"We travel together, passengers on a little spaceship, dependent upon its vulnerable reserves of air and soil, all committed for our safety to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work, and, I will say, the love we give our fragile craft. We cannot maintain it half fortunate, half miserable, half confident, half despairing, half slave to the ancient enemies of man, half free in a liberation of resources undreamed of until this day. No craft, no crew can travel safely with such vast contradictions. On their resolution depends the survival of us all."


Saturday, May 14, 2011


"Not under any public discussion or commentary by any scientists: what is/will be the impact of on-going radiation traveling across the Pacific Ocean as it encounters miles and miles of toxic degrading plastic? How will hormone disrupting plastic and radioactivity impact this vast area’s ecology? What kind of real future will sea birds and all other sea life have with this gigantic contamination?


Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri
May 14, 2011

“The ocean is now a plastic wasteland.” Capt. Charles Moore, 2010

Ocean Contamination

For the past two months, it has not been possible to separate the on-going radioactive poisons heading east on the Pacific Ocean currents from Japan to North America (and thence around the globe) with other serious oceanic environmental troubles. This is not simply just a one-issue crisis, even though Fukushima’s radioactive nightmare continues to poison the rest of our planet.

Firstly, of primary importance for our health and well being: it is not a safe choice to eat any fish or crustaceans caught there. This is due, of course, to the widespread radioactivity of the Pacific Ocean.

The tragedy of the now contaminated entire Pacific Ocean is as epic as the Gulf of Mexico’s mass dispersants poisoning. More than a year since the BP oil-rig catastrophe, the impact on both the human and wildlife populations continues to soar to disastrous heights. The death toll for all wildlife will never be accurately known, as unconscionably sea turtles (and unknown other kinds of sea life) were burned alive. For months, no tally was taken of dead mammals and birds washing ashore. It was more than ineptitude and poor management of this enormous crisis. It was, and continues to be, a criminal cover-up of vast proportions.

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) released a new report estimating “that around 26,000 dolphins and whales, 82,000 birds, and 6,000 sea turtles were likely harmed [or killed] by the spill.”(1) There was far more than harm. There was much unaccounted wildlife death; and the now one-year-later continuing toll may be far higher. However, as with Fukushima’s nuclear reactors tragedy, nothing has been done to safeguard human lives, nor protect all of the ocean’s animals and birds (really, the entire vast and precious ecosystem!). All of this is under constant siege from human negligence, deliberate harm, and corporate greed.

It is quite clear, from both these enormous on-going disasters, that corporate-driven secret plans and responses do not include any real solutions. Harm is their watchword, as our planet’s web-of-life continues to unravel at an accelerated pace. This is due to human malfeasance. A new report published shows how all the hundreds of Fukushima workers, now putting their lives on the line for a devastating situation that cannot be fixed, are all expendable. See:


Dead fish and sharks are already arriving along the California coast. Although the cause is supposedly unknown, it is doubtful if we will ever be told that any dead sea life washing ashore is most likely radioactive. See:




The EPA has refused to test the Gulf of Alaska for radioactivity. In their latest negligence, EPA posted on May 3, their refusal to monitor daily radiation from Fukushima, “due to the consistent decrease in radiation levels related to the Japanese nuclear incident.”(2) This was no “incident.”

This is why I have repeatedly urged everyone to join together and get radiation monitoring in your area. Low levels of ionizing radiation, as Dr. Helen Caldicott has frequently said are extremely dangerous. Further, she has consistently noted that it is deliberately misleading to connect exterior radiation levels with internal ones. We will never get the truth from any government agency or official. In fact, their planned deceit and intentional extreme harm put us all in continued danger. It is vital that we get accurate information ourselves, and know how much we can really protect ourselves.

As I have learned personally from the cover-up during and after 2003, 1-million-acre California FIRESTORM, any government agency has already long been compromised and corrupted. As Jeff Rense wrote on April 21, it is the “latest example of blatant Federal negligence. …This is another egregious abandonment of their obligation to watch over the public health and welfare. …[and] the public’s right to know and be kept safe and informed be damned.” His article also has an excellent map, showing the ocean currents coming to the West Coast and up to Alaska. This continued refusal to test the waters also protects the now-toxic catches of Alaska’s fishing industry, while poisoning anyone who eats contaminated fish:


This is not the fishing industry’s fault, per se. [That is another separate article.] Rather, it is the result of this enormous radioactive contamination that puts everything in grave jeopardy. Does any of this really compute to a rational person who still can think critically and sees the bigger picture?

This article covers another oceanic nightmare that must be included in our awareness of what is happening throughout the entire Pacific Ocean. It does impact all of us. Our oceans have been in long-term and devastating decline for decades. The seas are no longer what we may think of: miles and miles of pristine and beautiful glistening waters, gentle sea breezes, with an occasional whale or dolphin leaping out of the water.

The Pacific Ocean has also been poisoned with colossal amounts of garbage floating in a vortex area called NORTH PACIFIC SUBTROPICAL GYRE. This is the Pacific Ocean’s floating toxic, petroleum-based plastics dump that has contaminated and killed countless millions of fish and mammals, including dolphins and seals. In 1997, these huge areas were discovered by Captain Charles Moore while he was returning to California from Hawaii on his vessel, the 50-foot “Algalita” (now the name of the foundation he set up). He took a detour through a region with little wind, due to the ocean currents. Normally, this area is usually avoided by sailors, because of these very calm seas.

Day after day, as Captain Moore sailed, he saw endless piles of plastic trash floating for miles and miles. Originally, this area was called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Far from some small “patch,” it is thought that this massive amount is actually twice the size of the continental US. This swirling soup of floating garbage is about 500-nautical miles off California’s coast, and stretches across the northern part of the Pacific Ocean, past Hawaii, and comes close to Japan. Unseen by satellite photos, this massive “sea of rubbish is translucent and [is on, and also] lies just below the water’s surface” and continues under water through the water column.(3)

Since Moore started doing this research, the size of this trash has grown enormously. Now the Great Garbage Patch is divided into the Western and Eastern Garbage Patch, on either side of the Hawaiian archipelago. According to Marcus Eriksen, Algalita’s research director, there is about 100-million tons of flotsam floating in this region.

