Can Hemp, Marijuana and Mushrooms Fix Fukushima? Part 4: Other Sources of Dangerous Radiation
By David Malmo-Levine
Cannabis Culture: February 17, 2014
Hemp, cannabis and mushrooms can be used to clean up and protect us from radioactive pollution and nuclear disasters.
Part 4 of this multi-article work looks at other sources that emit radiation damaging to human beings.
Read “Part 1: What Happened?“.
Read “Part 2: Global Consequences“.
There is a lot of natural radiation out there in the world. This is known as “background” radiation, and it varies a bit depending on where you’re at and what you’re surrounded by. It’s everywhere and there’s not much that can be done about it. But then there’s radiation that we have control over. Optional radiation. Extra radiation.
Some of this extra radiation has been done away with. There was a time when radioactive material was used for everything from cosmetics to candy to paint to mineral water to illuminating the hands on the dials of people’s watches. People started to get sick and die from these products, and we stopped using radiation for some of those things as a result. But we still have a long way to go.
Aside from disasters such as Fukushima and Chernobyl, the other main sources of unnecessary, human-made or optional radiation in our environment are, in no particular order, 1) chemical fertilizers, 2) depleted uranium weapons used by the US in Afghanistan and Iraq, 3) the over-use of radioactive medical and dental examinations and treatments, 4) air travel, 5) cell phones, 6) smoke detectors, 7) airport security scans, 8) microwave ovens, 9) power lines, 10) nuclear weapons tests, and 11) uranium mining, nuclear power production and waste storage.
The topic of “radioactive chemical fertilizers” is worthy of an article all to itself. What I have been able to ascertain is that all chemical fertilizers are radioactive (that is to say, they test at higher than background levels of radiation), whereas the vast majority of organic fertilizers are not.
Some researchers suggest that the main reason for lung cancer from tobacco smoking is the radioactive chemical fertilizers – not the tobacco itself. I’m inclined to agree, as the spike in lung cancer rates was twenty years after chemical fertilizers overtook organic fertilizers as the main source of soil amendments for farmers – in the early 1900s – not after the introduction of widespread, heavy use of tobacco – in the 1600s.
The Phillip Morris corporation contemplated switching from what they knew to be very radioactive fertilizers back to less radioactive fertilizers, but they called it “a valid but expensive point” and decided to save a buck and keep giving people cancer instead.
As an interesting side note, nobody who smokes cannabis has gone on to get lung cancer from smoking cannabis! And smoking cannabis has shown to have some sort of “slight protection against the harmful effects of smoking tobacco”, according to a study of long-term users in Costa Rica.
According to the Wikipedia entry for “Gulf War syndrome”;
Gulf War syndrome (GWS), also known as Gulf War illness (GWI), is a chronic multisymptom disorder affecting returning military veterans and civilian workers of the Persian Gulf War. A wide range of acute and chronic symptoms have been linked to it, including fatigue, muscle pain, cognitive problems, rashes and diarrhea. Approximately 250,000 of the 697,000 veterans who served in the 1991 Gulf War are afflicted with enduring chronic multi-symptom illness, a condition with serious consequences. … According to a report by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, it showed that veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan may also suffer from the syndrome.
The same page then goes on to dismiss the possibility of depleted uranium being the cause of GWS. However, the Wikipedia page for depleted uranium tells an entirely different story. The evidence that depleted uranium accounts for the symptoms of GWS is mounting. The evidence that littering Iraq and Afghanistan with DU weapons has led to an increase in cancer is also mounting.
According to a researcher who managed to pin-point the devil in the DU details,
… a number of prestigious institutions have published disinformation on the hazards to health of depleted uranium weapons. These include WHO, IAEA, the European Commission, the Royal Society in the U.K., the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in the U.S., the Rand Corporation, and the Health Physics Society [10,11,12,13,14,15,16]. All concluded that weaponized uranium creates no adverse health effects when internalized by soldiers on the battlefield and downwind populations. Justification for this conclusion came from a survey of the scientific literature regarding uranium contamination among workers in the uranium and nuclear industries and populations exposed to elevated levels of uranium in their drinking water. Historically, the only two types of adverse health effects documented among these populations is altered kidney function due to uranium’s chemical toxicity and cancer due to uranium’s radioactivity. But studies of veterans suffering from Gulf War Syndrome reveals no evidence of kidney disease. And according to models promulgated by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the radiation dose from battlefield uranium is too low to initiate cancer. The conclusion? Case closed! DU cannot be a factor in the severe suffering of veterans or the increased incidence of cancer and birth defects in Fallujah and other areas of Iraq. As convincing as the logic of these studies attempt to be, they all suffer from fatal flaws. They all fail to acknowledge that combustion-derived micro- and nano-sized particles of uranium have unique biokinetics when internalized that are not comparable to historical types of uranium exposure, and they quite cleverly fail to take into account the most up-to-date research on the toxicology of uranium. New research conducted since the first Gulf War has demonstrated that uranium is genotoxic (capable of damaging DNA), cytotoxic (poisonous to cells), mutagenic (capable of inducing mutations), teratogenic (capable of interfering with normal embryonic development) and neurotoxic (capable of harming nerve tissue). This research has yet to dislodge the stale mantra that uranium is only capable of causing kidney disease and cancer.
It appears as though the same obfuscation engaged by the nuclear power industry regarding the hazards of nuclear power is also utilized by the nuclear weapons industry – the DU weapons industry – regarding the hazards of DU. They even use the same institutions – the WHO and the IAEA – to do the obfuscating for them. At least one researcher has wondered aloud if DU weapons is simply a plan to appear to get rid of radioactive waste, since there is no real way to safely store it – not that littering it all over battlefields across the world really “gets rid” of it.
(read the rest of Part 4: Other Sources of Dangerous Radiation at Cannabis Culture)
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