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National CFIDS Foundation (NCF) Announces Link Between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And Low Level Radiat

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by redrachel76, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. redrachel76

    redrachel76 Senior Member

    I saw this announced. I thought it might interest others here.

    National CFIDS Foundation (NCF) Announces Link Between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And Low Level Radiation Exposure

    The National CFIDS Foundation Inc., of Needham Mass, has announced its formal disease model for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) also known as Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) as well as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). According to the NCF, a subgroup of patients with CFS fit a unique disease profile based on a model for a radioactive toxin.

    Since starting its formal research grant program, the NCF has provided one million dollars in grant funding to pursue its own directed research to study ciguatera toxicology; a critical immune protein known as STAT-1; and myelodysplasia as well as myeloid leukemia -- all of which have been identified in the patient subgroup.

    According to Alan Cocchetto, Medical Director, "Our research suggested that a relationship existed between ciguatera poisoning, STAT-1 and myelodysplasia as well as leukemia. Early evidence also suggested that some type of catalyst was potentially involved in this disease process. Because of some very unique characteristics identified during the course of our research, what emerged was the potential for low level radiation to act as the catalyst to evoke a specific response that fit the profile for our patients. We believe this to be very important since radiation not only adversely impacts STAT-1 but it has also been found to cause myelodysplasia as well as myeloid leukemia, the very things we have been studying. In addition, the bystander effects associated with low level radiation exposure cause real problems at the cellular level and this unfortunately translates into an increased risk for cancer."

    Gail Kansky, President, stated, "The Foundation's real revelation came when our staff linked specific research on mitochondrial DNA deletions, first published by Australian scientists in 1995, to work published by scientists in Ireland in 2005. They had identified exactly the same unique mitochondria characteristics to be due to the direct effects of low level radiation exposure. This same defect had been mirrored in CFS but it hadn't been classified for ten years. Because this fits our disease model, we are pursuing additional research studies. There is no doubt in my mind that we have found several key pieces to this disease puzzle tied to our patient group." Furthermore, Kansky added "What is especially discouraging is that the global implications here could prove to be staggering!"

    The Foundation has also noted that CFS has been previously identified as a characteristic aftermath of radioecological catastrophe.

    Source: National CFIDS Foundation
    taniaaust1 and Enid like this.
  2. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    Hm, what degree of "Low level"?
    metalsmelting, tobacco (which oddly enough has polonium), charcoal burning and coke making (that is, coal coke not the soft drink! :p), and some other industries are associated with low level radiation, but it's very low level except for a few metals which were used long time ago for dyes etc before their toxicity was realized.

    when the steel plant was in operation in our area, at our high school during science class we'd get a gieger counter out, and I can't recall exact rate etc (hey it was like 30 years ago! :p) but say it was "1" normally on a scale up to "10", when you swung it towards the steel plant couple of miles away it would shoot up to about "5"...but that's on a device where you could alter the entire scale of the settings, that was on the "low rate", so not a known health hazard, but perhaps not exactly "good" for ya combined with the heavy metals as well?
    As said previously, my area's saturated in heavy metals, and parts with radium and radioactive phosphor as well.
    And many areas across the industrial world are similarly soaked.
    Some areas in China are toxic hell holes :/
  3. richvank


    Hi, all.

    I think there are three published studies now that indicate that low levels of ionizing radiation actually have a hormesis effect. That is, they actually make people healthier. I recall that one of them compared cancer rates with natural radon in homes county by county in the U.S., and found that at the low dose rates from radon, the cancer rate varied inversely with the dose rate. I think another was a study of nuclear navy shipyard workers whose radiation doses had been monitored, and it was also known which ones developed cancers. That one showed the same inverse relationship.

    I think it actually makes some sense that this would be the case, because humans have lived in an environment of ionizing radiation during the entire history of the human race, due to cosmic rays and naturally occurring radionuclides in the earth. In fact, the dosages were higher in the past than they are now, because of radioactive decay. Part of the potassium in our bodies is radioactive potassium-40, which has been present since the earth was formed, because of its very long half-life.

    No one disagrees that large dosages of radiation are harmful to human health. But there is no evidence that low dosages are harmful, and in fact, there is evidence that they are beneficial.