In 1994, Captain Moore had originally founded Algalita Marine Research Foundation, to focus on the “restoration of disappearing giant kelp forests and the improvement of water quality through the preservation and re-construction of wetlands along California’s coast.”(4) He was so shocked by what he saw in the Pacific Ocean, that he became a dedicated environmental activist, and decided to raise global awareness and find much-needed answers. With his foundation, he now focuses on collaborative ocean research to find out the extent of this massive amount of floating garbage and the damage it continues to cause. The non-profit foundation, now in its sixteenth year, has brought worldwide attention to the fate of millions of tons of discarded plastics and how it has impacted all sea life and damaged human health.

Firstly, even the smallest particles of plastic, are broken down “by wave action or sunlight” (called photodegradation), and then they are eaten by fish. Once eaten, these plastics then travel up the ocean food chain (from small fish to larger ones), and they eventually wind up on your seafood dinner plate. “Every little piece of plastic manufactured in the past 50 years that made it into the ocean is still out there somewhere,” said chemist Tony Andrady, with the US-based Research Triangle Institute.(5) This goes for EVERY bit of plastic made: from shredded plastic to any large item. See:


According to the UN Environment Program, “plastic debris causes the deaths of more than a million sea birds every year, as well as more than 100,000 marine mammals. Syringes, cigarette lighters, and toothbrushes have been found inside the stomachs of dead seabirds,” mistaking them for food.(6) “A Dutch study in the North Sea of fulmar seabirds concluded [that] 95 percent of the birds had plastics in their stomachs. More than 1600 pieces were found in the stomach of one bird in Belgium.”(7)

Dead bird killed by eating plastics

Dead bird killed by eating plastics

The ocean is now “an endless trail of trash floating in the middle of the Pacific: water bottles, plastic crates, disposable(sic) diapers, bath toys, cigarette lighters, tampon applicators [styrofoam, too]; a veritable buffet of convenience culture.”(8) This refuse is what is dumped in the ocean from landfills. Unbelievably, other trash includes: kayaks, carrier, refrigerators, furniture, Lego blocks, footballs, and fishing nets. All these items were thrown overboard either from oil-rig platforms or ships. As on land around the globe, our seas have become a vast stench of sewage.

Possibly millions (no one is counting) of the plastic 6-pak holders for soda and beer have been found strangling sea and other wildlife [e.g., fish, otters, and small seals]. The plastic diameter to hold these cans is just wide enough for some small animal’s head to get stuck in it. Once their head is caught, they cannot get out. In the oceans, plastics also break down into smaller and smaller pieces. These are mistaken for fish eggs or other kinds of food and ingested by fish. Last month, the Los Angeles Times reported that researchers have found “about 35 percent of fish they collected in the northern Pacific Ocean in 2008 had plastic in their stomachs. …Some lantern fish [had] as many as 83 plastic fragments in a single fish.”(9) Often tiny pieces of plastics are part of the plankton that whales eat. Plastic does kill. This is yet another reason not to use plastic. See:






Captain Charles Moore, who has been documenting this “waste slick more insidious than an oil spill, due to the impossibility of cleanup,” has produced a documentary about this called “Synthetic Sea.”


Captain Moore calls the ocean “the world’s largest toilet bowl that never flushes.” In 1999, as part of his research to carefully document this garbage, he discovered that “for every pound of naturally occurring plankton…[there was [a] yielded [of] 6 pounds of plastic.”(10) By 2008, in the same original region, they recorded a staggering increase of 45 to 1 times more plastic than plankton! There were less tan-colored pieces of plastic. Moore believes they have been eaten by birds and other plankton feeders, because they resemble krill. Color is an important factor as is shape, as it mimics food. “Over 70 species of birds have been found to ingest these pieces of plastic that resemble their natural food supply. Studies have shown that they then have higher PCBs content, and it is a way to transport pollutions.”(11) Plastic does not “break down” anywhere in our environment. It just get smaller and smaller to cause more harm throughout the entire web-of-life as it travels up the food chain. Thus, the “quality of life” for the entire marine ecosystem has been undermined and ruined.

As noted in the above-cited excellent “Synthetic Sea” 2010 documentary: “There’s no such a thing as biodegradation of petroleum-based plastic.”

The author of another article, Anna Cummins who traveled on the “Algalita” (Moore’s oceanic research vessel), wrote that: “though we’ve all come on this trip (in 2004) fully prepared to find constant evidence of plastic thousands of miles from land, it’s still shocking to see it in person. It simply does not belong here. …The highest level of pollution [is] in highly productive zones.”(12)

This essential research is done in “international waters,” so it has been barely touched by any agency in charge of environmental issues in any country. The garbage just continues to grow. As usual, much of the scientific research stays in journals. However, there are staggering pollution and reproductive issues that will not go away, and will contribute to the continued dramatic dwindling numbers of ocean creatures. The repercussions of this toxicity go far beyond the oceans. There are two main crises that are already impacting all of us.


(1) Plastic is a well-known chemical hormone disruptor. It changes and toxifies the body’s natural hormonal balance. It is one of the major reasons for hermaphroditic indications in frogs and other amphibians. This research goes back to the late 1970s. Plastics have been part of our daily life for almost a century. They have replaced many natural and safer products. Hard and soft plastics are chemical and petroleum-based. Ubiquitous in our environment, they have not been proven safe to use. Thousands of new chemicals and plastics are put on the market each year without the benefit of human safety testing. Chemical corporations continue to spend billions to advertise and market plastics as “necessary” to our daily lives. Yet, most people still do not realize the invisible and toxic risks to using plastics.

