Physician and Epidemiologist Say 35% Spike in Infant Mortality in Northwest Cities Since Meltdown Might Be the Result of Fallout from Fukushima

George Washington's picture

Washington’s Blog

As I've previously noted, infants are much more vulnerable to radiation than adults. And see this.

However, radiation safety standards are set based on the assumption that everyone exposed is a healthy man in his 20s.

Now, a physician (Janette D. Sherman, M. D.) and epidemiologist (Joseph Mangano) have penned a short but horrifying essay asking whether a spike in infant deaths in the Northwest are due to Fukushima:

recent CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report indicates that eight
cities in the northwest U.S. (Boise ID, Seattle WA, Portland OR, plus
the northern California cities of Santa Cruz, Sacramento, San
Francisco, San Jose, and Berkeley) reported the following data on
deaths among those younger than one year of age:

4 weeks ending March 19, 2011 - 37 deaths (avg. 9.25 per week)
10 weeks ending May 28, 2011 - 125 deaths (avg.12.50 per week)

This amounts to an increase of 35% (the total for the entire U.S. rose about 2.3%), and is statistically significant. Of further significance
is that those dates include the four weeks before and the ten weeks
after the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster. In 2001 the infant
mortality was 6.834 per 1000 live births, increasing to 6.845 in 2007.
All years from 2002 to 2007 were higher than the 2001 rate.




from Chernobyl, which exploded 25 years ago, clearly shows increased
numbers of sick and weak newborns and increased numbers of deaths in
the unborn and newborns, especially soon after the meltdown. These
occurred in Europe as well as the former Soviet Union. Similar findings
are also seen in wildlife living in areas with increased radioactive
fallout levels.
(Chernobyl – Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,
Alexeiy V. Yablokov, Vasily B. Nesterenko, and Alexey V.
Nesterenko. Consulting Editor: Janette D. Sherman-Nevinger. New York
Academy of Sciences, 2009.)


Levels of
radioisotopes were measured in children who had died in the Minsk area
that had received Chernobyl fallout. The cardiac findings were the
same as those seen in test animals that had been administered Cs-137.
Bandashevsky, Y. I, Pathology of Incorporated Ionizing Radiation,
Belarus Technical University, Minsk. 136 pp., 1999. For his pioneering
work, Prof. Bandashevsky was arrested in 2001 and imprisoned for five
years of an eight year sentence.




Why should we care if
there may be is a link between Fukushima and the death of children?
Because we need to measure the actual levels of isotopes in the
environment and in the bodies of people exposed to determine if the
fallout is killing our most vulnerable. The research is not
technically difficult – the political and economic barriers may be
greater. Bandshevsky and others did it and confirmed the connection.
The information is available in the Chernobyl book. (Previously



The biological findings of Chernobyl cannot
be ignored: isotope incorporation will determine the future of all
life on earth – animal, fish, bird, plant and human. It is crucial to
know this information if we are to avoid further catastrophic damage.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Jim_Rockford's picture

How's that wonderful new democracy in Egypt working out for you George W?  Why no followup?  Surely you could post some significant statistics regarding "virginity tests".  Much more titillating ....

malek's picture

I dislike the fact that they pick 4 weeks before but 10 weeks after Fukushima. And give no other historical values, of which there should be tons available. And all links here and on the counterpunch website lead to secondary information, no hard facts.

Sorry GW, but that one smells fishy to me.

Widowmaker's picture

Good read, Washington.

johnnynaps's picture

Well, that would end GDP and the infinite growth model! It's a shame the winds don't blow the direction where humans breed like crazed rabbits!

lieto's picture

Just a Thank you to G.W.

Great ongoing reporting on this sad chapter in human history.

newbee's picture

My wife found out she was pregnant on March 15th and we just had a miscarriage.  We did everything we could to minimize any possible exposure - won't go into the absurd details.