    Best regards,

  4. *GG*

    *GG* senior member

    Concord, NH
  5. Note the date of the announcement: August 2010, not 2012.
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  6. redrachel76

    redrachel76 Senior Member

    gosh I didn't see the date. I wouldn't have posted if I thought it was old news. It was listed as new in the message board that I found the link.
  7. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    The amount natural sources of radiation have decayed since Humans have been around is insignificant.
    There's basically two types of "ordinary, natural" radioactive materials

    extremely long half lifes like some forms of uranium, and they have half lives in millions + year ranges (a few are int he billions of years categories).

    and naturally created by high energy particle strikes etc. (these have short half likes, like Carbon 14, which even at roughly 6000 year half life, is a short time span compared to species and especially geological time)

    So it's NOT that radioactive, natural isotopes have lessened.

    Humans today however live indoors, reducing exposure to radiation that has managed to penetrate the atmosphere
    we also don't live amongst rock formations with metal ores (ie, caves)
    we don't live in forests (higher Carbon14)

    be interesting to compare exposure in different historical periods and regions? :)
  8. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

    No particular radiation here but at least mitochondria problems in ME/CFS recognised.
  9. jimells

    jimells Senior Member

    northern Maine
    Rich, I understand your point about humans have evolved in an environment of low level radiation, and that the immune system is supposed to be able to take care malignant cells before they get out of hand. But I don't understand the radon exposure/cancer rate inverse relationship. Because of the geology of northern New England, there is a lot of radon here. And it is considered to be a serious health hazard, and a leading cause of lung cancer (behind tobacco, of course, which is still popular here) Radon tests and abatement are strongly recommended here and in Atlantic Canada as well. In fact Maine has a very high cancer rate, cause unknown, as in "we don't want to know 'cause we might have to do something"

    I know that by itself a single anecdote means little, but my uncle worked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, where they build and repair nuclear subs, and he died of kidney cancer, which I think is considered to be relatively rare. Strange coincidence that your post happened to mention navy shipyards. Since my uncle got sick many years after moving on to other work, and was actually retired, it's unlikely his death would've been recorded by whoever did the study.

    I readily admit to having a very personal bias in any nuclear debate. I live less than an hour from what was formerly the biggest SAC base in the US (Loring Air Force Base). They stored many nuclear bombs there. Loaded B-52s used to fly over my farm all the time. I also have a good friend who was in a secret Air Force squadron that regularly flew into radiactive fallout in order to scoop samples from the air. Whenever a bomb test was announced on the news, anywhere in the world, he knew it was time to grab his gear. He now has numerous health problems, big surprise.

    Just how much radiation can we tolerate, in the context of all the other environmental insults we are being exposed to? We've all been exposed to the huge amounts of radiation released to the atmosphere by all the nuclear bomb tests in the 1940s,1950s, and 1960s. Nobody knows how much radiation people my age (mid 50s) were been exposed to, especially as children, but I'm sure the official government line is, "It was only a little". Nobody knows how much radiation we are getting today from the world's biggest and continuing nuclear disaster (at least until the next one) in Japan.

    If there ever is a Judgement Day, the policymakers responsible for nuclear bombs and power plants will have a very long list of death and misery to account for.
  10. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    note that the CHEMICAL toxicity of much of the materials worked on in navy yards, and nculear industry is actually more of a danger, short of disaster, than the radiation
    the amount normally given out is tiny, doens't "help" your health, no, but welders breathe in hot metal fumes, munition stores have poisonous crap like phosphorous, lubricating/preservatives can be toxic etc.