One category of industrial chemicals that are used as softeners and emulsifiers is called phthalates [pronounced “tha-lates”]. These plastics are found in products from baby bottles, thin fruit and vegetable produce bags, food wraps, children’s toys, food storage items, lubricants, medicals devices and IV bags, wood finishes, perfumes, and thousands of beauty products. They emit cumulative but invisible highly dangerous toxins. Since the 1970s, phthalates have been known to be global pollutants. Even so, more than 1-billion pounds of toxic phthalates are produced annually. No extensive long-term tests were done before they were marketed. Sometimes, phthalates may be listed as: Dibutyl phthalate (DBP); Diethyl phthalate (DEP); or Butylbenzyl phthalate (BBP). When you purchase most products containing phthalates, most often there is no warning label to advise you, as a consumer, of the dangers. Phthalates now show up frequently in human urine as a biomarker from daily exposure.

Phthalates are a class of extremely dangerous chemicals known as hormone or endocrine disruptors, popularly called “gender-benders.” This means that these chemicals are absorbed into the body (by breathing the off-gassing and by ingesting) and then cause damage by disrupting hormonal balances (both in humans and all animals). These poisons bio-accumulate in us and all other living creatures. They cause serious developmental harm from the very beginnings of life: in utero, in sperm DNA, in organ damage, early puberty, cancer (testicular, prostate, and breast –all of which have increased dramatically over the past four decades). Phthalates suppress the proper functioning of the immune system.

With the Fukushima reactors catastrophe, now out of control, there is no research on the synergistic relationship between these chemical hormone disruptors and radioactive Uranium (spewing from Fukushima’s reactors), also a hormone disruptor.

(2) Hormone disruption is a major factor in the increase of obesity in the US. The media portrays this as a dietary issue. Yes, it is. But far past this is the use of toxic plastics that surround our every move: from nuking it in microwave ovens and boiling food in pre-packaged “pouches” [loaded with chemical poisons] to drinking many different (already chemically poisoned) drinks bottled in it. There is no nutritional value in these kinds of packaged and prepared foods. These toxins are stored in body fat, and wreck the body’s ability to repair itself.

As it works its way up the food chain, where bigger fish eat the already contaminated fish (who’ve already eaten even smaller ones), these toxins bio-accumulate synergistically, until it reaches the human population –billions of whom have been eating/drinking food packaged in plastic. This goes for other proteins sources as well. Cows also eat a contaminated food supply: either grass loaded with other chemical hormone-disrupting pesticides, or water sources filled with chemicals and antibiotics. Some of the best research on hormone disruption and its long-term generational impact can be found in Dr. Theo Colburn’s et al. “Our Stolen Future.” This is essential reading.

Hormone-disrupting chemicals and radiation not only affect the genders of animals, they can also be linked to DNA damage and birth defects in humans. This is rarely reported, again because the gravity of these findings would shut down the chemical and nuclear companies, if people knew the extent of the genetic contamination with which we are already dealing (actually, since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki). In her article on the impact of radiation and nuclear power, geoscientist Leuren Moret notes:

“The daily ‘permitted’ radioactive emissions and discharges into the Irish Sea since the 1950’s, have turned the contaminated sediments, seawater, and biosphere into a radioactive sink or permanent point source of radiation, with serious local and global effects. Daily ‘permitted’ radioactive emissions and discharges from global sources have accumulated to higher radiation levels in the biosphere than any Chernobyls would release, and are the main cause of the large increase in ocean dead zones since the 1970’s. People are missing or overlooking the serious impact of chronic releases…a strategy guaranteed to continue to fail.”(13)

How much further will this daily contamination of the Irish Sea, and the vast additional nuclear and chemical synergistic contamination of the Pacific Ocean affect us all? Everything is inter-connected. Our planet’s entire web-of-life continues to be in an overwhelming state of siege. Most of this is invisible (unless it affects you or your family directly!). Nonetheless, it continues to impact all of us. This has been the elite’s decades-long, behind-the-scenes plan for utter destruction.

Almost 16 years ago, National Geographic’s cover story, “Diminishing Returns: Exploiting the Ocean’s Bounty,” highlighted in graphic detail the rapaciousness of huge trawling vessels that haul in massive amounts of sea life. In 1995, more than 37,000 ships with 1-million crew worldwide, created “a 50-year boom in fishing technology [that] created a powerful industrial fleet.”(14) Along with oceanic plastic garbage, globalization of the oceans has destroyed them. Small boat fishermen who rely on their catch to feed their local families are often left without resources to fish far from home. Poor fishermen, eeking out a minimal existence, cannot compete with fishing supertankers. A photo from this NG story shows a Senegalese fisherman cleaning small sardines he caught with toxic wastewater. “Fish stock are dwindling, and once independent fisherman now cater to the whims of European buyers. ‘This,’ says a Senegalese community worker, ‘is just the latest battleground between rich north and poor south.’”(15)

These poor fishermen cannot compete with mega-corporation globalized hauls. In addition, many fish and mammals caught in these huge nets are supposedly “unprofitable.” Their lives mean nothing. Euphemistically called “by-catch,” it is not known how many possibly billions of dead creatures have been tossed overboard as unprofitable. The dramatic cost to all sea life has been devastating. Between thousands of pollutants, dead by-catch, enormous over-fishing, sonar, and nuclear bombs exploded underwater by military, the entire web of sea life has suffered dramatically.

Our Oceans Are in a RED ALERT Crisis

Thus, this human rapaciousness creates built-in diminution and death. Each year, the size of mature fish and mammals become smaller, and there are less and less species. Japan, with the world’s largest appetite for fish (for sushi, etc.) and whales, will now have a totally radioactive ocean soon to be devoid of life. Tuna is loaded with mercury [long-term eating of it is a major contributing factor to dementia]. Over the past three decades, whales and dolphins, numbering in the thousands, have beached themselves. Oregon salmon are radioactive from decades of nuclear releases from the Hanford Nuclear Superfund site. Many species are in dramatic decline. Corporate-scientists have few “public” explanations. The few independent scientists left are silenced.

