Study: Fukushima Radiation Has Already Killed 14,000 Americans

George Washington's picture

A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal International Journal of Health Services alleges that 14,000 people have already died in the United States due to Fukushima.

Specifically, the authors of the study claim:

An estimated 14,000 excess deaths in the United States are linked to the radioactive fallout from the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan, according to a major new article in the December 2011 edition of the International Journal of Health Services. This is the first peer-reviewed study published in a medical journal documenting the health hazards of Fukushima.

[The authors] note that their estimate of 14,000 excess U.S. deaths in the 14 weeks after the Fukushima meltdowns is comparable to the 16,500 excess deaths in the 17 weeks after the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986. The rise in reported deaths after Fukushima was largest among U.S. infants under age one. The 2010-2011 increase for infant deaths in the spring was 1.8 percent, compared to a decrease of 8.37 percent in the preceding 14 weeks.

The authors seem - at first glance - to have pretty solid credentials. Janette Sherman, M.D. worked for the Atomic Energy Commission (forerunner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission) at the University of California in Berkeley, and for the U.S. Navy Radiation Defense Laboratory in San Francisco. She served on the EPA's advisory board for 6 years, and has been an advisor to the National Cancer Institute on breast cancer. Dr. Sherman specializes in internal medicine and toxicology with an emphasis on chemicals and nuclear radiation.

Joseph J. Mangano is a public health administrator and researcher who has studied the connection between low-dose radiation exposure and subsequent risk of diseases such as cancer and damage to newborns. He has published numerous articles and letters in medical and other journals in addition to books, including Low Level Radiation and Immune System Disorders: An Atomic Era Legacy.

Sherman also claims that a study in British Columbia of infants under 1 year of age allegedly corroborates the increased deaths due to Fukushima:

But a Scientific American blog post and Med Page Today slam the study as being voodoo science. However, Scientific American does admit:

Certainly radiation from Fukushima is dangerous, and could very well lead to negative health effects—even across the Pacific.


Pediatrician Helen Caldicott said recently:

May I say that North America has received quite a large fallout itself.


We’re going to see an incredible increase in cancer, leukemia, and — down the time track — genetic disease. Not just in Japan but in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly North America.

Caldicott also wrote in a New York Times Op-Ed:

Children are innately sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of radiation, fetuses even more so. Like Chernobyl, the accident at Fukushima is of global proportions. Unusual levels of radiation have been discovered in British Columbia, along the West Coast and East Coast of the United States and in Europe, and heavy contamination has been found in oceanic waters.

Nuclear engineer Gunderson says that the Japanese will suffer one million cancer deaths from Fukushima, and that we’ll see a statistically meaningful increase in cancer on the West Coast of America and Canada from Fukushima. Gundersen says that - after Japan - the most radioactive areas are the Cascades and Portland.

There is certainly evidence that West Coast residents - especially in Seattle, Portland and other areas near the Cascades - have been hit with some radiation. And there is certainly evidence that radioactive contamination has spread in the United States, and will continue to spread for some time to come.


Why is there so much dispute about the number of deaths which Fukushima could cause on the West Coast?

Because radiation safety standards are set based on the assumption that everyone exposed is a healthy man in his 20s - and that radioactive particles ingested into the body cause no more damage than radiation hitting the outside of the body.

However - in the real world - radiation affects small children much more than full-grown adults. And small particles of radiation – called “internal emitters” – which get inside the body are much more dangerous than general exposures to radiation. See this and this.

In addition, American and Canadian authorities have virtually stopped monitoring airborn radiation, and are not testing fish for radiation. (Indeed, the EPA reacted to Fukushima by raising "acceptable" radiation levels.)

So - as in Japan - radiation is usually discovered by citizens and the handful of research scientists with funding to check, and not the government. See this, this, this, this, this and this.

The Japanese government’s entire strategy from day one has been to cover up the severity of the Fukushima accident. This has likely led to unnecessary, additional deaths.

Indeed, the core problem is that all of the world's nuclear agencies are wholly captured by the nuclear industry ... as are virtually all of the supposedly independent health agencies.

So the failure of the American, Canadian and other governments to test for and share results is making it difficult to hold an open scientific debate about what is happening.

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expatincentam's picture

Uh, oh!  Radiation kills scam exposed as junk science!

UMass researcher points to suppression of evidence on radiation effects by 1946 Nobel Laureate

AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Amherst environmental toxicologist Edward Calabrese, whose career research shows that low doses of some chemicals and radiation are benign or even helpful, says he has uncovered evidence that one of the fathers of radiation genetics, Nobel Prize winner Hermann Muller, knowingly lied when he claimed in 1946 that there is no safe level of radiation exposure.