BUT ... looking at the CDC data directly and reviewing several weeks / months of data from their Table III Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, IMHO this story is simply cherry picking data that fits their agenda.  It's been said, you can prove ANYTHING with data.  For the sixteen cities comprising the Pacific group from which the article extracts a few of the cities' data, I can't see any appreciable rise in death rates for infants < 1 yr old.  In fact the data ending Feb 19 has a count of 40 deaths while mid April counts are 16 and 17 per week - average runs in the mid 20's per week.

I agree that Fukushema is a disaster with gov lies all about.  But don't be pullin' another global warming scam cooking the data to make a point, it'll come back and bite you like it did the IPCC dim wits; they have zero credibility now after their data manipulation became public. 

My opinion, this report is full of shit tailored to scare the crap out of folks, especially ones like me who just lost a pregnancy.  Both sides of this debate can, will and are lying to bolster their positions.  Readers beware...

sherryw's picture

So sorry for your loss. At least one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage due to unviable foetus. I found this comforting. 

Shooting Shark's picture

Well said, and I am sorry to hear about your loss.

In my experience, when people start providing data in support of a point, they provide as much data as will support their point.  Scant data (as in missing context) is to me an indicator not of scarcity of data, but of contrary indicators omitted.

Just the same, I won't provide data to back up my claim, so take this at face value.

sleepingbeauty's picture

I'm sorry for your loss.

I agree that making definitive declarations with broken data is just plain stupid, but in this matter I have no problem with a more indepth investigation. More data never hurts.

Everybodys All American's picture

This is shameful and is obvious to anyone watching that a massive cover up is on going from all involved including our own government. Great work GW ... keep up the nice work.

Seasmoke's picture

if they are worried about children in NW USA, can you imagine how fucked they really are in Japan ?



its defiantely not a good week to be a young child who has bunnies for pets

Mach1513's picture

Maybe we need a seasonably adjusted four-week rolling average?

Sathington Willougby's picture

Has the data been adjusted for seasonality?

For storms in the Northeast?

For Tornadoes and flooding in Mississippi?

How about discouraged babies?


Of course it has.

Rhea's picture

People out there must to check their Thyroid Hormone Function status: free T4 and TSH.

Pregnants and newborns deserve a special attention all the time.

The workers and the retired one, everybody, with mental caution, but quickly. It is easy to do and easy to take care on. The clock is moving, so don't stop.



medicalstudent's picture

ho lee shit.


check the bones for sr90 heart for cs137.  


this is the problem with radioactive particles, nobody knows shit, proving shit costs a shit-ton, and even if shit is known, who can do shit to stop the shitstorm?


abject catastrophe.

Kali's picture

By the time they collect sufficient data, it will be too late to do anything anyway.  This is common in the "scientific" fields.  If you constantly claim "show me the data", if the data is not collected, or, in the time to collect the data negative effects have already taken place, what good does it do? Then, of course, they will fight,er, debate the data for decades.  Just like cops showing up after the crime. What good is it?  And don't tell me so we know better next time.  We never do. 

medicalstudent's picture

ok; a tad defeatist, but ok.

Bagbalm's picture

Any absolute numbers instead of percentages?

The national numbers might be a bigger number even though it is a smaller percentage increase.

Eagle1's picture

The Latin phrase “post hoc ergo propter hoc” means, literally, “after this therefore because of this.” The post hoc fallacy is committed when it is assumed that because one thing occurred after another, it must have occurred as a result of it. Mere temporal succession, however, does not entail causal succession. Just because one thing follows another does not mean that it was caused by it.

Mach1513's picture

Of course, everyone knows that - but it also does not mean that further investigation isn't in order. Do you suggest that we just ignore it?

