Health and Ecosystem Risks of Internally Incorporated Radionuclides

Over the past 40 years, Arjun Makhijani has provided clear, concise, and important scientific insights that have enriched our understanding of the nuclear age. In doing so, Makhijani—now president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research—has built a solid reputation as a scientist working in the public interest. His most recent contribution to public discourse, Exploring Tritium’s Dangers, adds to this fine tradition.

“I find this book extremely important and timely, especially considering the present plans for the large-scale release of radioactive, tritium-contaminated water from the damaged Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Efforts to trivialize the potential effects of tritium in the environment ignore or- ganic-binding, the uptake, trophic transfer and bio-accumulation by marine organisms, and effects on the cells within individuals who eat contaminated seafood products, including on nuclear DNA, mitochondrial DNA, RNA and signaling proteins. Ignoring such effects threatens the health of ecosys- tems already affected by a variety of anthropogenic stressors and all who depend on them.” Dr. Robert Richmond Research Professor and Director, Kewalo Marine Laboratory, University of Hawaii at Manoa

“Rigorously independent and critical analyses in the field of ionising radia- tion and health, that draw upon and update evidence-based conclusions, like this one, are vital. More tritium is emitted by nuclear power plants and nu- clear weapons production than any other radioactive pollutant. For decades, it has been claimed that tritium is a minor hazard, dispers- ing widely in water, that its beta radiation is not penetrating and relatively weak. With harder to assess exposures and risks, such internal emitters have often not been adequately addressed by radiation protection standards. Sim- ilarly, tritium's different forms, distributed throughout organisms and af- fecting diverse cellular components, have been sidelined. This is particularly important to redress given our collective greatest responsibility is to protect the most vulnerable - pregnant women and young children, and the growing evidence that there is no threshold for risk for most if not all the long-term effects of radiation exposure.” Tilman Ruff, MB, BS (Hons.) Co-President, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

“This book is a must-read for anyone concerned about the impact of tritium on the environment. Written in an easy-to-read style, it challenges conven- tional wisdom and provides a comprehensive overview of the large variety of effects of tritium beyond the commonly understood link to cancer. Highly recommended for anyone looking to understand the need for higher standards in radiation protection.”

Dr. Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress Scientist-in-Residence and Adjunct Professor, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

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