Radioactivity and Nuclear Consequences

Not under any public discussion or commentary by any scientists: what is/will be the impact of on-going radiation traveling across the Pacific Ocean as it encounters miles and miles of toxic degrading plastic? How will hormone disrupting plastic and radioactivity impact this vast area’s ecology? What kind of real future will sea birds and all other sea life have with this gigantic contamination? Hormone disrupting chemicals are known to bio-accumulate up the food chain in a synergistic manner that could equal far more than 1,600 times the original dose of poisons. No creature is safe from this horrendous nightmare! Nor are we.

Caretaking of our planet, Mother Earth our only home, is not a corporate concern. Last month, Michael Parenti wrote of “Profit Pathology and the Disposable Planet.”(16) In short order, with this ecological disaster right in front of us, nothing will be left; and we are already in grave and deliberately orchestrated financial ruin. Nor, are environmental organizations really doing their jobs to protect. The one thing rarely discussed in this degraded death-equation is the human poisoning of our oceans! It is eradicating our planet’s species. This is part of the current Sixth Extinction. The last one was the dinosaurs, 65-million years ago. What have humans wrought?

Rachel Carson (1907-1964) wrote a beautiful work, a best-seller, called The Sea Around Us. It was an ode to the magnificence of our great waters. When she received the National Book Award for it, she said: “the winds, the sea, and the moving tides are what they are. If there is wonder and beauty and majesty in them, science will discover these qualities. If they are not there, science cannot create them. If there is poetry in my book about the sea, it is not because I deliberately put it there, but because no one could write truthfully about the sea and leave out the poetry.”

This book is a hymn to the sea. It was the closing of a time before science unleashed nano-replicating particles into the Gulf of Mexico or the illegal aerosol crimes of Chemtrails loaded with a myriad of invisible but deadly chemicals to poison all of us and our planet’s lands and sea.(17)

By weight, we are 61-percent water. Salt-water oceans make up 71 percent of the earth. We cannot live without it, nor can all the wondrous assortment of sea life. They cannot survive in toxic seas, any more than we can survive breathing the toxic spew that no longer passes for “air.”

Almost forty years ago, Jacques Yves Cousteau brought these amazing sights to our home televisions. We sat enthralled by what he shared with us traveling on the Calypso. There was a sense of magic that filled his programs. They educated us, but there was more. They enchanted us. We listened to the songs of the whales, and these new underwater sounds enthralled us. The music from the ocean’s depths gave many of us a deep empathy for these far-away creatures. Truly, we cannot live without them. See:




Who could then have imagined the corporate rapaciousness that ensued and has been globalized at any and all costs? Who could think that whales would be hunted almost to extinction, while insane military plans to detonate bombs, take thousands of sea animals’ lives, and emitted sonar to harm these magnificent giants of our seas? The US Navy has a five-year plan to kill 11.7 million marine mammals in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the Gulf of Mexico! There has hardly been any public discussion of this rapacious warfare “testing.”(18) For what sane reason?

The whales and dolphins, the turtles and tuna have lives, too. Not to be hunted or burned to death. Not to be poisoned with deadly chemicals, or phthalates, or radioactivity. Our ocean’s living planetary gifts are under siege. They are all part of the wonders of our world. We must care for them as a sacred trust!

Our countries are under criminal siege, as well. If humans destroy all of it, we destroy ourselves. We live in a topsy-turvy brutal and violent world without ethical or moral values. In our wrecked economies, where all social services are gutted, only the military and killing has a giant budget. Orwellian humans, with a complete lack of what used to make us truly human, have created a devastating scenario that is unraveling our very web of life. This threatens all of us right now. What have we permitted in our names?

We do have other choices. We can cut down drastically (or totally) on our use of plastic. As consumers, we do have choices of not buying or using dangerous items. We can make these choices before we go to the check-out counter. We can make safer consumer decisions and we must speak out. Go though your own house or apartment: see how many un-necessary plastic items can be recycled. Use safer items: glass or stainless steel. It is not difficult to do some Spring Cleaning, and safely get rid of these dangerous items: There are thousands of plastic recycle centers around. We have the potential of demanding and using safer alternatives. Just think what we could collectively do by not buying or boycotting all these dangerous and toxic items! We no longer can shop on automatic pilot and take things off the shelves without understanding the dangers of thousands of products we use. There are consequences to using products daily that are manufactured without any safety concerns. And they bio-accumulate up the food chain to us.


1. Lynn Hermann. “New report calls for end to all new offshore drilling.” Digital Journal. April 26, 2011:


2. Updated on May 3, 2011: EPA. Japanese Emergency: Radiation Monitoring. www.epa.gov/japan2011/data-updates.html

3. Kathy Marks and Daniel Howden. “The world’s rubbish dump: a tip that stretches from Hawaii to Japan.” London. The Independent. Feb. 5, 2008: www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/the-worlds-rubbish-dump-a-tip-that-stretches-from-hawaii-to-japan-778016.html

4. See: www.algalita.org/about-us/index.html

5. Kathy Marks and Daniel Howden, op. cit.

6. Kathy Marks and Daniel Howden, ibid.

7. The Plastic Killing Fields –Pacific Ocean Gyre Garbage Patch Grows to the Size of Texas.” Jan. 14, 2008:


8. Anna Cummins. “Sailing the Synthetic Sea.” WEND magazine. Vol. 3, Issue 4, November 2008: p. 20. Special thanks to CAP for sharing this reference with me.

9. Tony Barboza. “Ingestion of plastic found among small ocean fish.” Los Angeles Times. March 11, 2011:


10. Cummins, op. cit., p. 22.

11. See: Y. Mato et al. “Plastic Resin Pellets as a Transport Medium for Toxic Chemicals in the Marine Environment.” Environ. Sci. Technol. Vol. 35 (2001): 318-324; and Christian M. Boerger et al. “Plastic ingestion by plankivorous fishes in the North Pacific Central Gyre.” Marine Pollution Bulletin. Vol. 60 (2010): 2275-2278.