Calabrese’s interpretation of this history is supported by letters and other materials he has retrieved, many from formerly classified files. He published key excerpts this month in Archives of Toxicology and Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis.


Calabrese adds, “This isn’t an academic debate, it’s really practical, because all of our rules about chemical and low-level radiation are based on the premises that Muller and the National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) committee adopted at that time. Now, after all these years, it’s very hard when people have been frightened to death by this dogma to persuade them that we don’t need to be scared by certain low-dose exposures.”

Within a year after Muller and his group persuaded the NAS to accept the linear model for gonadal mutations, the practice was extrapolated to somatic cells and cancer. Twenty years later, NAS adopted the linear approach for chemicals. Soon thereafter, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it would use the linear model for risk assessment, Calabrese points out.

Some can accept that even the most distinguished scientists have human failings, he acknowledges. But his view is that “the regulatory research community needs to hear about this. The implications of my findings are that we should revisit our exposure regulations because our regulatory history is founded on a deception. We have seen literally hundreds of thousands of cleanup decisions based on a model that was fraudulently derived. I think we should probably have drastically different exposure standards today, and far less fear.”

malek's picture

This challenges the most ridiculous post on my list.

14,000 excess deaths within 14 weeks? So the additional radiation (besides the natural) killed thousands of people within a few weeks, who would otherwise be still perfectly healthy??
Not just made them sick (cancer), but they already died! Are you f'ing kidding me???

Fetuses are very susceptible to damage from radiation, but even a newborn needs horrendous amounts of radiation to die within a few weeks. And the study claims to not even include fetuses.

GW, you should really do some reality check before you post such BS.

earleflorida's picture

"Thorium Nuclear Reactors" 

"MeltDown Proof"

low cost plentiful, and easily accessible fuel

modules or power plants installations in quick-realtime [2years max] 

"FailSafe Period"

msm, and gubmint, bigtime on the "Qt"


thankyou GW

Loose Caboose's picture

Thanks to GW for his dedicated focus on this horrific disaster.  Here is a site that sort of rounds it all up in one place if anyone is interested:

Also, I wonder how many here poo-pooing the stats are located in affected areas.  I have good friends on the west coast of Canada and they are in complete denial.  It's understandable when the facts are so scary and if acknowledging them might force them to make some big decisions like relocating or facing future plummeting property values in an area where the real estate is already in a bubble.  I might ignore the stats too if I was in their shoes.  Human nature is a funny thing. 

Everyone in North America will be affected at some point but those on the west coast should have a special interest in studies, especially if they have small children or are planning to have some.

The Heart's picture

Nice info Loose Cab. Thanks.

And thank you too GW. This is an ongoing issue that has been effectively covered up, but is seeing the light of day more and more. Please re-post this on the home page again.

Here is the best site for up to date info and real daily radiation measurements from around the world. Check the radiation monitoring link at:

These detractors and mis/dis-info agents below need to be permanently banned like they are at enenews. Having a Geiger is the only way to know what your immediate area is measuring in at. Show us yours. We will show you ours~!


Diamond Jim's picture

come on GW...quick half-life, dispersement over the Pacific...if anyone should be pissed it would be Godzilla or next years Alaskan halibut. But really now 14,000 Americans ??? We lose more to the automobile and no one cares......... surely you can find something real to talk about.

The Heart's picture


We just lost a family member on Christmas day, the neighbor went in June, the cat died last summer, many others report death in their families, and the Obituary with the very noticeable increases in young people dying from leukemia and cancers is VERY REAL! Check your own local obituary and take note of how many people are going due to cancers and radiation poisoning related diseases. The angel of death will touch you all soon and some will prepare for it and protect themselves, and most will die sooner than they thought from the radiation fallout worldwide that has never been stopped. At this time, it is only getting worse.

youLilQuantFuker's picture

Japan down. Gubment propaganda.

Thanks to the wonderful support of so many people from around the globe, Japan is on the road to recovery and once again looking to the future. The damage sustained in the regions affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake was catastrophic. However, there were many areas of Japan that were unaffected by the disaster. Our country is blessed with a rich natural bounty, and over the years we have cultivated uniquely-Japanese technology, culture, and traditions, most of which are alive and well today.
We have joined together as one nation, with the earthquake affected areas as our core, and are working hard to progress along the road to recovery. The first steps toward creating a new Japan have already been taken, and we are steadily continuing on this journey.

And this is for Joyful.

