had additional input in 1986 after the Chernobyl incident.

This annual variation has been successfully used to determine sediment accumulation rates in a wide variety of depositional environments including reservoirs, lakes, wetlands, coast areas, and flood plains.

Flux and Inventory

Applications of Caesium-137 in Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Studies (an introduction)
Geography Department University of Exeter
http://people.exeter.ac.uk/yszhang/caesium/

Caesium-137 is also studied because it is rapidly incorporated into biological system.

Mechanisms of caesium uptake by plants

Tansley Review No. 113 – Mechanisms of caesium uptake by plants
P. J. White and M. R. Broadley
New Phytol. (2000), 147, 241-256
http://www.qsl.net/k/k0ff//01%20Manuals/Cs-137%20in%20wood%20ash/nph113.pdf

Caesium-137 is also studied to clarify [or otherwise] the health effects of nuclear fallout.

Xenon Half-life: 6.7 hours
Inhalation in excessive concentrations can result in dizziness, nausea, vomiting, loss of consciousness, and death.
At low oxygen concentrations, unconsciousness and death may occur in seconds without warning.

Americium-241 Half-life: 432 years
Moves rapidly through the body after ingestion and is concentrated within the bones for a long period of time.
During this storage americium will slowly decay and release radioactive particles and rays.
These rays can cause alteration of genetic materials and bone cancer.

Iodine-131 Half-life: 8 days
When present in high levels in the environment from radioactive fallout, I-131 can be absorbed through contaminated food.
It also accumulates in the thyroid gland, where it can destroy all or part of the thyroid.
May cause damage to the thyroid as it decays.
Thyroid cancer may occur.

Caesium-137 Half-life: 30 years
After entering the body, caesium is distributed fairly uniformly through the body, with higher concentration in muscle tissue and lower concentration in bones.
Can cause gonadal irradiation and genetic damage.

Krypton-85 Half-life: 10.76 years
Inhalation in excessive concentrations can result in dizziness, nausea, vomiting, loss of consciousness, and death.

Strontium-90 Half-life: 28 years
A small amount of strontium 90 is deposited in bones and bone marrow, blood and soft tissues when ingested.
Can cause bone cancer, cancer of nearby tissues, and leukaemia.

Plutonium-239 Half-life: 24,400 years
Released when a plutonium weapon is exploded.
Ingestion of even a miniscule quantity is a serious health hazard and can cause lung, bone, and liver cancer.
The highest doses are to the lungs, the bone marrow, bone surfaces, and liver.

Tritium Half-life: 12 years
Easily ingested.
Can be inhaled as a gas in the air or absorbed through the skin.
Enters soft tissues and organs.
Exposure to tritium increases the risk of developing cancer.
Beta radiation emitted by tritium can cause lung cancer.

General overview of the effects of nuclear testing
The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization
http://www.ctbto.org/nuclear-testing/the-effects-of-nuclear-testing/general-overview-of-theeffects-of-nuclear-testing/

UK Average concentrations of strontium-90 and caesium-137 in milk

Artificial Sources of Radiation – Fallout
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
http://archive.defra.gov.uk/evidence/statistics/environment/radioact/radfallout.htm

4.2 Health Effects of Ionizing Radiation

4.2.1 Cancer (Malignant Tumors)
It is currently thought that cancer (and possibly some other late effects) reflects DNA damage (mutations).

However, it is generally believed that the development of cancer requires a series of mutations accumulated over many years.

4.2.1.2 Leukemia
Leukemia is among the rarer forms of cancer, but there is a considerable amount of epidemiological information on the risk of leukemia from radiation exposure.
This may in part be due to the higher relative risk compared to other cancers and the relatively short period of time for the leukemogenic effect to be manifested.
There are various sub-types of leukemia, the frequencies of which are age dependent.
Most leukemias found in childhood are acute lymphocytic types whereas chronic myeloid and chronic lymphocytic types make up a large proportion of adult leukemias.