12. Cummins, op. cit., p. 24-25.

13. Leuren Moret. BE FOREWARNED: The accompanying photos with this article are shocking and gravely upsetting, but we NEED to see what nuclear radiation does! “Global Implications of Sellafield. ‘Irish Seas Coast Effect’ and Beyond.” April 15, 2009:


14. Michael Parfit. “Diminishing Returns: Exploiting the Ocean’s Bounty.” National Geographic. Vol.188. No. 5, November 1995: p. 9.

15. Parfit., ibid., p. 22.

16. Michale Parenti. “Profit Pathology and the Disposable Planet.” Global Research. April 8, 2011:


17. May 11, 2011 update on the Gulf of Mexico “Blue Plague: http://worldvisionportal.org/wordpress; and


18. Rosalind Peterson. www.agriculturedefensecoalition.org/?q=us-navy

Sunday, May 8, 2011





DU is becoming a wider international concern as a possible health hazard and carcinogen (1-3). Little is currently known about DU mechanisms of effect, but reported data have shown lung cancer (1-3), embryotoxicity and teratogenicity (4), reproductive and developmental damage (5), genomic instability (6) and single strand DNA damage in vitro (7). Given the widespread use of uranium for military applications and the present world-wide deployment of the United States military, it is imperative that we should be able to better define both the risks of DU exposure and the possible mechanisms of carcinogenicity and genotoxicity.

The lack of scientific data concerning the possible health and cancer risks associated with DU are becoming a major issue worldwide (1-3). Fifty-four of the sites on the EPA National Priority List contain unacceptably high levels of uranium contamination (8). Uranium is ubiquitous: occurring naturally, in water and building materials and as a contaminant in phosphate fertilizers, but its military uses are leading to further questions about additional uranium exposure (9-10). Little is also known about threshold doses for frank renal, reproductive or genetic effects, although the existence of such effects is well-documented in the scientific literature. Thus, in keeping with the increased usage of DU, increased knowledge of its mechanisms of action, and the possible environmental and health risks of its use must be more thoroughly investigated.

DU-induced lung cancers occur in human bronchial cells (11). However, despite these observations, the effects of DU in human bronchial cells are unknown. Only two studies have considered the interaction of DU and human bronchial cells (12-13). One study found that soluble DU induced neoplastic transformation of human bronchial cells (12) and the other reported that DU induced lipid peroxidation and micronuclei formation (13). To fully understand how DU causes cancer, it is essential that we study its effects in human bronchial cells, its target cells.

In fact, there are few other data concerning the genotoxic and carcinogenic effects of DU on human cells. Only one other study has considered human cells and that study reported genomic instability, cytotoxicity and micronuclei formation in human osteosarcoma cells (6). Published data demonstrated that DU exposure in vitro can transform immortalized human osteoblast cells (HOS) to the tumorigenic phenotype (14). Recently, it has been reported that this toxic metal can induce leukemia in mice (15).

The Wise Laboratory is investigating the carcinogenicity and genotoxicity of particulate and soluble DU and develops karyotypic and gene expression fingerprints of DU exposure. Our current knowledge of DU carcinogenicity and genotoxicity is clearly inadequate due to an absence of appropriate models of its target cells and very little data about how particulate DU compounds cause their harmful effects. Our research program is significant because it will address these critical shortcomings. When completed it will provide:

1) a better understanding of how DU damages DNA and causes cancer;

2) essential information to better assess the relative risk of exposure to particulate or soluble DU;

3) fingerprints of exposure to better detect soldiers who may have been exposed to harmful levels; and

4) A model of human bronchial cells for further study of DU, other metals, and lung cancer in general.

Experimental Studies

We first focused our experimental studies on the cytotoxic and clastogenic effects of particulate and soluble depleted uranium in human bronchial fibroblast cells (WTHBF-6) (1). We used uranium trioxide (UO3) and uranyl acetate (UA) as prototypical particulate and soluble DU salts, respectively. After a 24 h exposure, both UO3 and UA induced concentration-dependent cytotoxicity in WTHBF-6 cells. When treated with chronic exposure of up to 72 h, there was an increased degree of cytotoxicity in both UO3 and UA. We assessed the clastogenicity of these compounds at 24 h and found that at concentrations of 0, 0.5, 1, and 5 µg/cm2 UO3, 5, 6, 10, and 15% of metaphase cells exhibit some form of chromosome damage. UA did not induce chromosome damage above background levels. With chronic exposure of 48 and 72 h there were slight increases in chromosome damage induced with UO3 treatment, but no meaningful increase in chromosome damage was observed with UA.

In addition to bronchial fibroblasts, we have examined the cytotoxic and clastogenic effects of UO3 on human bronchial epithelial (BEP2D) cells. BEP2D cells also demonstrate a concentration-dependent cytotoxicity, but a significant increase in chromosome damage is not seen until a 48 h exposure, suggesting a mechanism of toxicity which requires longer exposures to break DNA.

We used immortalized human bronchial epithelial cell lines (BEP2D) to study the transforming potential of particulate DU. We observed focus formation in cells exposed to UO3 for 24 h. (Figure 1)

Normal BEP2D cells

Normal BEP2D cells

DU-induced focus

DU-induced focus

(Figure 1)

Specifically, after 24 h UO3 treatment with 0, 0.25, 2.5, and 25 μg/cm2 UO3 we observed focus frequencies of 3, 23, 24, and 21 foci, respectively.

The DU transformants also acquired anchorage-independent growth. Figure 2 shows colonies in soft agar formed by DU-transformed cells.

DU-transformed cells formed colonies in soft agar medium DU-transformed cells formed colonies in soft agar medium

DU-transformed cells formed colonies in soft agar medium.

(Figure 2)

After 24 h treatment with concentrations of 0, 0.25, 2.5, and 25 μg/cm2 UO3, the percentage of resultant foci that grew colonies in soft agar was 0, 67, 100, and 75, respectively.

In addition, 53% of DU-transformed cell lines tested showed a hypodiploid phenotype (chromosome number less than 44) with a significant increase in metaphases exhibiting a chromosome number ranging from 7 to 43.