Zgangsta's picture

If 14,000 Americans have already died from Fukushima radiation, then I'd think that there'd be about 14,000 deaths per day in Japan, with people dropping like flies all over the streets and trains.  They've done a good job keeping those images out of the media...

sleepingbeauty's picture

Except that the deaths do not seem to follow a linear relationship. It is logarithmic. As the radiation goes higher, the death rate levels off.

syvanen's picture

This is complete nonsense.  We have a reasonably good idea on the cancer risk of radiation based on the Japanese study of the survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki that lived more than 3 months after exposure.  Of the 3 or so hundred thousand survivors, there were about 200 excess deaths.  There was no significant increase in birth defects for those parents who conceived after their exposure.  These people were exposed to a radiation dose that was millions of times more intense than back ground radiation while the fall out from Fukushima on the West Coast of the US was less than 1% of background (I have a pretty sensitive geiger counter and detected nothing).

These claims were made after 3mile island, chernoble and now this -- the statistical aguments were flawed in all of these cases.

It is right up there with the "evidence" that microwave radiation causes cancer.

maximin thrax's picture

Let's see... if a drum is filled with water to the point a person could drown, then if that water was dispersed at the rate of one drop per person over several thousand people we could expect one additional death within that population. Simple!

Seriously, two to three times that falllout toll will likely die from influenza in America this year. Often that flu comes from out of country as well. And similarly, flu deaths affect certain populations (sick, elderly, young) disproportionately. As does diesel smoke. As does sun exposure. As does tire dust. As do mold spores.

One day we're going to have to weigh the expense of maintaining our current technologically-advanced society against the tens of millions of often violent deaths that would come from letting it go to return to the plow.

Element's picture

You mean ionising radioactivity does not cause cancer?

Nor decaying radionuclides?

That's really great news, thanks!

So ... we can have WWIII, and beyond the prompt casualties there's almost no long-term general health implications from the fallout?

This is a tremendous relief.

It's probably even good for you!

BetTheHouse's picture

Just when you think old GW can't be any more of a batshit crazy lunatic whacko, we get this post. C'mon GW. Fess up. You are a parody, right? Tell us it's all a joke? please? You're sitting there laughing at the earnest comments on the thread?

Element's picture

The vast majority of radioactive particles released, fell-out into the north Pacific basin, with the highest levels of marine fallout near Japan (even if we ignore the water leaks since). A relatively small fraction made it to North America, and even the Japanese mainland got off fairly lightly, compared to the Oceans and marginal litoral.  Have a look at a map of the fallout plume map intensities for the Ocean.

It's horrifying, and it's over a colossal area of ocean, many times larger than Japan. 

Anyone who via mere crass denial thinks that situation permits business, food and culture as usual, is in for a reality-check.

The Heart's picture

As always Element, we appreciate your light and input about this subject. Come to EneNews where all this info and news comes from all places including SKF into one central place. It is all there with all the worlds concerned people that have much to say about all this. Shills are 86'ed post haste and positive contributions highly praised. Yes, please join in.

youLilQuantFuker's picture

I stocked up on Chicken-of-the-Sea at Sam's Club the day I heard about Fukushima.

I figure it should bring a pretty penny on eBay in about a year when all the new born tuna start showing up with just one eye (on all 3 heads)....

Element's picture

LOL ... you just made Best Trader of 2011

tim73's picture

What the fuck is this shit, "Pediatrician Helen Caldicott". Ha ha ha! Typical greenpeace crap from "george washington".

Are you Americans really that fucking stupid!?

JOYFUL's picture

something wrong with caregivers for small human beings weighing in on a clear and present danger to their wellbeing asswipe? So you're not big on kids huh?  Thanks for letting us know.

Stupidity knows no borders nor are living testament!

justsayin2u's picture

sounds like more pseudo scientific bs to me


Heyoka Bianco's picture

Unless they tell us the exact 14,00 people who died, the results must be questioned. Correlation is definitely not causation, and how can a slight year-over-year rise in the death rate be so quickly and accurately linked to a single cause?


Wait, maybe it's part of the BLS's new plan to reduce the unemployment rate: they're "disappearing" the unemployed! Keep your door locked tight, ZHers!

JOYFUL's picture

please lock yourself tightly into the confines of your favourite nuclear power facility brainiac, and stay there till we tell you it's safe to come out!

Given the absurb level of downplaying that this story has been subject to, you might think it's time to err on the side of caution for once.  GW owns this story, and when he stays away from politics, is the best in category!