4.2.1.3 Other Cancers
Excess cancers due to radiation exposure occur in a wide variety of body sites although different organs and tissues have different sensitivities to this cancer-causing agent. In addition to leukemia and thyroid cancer, cancer types for which excess risks have been reported include cancer of the salivary glands, esophagus, stomach, colon, liver, lung, bone, urinary bladder, ovary, female breast, skin, thyroid, and brain and central nervous system.

4.2.2 Benign Tumors
The induction of benign tumors appears to be similar to cancer induction, but benign tumors are almost always non-fatal, with the exception of brain tumors.

4.2.3 Other Diseases (Non-Neoplastic Diseases)
Exposure to ionizing radiation can directly affect health by damaging the structure and function of various tissues and organs in the human body.

4.2.3.1 Thyroid Disease
Clinical experience has demonstrated that exposure to high-dose radiotherapy to the head and neck or radioiodine therapy for thyrotoxicosis causes subsequent non-neoplastic thyroid disease (IOM 1999; Maxon and Saenger 1996; Barsano 1996; UNSCEAR 1993).

4.2.3.2 Other Non-Neoplastic Diseases
An increased risk of heart disease following high doses of radiation therapy has been reported previously (Mettler and Upton 1995; Hancock et al. 1993).
More recently, the atomic bomb survivor data have shown a small excess risk for non-neoplastic diseases, mostly heart disease and stroke (Shimizu et al 1999).

A Feasibility Study of the Health Consequences to the American Population from Nuclear Weapons Tests conducted by the United States and Other Nations
Volume 1 – Technical Report – August 2001 – Draft for Peer Review and Public Comment
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the National Cancer Institute
https://web.archive.org/web/20020612033611/http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/fallout/falloutreport.pdf

Caesium-137 is particularly important when studying the health effects of nuclear fallout because [stratospheric] Caesium-137 takes a long time to fallout from the atmosphere.

Contribution to Total Dose

Annual population-weighted deposition density of Cs-137

A Feasibility Study of the Health Consequences to the American Population from Nuclear Weapons Tests conducted by the United States and Other Nations
Volume 1 – Technical Report – August 2001 – Draft for Peer Review and Public Comment
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the National Cancer Institute
https://web.archive.org/web/20020612033611/http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/fallout/falloutreport.pdf

A map displaying the density deposition of Caesium-137 was published in 2001.

Cesium-137 deposition density due to NTS and global fallout

A Feasibility Study of the Health Consequences to the American Population from Nuclear Weapons Tests conducted by the United States and Other Nations
Volume 1 – Technical Report – August 2001 – Draft for Peer Review and Public Comment
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the National Cancer Institute
https://web.archive.org/web/20020612033611/http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/fallout/falloutreport.pdf

A map of the age-adjusted death rate from heart disease [for white males] was published in 1997.

Heart Disease

Atlas of United States Mortality
Released to the public on April 14, 1997, this atlas is the first to show all leading causes of death by race and sex for small U.S. geographic areas referred to as Health Service Areas (HSA’s).
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/other/atlas/atlas.htm

Comparing maps provides the reviewer with an opportunity to visualise any potential correlation between Caesium-137 and the mortality rates [per 100,000] for white male heart disease / all cancers / lung cancer / stroke.

Heart Disease and Caesium-137

All Cancers and Caesium-137

Lung Cancer and Caesium-137

Stroke and Caesium-137

The critical reviewer can assess whether these temporal and spatial correlations are significant whilst the cynical reviewer is left to ponder whether the Cholesterol Correlation promoted by Ancel Keys [way back in 1953] was intended to deflect public attention away from the health risks associated with nuclear fallout.

Advertisements
Gallery | This entry was posted in History, Medicine. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Cholesterol Correlation – The Caesium-137 Correlation

  1. kuhnkat says:

    Looks more like a negative correlation to me. Yellow and lower concentrations with the heaviest incidence of cancers and stroke. Then again, I have a bad red green deficiency and may be misreading??

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s