Mad Max's picture

4 weeks ending March 19, 2011 - 37 deaths (avg. 9.25 per week)
10 weeks ending May 28, 2011 - 125 deaths (avg.12.50 per week)

This could be horrible, or it could be a data anomaly.  Yes, I saw the claim of statistical significance.  What needs to be provided for this to be informative is whether the sample sizes are the same.  Births don't tend to be uniform through the year, and I have no idea what the pattern is for the northwest.  The rate of infant mortality would provide all the information needed, but this appears to be a raw number, not a rate.

After that, I would like to know of any autopsy results indicating elevated radiation levels or causes of death associated with radiation.

I'm not downplaying this.  It could be a canary in a coalmine.  But it's important to analyze it rigorously.

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

This assertion can/will be correlated with "like kind" data from Japan. If it isn't correlated, the assertion is invalid. More data is needed.

Mad Max's picture

I slightly disagree.  It's possible that the US could be hurt worse than Japan depending on wind patterns, where the radiation wound up, precautions taken or not taken, etc.

I would look for a correlation between infant death rate (or any other death rate, per population) and radiation measurements in the area of that death rate.  Then I would look at specific causes of death indicated for deaths occurring after the radiation exposure.

Gordon Freeman's picture

I am not minimizing the Fukushima disaster in the least by pointing out that report is nothing more than rank speculation, and the worst kind of publicity seeking--absolutely shameful!

Bob's picture

Shameful in a way that contributes to building pressure for "authorities" to address the potential risks?

Oh, that rank of speculation. 

Gordon Freeman's picture

So, in your mind, correlation equals causation--got it.

Bob's picture

Of course not--only an idiot would believe these numbers prove the larger fear true.  But they clearly indicate that deeper investigation is needed. 

Ahmeexnal's picture

Troll detector just went off.

snowball777's picture

What part of 'statistically significant' were you unable to comprehend, Mr. Freeman?

Citxmech's picture

Do you have even the slightest idea how Epidemiology works?

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

You're entitled to your opinion but it seems odd to me that a person inclined to "publicity seeking" would invest so much effort in an anonymous blog.

Governments covering up health issues in the name of power and profits are shameful IMO.

bank guy in Brussels's picture

Interesting related piece today in Asia Times Online by Kosuke Takahashi, on why Japanese government is so dysfunctional ... with notes such as the following regarding Japan's habits of accepting a largely hereditary system of political leadership:

« This well-entrenched hereditary system works negatively, especially at the time of disaster. Preppy Japanese politicians fail to understand the public mindset and have little grasp of the tasks that disaster victims at evacuation centers most expect the government to fulfill. »

johnQpublic's picture

how many years before this effect lowers my school tax bill?

Mad Max's picture

Never.  If this is anything, be ready for increases due to increased special education needs.

Manthong's picture

Mutants and X-Children can't attend regular classes?

Mad Max's picture

No, it skews the curve.


Back to reality, if there were a health effect, it would probably result in worse physical health for the kids, which to some extent results in the types of poor education performance that places them into special education. 

digalert's picture

"why should we care?" Because tyrants won't tell the truth.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Conditions in the Pacific Northwest must be abysmal.  My piece of salmon at the local Japanese Sushi house was 30% smaller this week. 

Ergo's picture

You still eat that stuff???   We're taking a break from Pacific fish - maybe a long break. 

SilverFocker's picture

Due to guberment standards, the salmon needed a reduction of 30% radiation........nothing but the wind , all is well.

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

You know they will never cover it George.  God Bless Ya!!!

Zedge Hero's picture

Might be? Hell yeah it is, that iodine is terrible to kids and the fact that the Japanese have waited to tell the real truth is what is pathetic.

I covered it in this weeks newscast i started that was inspired by the likes of ZERO HEDGE.

Ahmeexnal's picture

"younger than one year of age"

Do those numbers take into account those born dead...and those aborted?

If abortions are taken into account in that data, the economic issue could far outweigh the nuclear one.

In any case, the full consequences of this disaster will haunt millions for a very long time to come. 


Unless "they" clean up this nuclear disaster -which is quite easily done once you know how to do it.