We are now focusing on the roles of DNA damage and repair as key factors in uranium's carcinogenicity. We are currently investigating how depleted uranium (DU) causes DNA strand breaks and chromosome aberrations. Efforts are underway to understand how these types of damaging events are sensed, responded to and repaired, considering the roles of gene expression at the RNA and protein levels, and phenotypic changes. We also seek to understand how uranium induces genetic instability. Efforts are also underway to understand how uranium transforms a normal cell into a tumor cell and the chromosomal and gene expression changes that underlie the transformation we observe.


  1. Royal Society Working Group on the Health hazards of Depleted Uranium Munitions, Memorandum: The health effects of depleted uranium munitions: a summary, The Royal Society, London England, 2002.
  2. Bleise, A., Danesi, P.R., and Burkart, W. (2003), Properties, use and health effects of depleted uranium (DU): a general overview. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 64:93-112.
  3. World Health Organization, 54th World Health Assembly (2001) Provisional agenda item 13.10: Health effects of depleted uranium, Report by the Secretariat.
  4. Bosque, M.A., Domingo, J.L., Llobet, J.M., and Corbella, J., (1992) Embroyotoxicity and Teratogenicity of Uranium in Mice Following Subcutaneous Administration of Uranyl Acetate. Biological Trace Element Research 36:109-118.
  5. Domingo, J.L. (2001) Reproductive and developmental toxicity of natural and depleted uranium: a review. Reproductive Toxicology 15:603-609.
  6. Miller, A.C., Brooks, K., Stewart, M., Anderson, B., Lin, S., McClain, D., Page, N. (2003), Genomic instability in human osteoblast cells after exposure to depleted uranium: delayed lethality and micronuclei formation. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 64:247-259.
  7. Yazzie, M. Gamble, S.L., Civitello, E.R., and Stearns, D.M. (2003) Uranyl Acetate Causes DNA Single Strand Breaks In Vitro in the Presence of Ascorbate (Vitamin C). Chem. Res. Toxicolo. 16:524-530.
  8. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Research (2003) Toxicological Profile for Uranium., U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  9. McClain, D.E., Benson K.A., Dalton, T.K., Ejnik, J, Emond, C.A., Hodge, S.J., Kalinich, J.F., Landauer, M.A., Miller, A.C., Pellmar, T.C., Steward, M.D., Villa, V., Xu, J. (2001) Biological effects of embedded depleted uranium (DU): summary of the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute research. Science of the Total Environment, 274:115-118.
  10. Miller, A.C., Fuciarelli, A.F., Jackson, W.E., Ejnik, E.J., Emond, C., Strocko, S., Hogan, J., Pagew, N., and Pellmar, T. (1998) Urinary and serum mutagenicity studies with rats implanted with depleted uranium or tantalum pellets. Mutagenesis 13:643-648.
  11. Vahakangas, K.H., Smaet, J.M., Metcalf, R.A., Welsh, J.A., Bennett, W.P., Lane, D.P., and Harris, C.C. (1992) Mutations of p53 and ras genes in radon-associated lung cancer from uranium miners. Lancet 339: 576-580.
  12. Yang, Z.H., Fan, B.X., Lu, Y., Cao, Z.S., Yu, S., Fan F.Y., and Zhu, M.X. (2002) Malignant transformation of human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) induced by depleted uranium. AiZheng 21:944-948.
  13. Ohshima, S., Ying, Xu, and Takahama, M. (1998) Effects of uranium ore dust on cultured human lung cells. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology 5:267-271.
  14. Miller, A.C., Blakely, W.F., Livengood, D., Whittaker, T., Xu, J., Ejnik, J.W., Hamilton, M.M., Parlette, E., John, T.S., Gerstenberg, H.M., and Hsu, H. (1998) Transformation of human osteoblast cells to the tumorigenic phenotype by depleted uranium-uranyl chloride. Environ. Health Perspect. 106, 465-471.
  15. Miller, A.C., Bonait-Pellie, C., Merlot, R.F., Michel, J., Stewart, M., and Lison, P.D. (2005) Leukemic transformation of hematopoetic cells in mice internally exposed to depleted uranium. Mol. Cell Biochem., 279, 97-104.

Relevant Wise Laboratory Publications

LaCerte C., H. Xie, A. Aboueissa, J.P. Wise, Sr. 2010. Particulate Depleted Uranium is Cytotoxic and Clastogenic to Human Lung Epithelial Cells. Mut. Res. 697: 33–37.

Xie, H., C. LaCerte, D. Thompson, and J. P. Wise, Sr. 2010. Depleted Uranium Induces Neoplastic Transformation in Human Lung Epithelial Cells. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 23: 373–378.

Wise, S.S., D. Thompson, A. Aboueissa, M. Mason, and J.P. Wise, Sr. 2007. Particulate Depleted Uranium is Cytotoxic and Clastogenic to Human Lung Cells. Chemical Research in Toxicology. 20: 815-820.

Collaborators and Cooperators

The Wise Laboratory is assisted in this work by an important number of collaborators and cooperators. In particular, the following prominent scientists and their teams provide significant support and input:

Dr. AbouEl-Makarim Aboueissa is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Southern Maine (USM). He provides statistical expertise particularly in the area of handling samples with measurements at or below detection limits.

Dr. Douglas Thompson is a Professor of Epidemiology and Associate Director of the Maine Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health at the University of Southern Maine. He provides expert advice and guidance on statistical analysis and study design and also assists with the marine mammal studies.

Dr. Hongyu Zhao is Ira V. Hiscock Associate Professor of Public Health and Genetics, Yale School of Medicine. He provides expert advice in the design, conduct and analysis in genetic epidemiology and statistical genetics, particularly with respect to microarrays.


This work is generously supported by grant #W911NF-04-1-0240 from the Army Research Office, Department of the Army and by the Maine Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health.