    My maternal grandpa died a horrible death, he worked in a steel factory (used ot be a bouncer and a blacksmith in earlier life) driving the overhead cranes near the furnaces/rollers, so he soaked up God knows how much toxic metals, his leather soled boots would crack with the heat from the red hot steel below him.
    Docs vacilitated between odd leukemia and/or lung cancer as his woe, often wondered if it was really AIDS and they were trying to cover up? (I say this becuase in the end he died of thrush infection in lungs, like HIV patients often do, and he'd had blood transfusions some years before in ealry 80s)

    My dad worked in a clock factory, it had a radiation section for painting luminous dials, when they demolished the building the ruins GLOWED in the dark, had to get International Atomic Energy Agency in to help clean it up (had a primary, infants, school about 10 yeards from it, ugh)
    only a handful of the folk who worked in the radiation section lived beyond their 50s.
    But also, life expectancy of anyone working in the metal industries here was short anyway, not just by accident but by mostly by toxicity.
    Always rememebr at the back, the downwind side of the huge steelworks, there was a vast "crescent of death", nothing but bleached rgass could grow for about 600+ yards,they tried planting trees etc but they rotted in months, dead from the toxic fumes.

    By itself the general levels of backgorund radiation are nothing to worry about, BUT...
    in combination with many other things, such as plastics affecting sexualization hormones...highly toxic pesticides....etc, what effect might that all have?

    interesting note
    Andrei Sakharov, Russian nuclear scientist quit the work and became a peace activist (and thus jail/abuse by Soviet regime'), because although his deisnn for the "super bomb" test was about the "cleanest" nuclear weapon ever detonated he figured it would still cause about 500,000 cancer cases over hundreds or thousands of years.

    nuclear reactors, for radiologicla and toxicity, in event of catastrophy are even worse than bombs (and that's saying something)
    chernobyl fortunate;y only released gasses and some fine matter, the reactor itself didn't blow into the air, if that had happened, MILLIONS would have died oorm radiation poisoning and acute poisoning alone.
    long term death toll would collossal.
    bombs produce usually produce radiactives measured in kilograms, but reactors in thousands of tons.

    that said, IF a reactor is wlel run/designed of modern construction, the risk is less than other methods of power production via fuel
    oil pays for terrorism and dictators, and CO2 will wreck havoc with global temperatures (it's INEVITABLE, you cannot add CO2 at such rates and it not have some effect)

    theoretically, a thorium reactor would be ideal, cannot be used ot make bombs, cannot "meltdown" etc

    end of day alas, no power, no Civilization...

    Edit for typos and additions, sorry!
  11. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    There are many types of radiation sources. The biggest worry at low levels is radioactive isotopes of minerals we incorporate into our tissues. We absorb them and they do damage over the long term. So it depends on the source of the radiation, not just the level.

    The improved health around nuclear power plants that is claimed is attributed to a sterilizing effect if I recall correctly - there are fewer pathogens around. Death rates around coal power plants tend to be higher however: some of that is carbon in the lungs, but some is probably from the radiation.

    Mitochondrial DNA damage is not routinely tested for. If too many are damaged you die. If some are damaged you have less reserve, less capacity to adapt. So if something else comes along then you could be pushed over the edge very easily into a state where you can't produce enough energy.

    All this needs better evidence however. Aquired mitochondrial dysfunction is only just beginning to be recognized and researched. Some of the ideas may be wrong. Some might be paradigm changing. We have to wait for the research.

    It is not a coincidence that Martin L Pall has talked about post radiation poisoning in his book, and noted similarities in the biochemistry with CFS.

    Bye, Alex
  12. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    coal plants are major mercury pollution emitters, EU has been clamping down on such iirc, roughly on average a coal power plant will put out a ton of mercury into the atmosphere per year
    with advanced scrubbers this is down to 100 to 200 kg iirc?
    mercury is hellish as it's so reactive and build up in locale' is terrible especially if there are wetlands.

    lol i strongly doubt any claims of "better health" except if you consider better health monitoring, hiring of highly skilled workers who thus typically have less health issues than menial workers etc etc?

    at Sellafield (Windscale) in England, the crazy bastards dumped a total of two TONS of uranium oxide into the sea over the years, gah!!
    Plutonium from the plant can be found as far as Norway
    that added together with the million+ tons of munitions/poison gas dumped in Beaufort's Dyke resulted in the banning of the use of seaweed as fertilizer along South West Scotland
    which had been used for a thousand years or so, gave potatoes from that area lovely taste by way...seaweed that is, not plutonium! :p
    (and yeah I know, potatoes = new world but seaweed was used there for centuroes, great fertilizer)
    merylg likes this.

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