Gmpx's picture

My concern is food. Do they include food components delivered from Japan? Do they test them for Cesium (mimics K) and Strontium (mimics Ca)?

laosuwan's picture

this post is bogus, it implies there are lots of deaths in the usa from radiation but in fact the usa infant death rate in 2010 was 6.9 per thousand, about the same as in 2005. with around 4 million births per year it shoud be around 30,000 deaths. so we wouldneed to see that number up to 44,000 deaths by the end of 2012 to know if these scientists ESTIMATES of incresed deaths is correct or not. Japan's infant death rate is almost half of the usa, by the way, so its infant deaths should be up much more. until then, this is just conjecture and every time I violate my vow not to waste time reading GW posts and I do it again, I find myself just wasting my time and then renewing my vow.


Is there any software, like adblock, that can hide posts by individual authors in zh? I will pay money for it.





JOYFUL's picture

We are long past the point where governments work on behalf of the interests of their electorate.

Statistics are fungible Doughhead! We get a steady menu of lies, half-truths and miserably modified yardsticks in the place of any rational reportage that would represent taxpayer-financed government departments doing their job. Your banter is so far offa the mark that I believe that you must have already suffered less-than-lethal doses of radiation of the kind that affect the synapses.

You don't need ad-block need only to keep your own vows, or spend that $ on a brain transplant.  Then we'll all be happy!

laosuwan's picture

"Statistics are fungible"



Tao 4 the Show's picture

I looked briefly at the paper to offer some reasoned perspective: IMO, the finding is sufficient to indicate that a better study needs to be performed. On the negative side, the researchers appear to have used statistics poorly. Before making claims, one has to evaluate the year-to-year normal variations (and even this is problematic due to ongoing changes). As I said, I only took a quick look at the paper, but it appears they developed their statistical base only between the two years. That would confuse seasonal and Fukushima-related changes. Before developing p-values, one needs to well define and understand the statistical distribution. Throwing around p-values w/o doing this is disingenuous.

My assessment: I am also concerned by these increases, and think they warrant a much closer look (better study). There is not, by a long shot, enough evidence here to draw a firm conclusion. However, I find the comments by laosuwan mostly unhelpful. The researchers stated the type of data they are using and its limitations. You switched the discussion to a different data source in a largely nonsensical way. What's the point?

All the study shows is that the currently available data suggests an increase that should be checked. Papers like this and unreasoned public reactions occur when the public does not sense that the authorities are working properly to protect their health. It is fairly clear that significant fraction of the public feels that way.

laosuwan's picture

You switched the discussion to a different data source in a largely nonsensical way. What's the point?


Nonsensical how? The point is the data I presented is the raw data. An increase of 14,000 deaths in comparison to the total number of deaths would be highly significant so if true we wouldexpect to see large numbers, almost doulbe, the number of deaths already but we dont have any such eveidence. The point is the author titled his post, "Fukushima Radiation Has Already Killed 14,000 Americans This is misleading (false).

Heyoka Bianco's picture

There's something soft and mushy at the end of your neck that could help you avoid posts by certain authors. Do you see how it could be done? It even easier than stacking the boxes to get the banana.

laosuwan's picture

thanks for the added incentive.


Here's a banana for you

Nozza's picture


...and you think you simply need a software solution?

laosuwan's picture

you got a purdy mouth

hamlet_jones's picture

I'm in Hawaii too.  I've measured a 40-50% increase above background in my catchment water filters in the weeks immediatly afterwards, but we were still in a winter pattern March 2011. Nothing measured since then.

My guess is that first slug of radiation could be attributed to Iodine 131, as it has decayed away, and is now undetectable.  Most of the weather/jet-stream passes North of the islands, then on to the PacNW, so even though

Hawaii is closer, we get less fallout overall.

vxpatel's picture

all is quite on every front...go back to sleep sheeple, the unconcsious existence is more peaceful than understanding what's happening and why...

Major Miner's picture

I'm in Hawaii. This is some scary shit to think about.

The Heart's picture

Just wait till the flotsam gets there! =l

Got Geiger?

non_anon's picture

don't sweat it, nothing we can do about it, just enjoy life

The Heart's picture

There is something everyone can do. You can prepare for worse fallout that is coming and increase your chances of survival by doing many things to detox and protect yourself from the radioactive contamination that is coming not only from Japan, but from this country(usa) also. The radiation poisoning of the northern hemisphere is rampant and as bad as the non-extant effects of the GOM oil spill catastrophe.

Check the links at enenews for helpful homeopathic health information that anyone can benefit from in regards to protecting yourselves from the radiation fallout and poisonous contamination that is still coming at us in the jet stream every day.

Only a real sucker stands on the train tracks with the back turned to the approaching train.