By Leuren Moret



“The Navajos help guard the land for the Hopi. We don’t want them to leave. This is their sacred land, too. The White Man is the one who needs to leave before Nature intervenes. The Great Spirit made us caretakers of this land. We take care of it with our prayers and our ceremony. Now you poison it and rape it and destroy it with your strip mines and uranium tailings and power plants – all on sacred land! And you try to chase the last few Indians off so you can do your dirty work.” Thomas Banyacya, Hopi[1]


It is clear that dilution is not the solution to pollution. Dumping radioactive contaminated materials into bodies of water has a boomerang effect. It is not long before the ionizing radiation is washing back up on riverbanks and shorelines. In fact, in the first cancer mapping survey[2] in history (1850-60) in Cumbria, the Lake District of Britain, Alfred Haviland reported that out of 6000 cancer cases in a ten-year period, the highest cancer rates were along riverbanks and shorelines. This provided a strong environmental link to cancer, before manmade ionizing radiation was introduced into the environment after 1900. Today it is well known by geoscientists that most natural background radiation originates in minerals from rocks and in sediments which are rocks reduced to particles by sedimentary processes, and transported in water until they wash up on riverbanks and shorelines… where Haviland reported the highest pre-1900 cancer rates.

Pre-1900 cancer rates globally represent the true baseline for cancer studies. Here a comparison is made between pre-1900 cancer rates in Cumbria to 1963 Hawaii cancer rates at the peak of atmospheric testing. Because crustal or continental rocks are much higher in natural background ionizing radiation than oceanic volcanic rocks, pre-1900 Hawaii cancer rates should have been lower than pre-1900 Cumbria cancer rates. Unfortunately, Hawaii has some of the highest rainfall in the world, which very efficiently deposited atmospheric manmade radioactive pollution into the Hawaiian environment. According to a 1973 letter from the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to the science journal Nature,[3] Hawaii is the most radioactive contaminated place in the world from atmospheric testing and burned up spacecraft.

In Haviland’s pre-1900 survey, lung cancer was 0.17% of all cancers, but increased to 17.6% (103.7-fold increase) of all cancers reported[4] in Hawaii by 1963. The pre-1900 pancreatic cancer rate was 0.15%, which increased to 5.8% (38.6-fold) in Hawaii by 1963,[5] and increased 12-fold in Japanese males between 1945-1965 [Fig. 4].[6] Pre-1900 thyroid cancer in Cumbria was the rarest at 0.05%, and has increased rapidly on a global scale since 1945. The majority of cancers in the pre-1900 Cumbria survey were breast (23.73%), and uterine (20.42%), which made up 43.15% of all cancers. The greatest majority of cancers in 1963 in Hawaii were digestive system (41.1%)[7] and respiratory (20.4%)[8] which together made up 61.5% of total cancers. Breast cancer was only 5.2% of the total, although it too greatly increased after 1945, but formerly rare cancers had much greater increases. The enormous increase in respiratory and digestive system cancers indicates an environmental link – with the introduction of atmospheric testing fallout – inhaled and ingested globally by all living things.


The chance discovery of an abstract in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, “Radiocesium in North San Francisco Bay and Baja California coastal surface waters,”[9] provided me with an answer to a puzzling question about breast cancer. Hundreds of millions of dollars of US government money have been spent by the University of California to identify the cause of what may be the highest breast cancer rates[10] in the United States in Marin County [Fig. 1], California, just north of San Francisco.

Even more surprising, the radiocesium reported in the paper had been measured by the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab (managed by the University of California), from the north end of San Francisco Bay to the coastal waters at the tip of Baja California, Mexico. By mapping the pattern of breast cancer in Marin County, I identified the San Francisco Bay shoreline of the Marin County peninsula as the environment where the highest rates of breast cancer occur in the county. The deepest part of San Francisco Bay is offshore from Marin, and the highest volume of radioactive contaminated sediment-laden water passes through this area each day with the tides. The sediment and water flow pattern in the north part of the bay is visible in the aerial photo in Fig.1.

Not only is San Francisco Bay contaminated with ionizing radiation from the Sierras, but it also is heavily contaminated with chemicals, ionizing radiation, and military waste from decommissioned military bases. Signs around the Bay shoreline warn pregnant women to eat nothing caught in the Bay, and “residents should eat no more than one fish a month” caught in the Bay. Little wonder the warning signs are posted since ionizing radiation and chemicals have a synergistic interaction, multiplying the effects of each other by many times.

The lowest breast cancer rates are along the Pacific coastline of Marin. The spatial distribution of breast cancer made it clear that there had to be an environmental cause. Large areas of mudflats and estuaries along the bay side shoreline of Marin, like the Cumbria and Welsh seacoasts, provide a low energy environment of quiet still water for radioactive contaminated fine sediments to settle out.

Fig.1. (above): San Francisco Bay Area, with Marin County in upper left corner, north of San Francisco.
Source: http://www.sfbayquakes.org/mapview/map_without_view.jpg


Most of the fresh water coming into San Francisco Bay is from the Sierra Nevada Mountains east of the California coastline, a very high mountain range running north and south along the border with Nevada [Fig. 2]. The soils of the Sierras are now contaminated with radioactive materials from nuclear bomb testing, Chernobyl, and the emissions from the Rancho Seco nuclear power plant, which operated east of Sacramento until it was shut down in 1989 by a citizens lawsuit after a history of accidents, radioactive leaks, startups and shutdowns. The citizens lawsuit was successful because they owned the Sacramento municipal Power Company, including the nuclear power plant.[11] Most of the drinking water for the San Francisco Bay area comes from the Sierras. Approximately 95% of the radioactive emissions from Rancho Seco were rained and snowed out into the Sierra Nevada Mountains, contaminating vegetation, soils, streams, rivers and lakes.

Fig.2 (above): Map of California showing San Francisco Bay, Marin County north of San Francisco, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east where radioactive contaminated water supplies orginate for northern California.
Source: Hornbeck, D., California Patterns: A Geographical and Historical Atlas. Mayfield Publ. Co, Palo Alto, CA (1983).p.11

Mortality from all diseases for all ages in San Francisco declined by about 10% within two years of the Rancho Seco shutdown,[12] just what the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR) predicted in the new radiation risk model they wrote in 2003 as an independent report for the European Parliament.[13]

During the lawsuit, which eventually shut down Rancho Seco nuclear power plant in 1989, the citizens contracted with Lawrence Livermore nuclear weapons lab to measure fission product emissions in the Rancho Seco environment. I obtained the Livermore Lab radiation reports[14] and communications with lawyers, from Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass who had been an expert witness for the lawsuit. It was a surprise to discover that Livermore Nuclear weapons Lab has not only secretly conducted extensive global monitoring of ionizing radiation for decades, but local ionizing radiation monitoring as well. In fact, I saw fresh core samples from Hiroshima and Nagasaki lying on a table in a Livermore environmental laboratory in 1991. When I asked Dr. Kai Wong, a Livermore lab ionizing radiation expert, why they were still monitoring Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he said:

“Because Hiroshima and Nagasaki are still radioactive. And we are still studying the people because they are too.”


In a recent study, Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab reported [15] measuring one Curie of radiocesium per year, passing through San Francisco Bay, attached to fine sediment. Cesium 137 and Strontium 90 are the two most abundant fission products, and are commonly measured as an indicator of more than 400 other fission products produced. Therefore far more than one Curie of ionizing radiation per year has been washing through the Bay. Clay particles are highly charged and act as scavenging agents for radioactive particles suspended in water. This has been a chronic and cumulative source of low-level ionizing radiation washing up daily on the San Francisco Bay side of the Marin shoreline for at least 60 years – since atmospheric testing started in 1945, and the likely cause of the high rates of breast cancer reported in Marin County.

Based on 550 epidemiological studies of exposed populations, an independent low-level ionizing radiation report for the European Parliament, the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR) report, has stated that chronic exposure to low-level ionizing radiation is:
“…up to 1000 times more biologically damaging than the International Committee on Radiation Protection (ICRP) standards and risk model predict.”[16]

The ICRP standards and risk model are based on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb studies, which were deceptively conducted by the U.S. Government, in order to protect the future development of a nuclear weapons program.

Even worse than the fission products, the public health impact from global pollution by depleted uranium, was not officially measured or reported from bomb testing, but someone must have been monitoring it. All atomic and hydrogen bombs have large amounts (thousands of pounds) of depleted uranium packed as “tamping” around the small plutonium core weighing less than 20 lbs.[17] The major contribution made by depleted uranium to global radioactive pollution from atmospheric testing was very rarely mentioned or reported.


Prior to the introduction of manmade ionizing radiation into the environment, diabetes was very rare. Most children who developed diabetes died by the time they were 7 years old, since insulin was not discovered until the late 1920s. This greatly minimized inheritance of a genetic link to diabetes. By globally mapping diabetes,[18] it was very clear to me that the highest rates of diabetes in the world are in the same latitudes as the major atmospheric tests. Jet stream distribution carried the radiation from east to west in the northern latitudes where the US, Russia, and China conducted tests. And in the southern latitudes where British and French bomb tests were conducted, the jet stream carried the radiation around the world, contaminating the tips of S. America and Africa. By 1963 at the peak of atmospheric testing, Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass reported a 50% decline in the North Atlantic fishing catch, and a 65% decline in the northern Pacific fishing catch, due to global nuclear fallout pollution of the oceans.[19]

Fig. 3: Diabetes death rates in Japan 1950-2004. This represents the global cumulative radiation effects of atmospheric testing (1950-1963), nuclear power plants introduced in 1968, and depleted uranium introduced in 1991.
Source: Vital Statistics of Japan 2004 vol.1, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Health and Welfare Statistics Assoc., Table 5.15, p. 203.

A global diabetes epidemic [Fig. 3], beginning in 1945 with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, has had a major contribution from the effects of uranium pollution from atmospheric testing, nuclear power plants, and depleted uranium weaponry introduced to the battlefield in 1991. Uranium is particularly damaging to the pancreas, insulin production, information flow, and cell function. And diabetes in pregnant women has a serious effect on the foetus.[38]

Fig. 4: Trend of mortality rate from pancreatic cancer in Japan (Males) for the period 1940-1965 prior to, and following the release of fission products into the environment.”
Source: M. Segi, M. Kurihara, and T. Matsuyama, “Cancer Mortality in Japan (1899-1962)”, Department of Public Health, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, 1965.

Pancreatic cancer mortality in Japanese males [Fig. 4] increased 12-fold between 1945 and 1965, during the peak of atmospheric testing.[20]

A global diabetes epidemic [Fig. 3], beginning in 1945 with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, has had a major contribution from the effects of uranium pollution from atmospheric testing, nuclear power plants, and depleted uranium weaponry introduced to the battlefield in 1991. Uranium is particularly damaging to the pancreas, insulin production, information flow, and cell function. And diabetes in pregnant women has a serious effect on the foetus.

Pancreatic cancer mortality in Japanese males [Fig. 4] increased 12-fold between 1945 and 1965, during the peak of atmospheric testing.[20]


The Marin County study is the kind of natural experiment geoscientists find useful in their research, with the Pacific coastline as a natural control and San Francisco Bay mudflats in Marin County as the study area. It is also a good comparison of the public health effects of ionizing radionuclide concentrations in contaminated freshwater compared to seawater. It is already well known that because of the influence of saltwater on uptake of radionuclides saltwater fish have much lower radioactive contamination levels than freshwater fish living in contaminated environments where toxins may bio-concentrate by thousands of times.

When the results of mud samples from the Marin County bay side shoreline and the Pacific coastline are analyzed and reported, low-level ionizing radiation from the Sierras will be identified as the cause of what may be the highest breast cancer incidence in the United States. High rates of autism also occur in areas, between the Sierras and Marin County, in low energy slow water environments where swampy still water and mudflats occur, and are recharged with contaminated water washing down from the Sierras. The California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) found a 273 percent increase in autism cases between 1987 and 1998.[21] This is due not only to residual ionizing radiation washing out of the Sierras, but also to the nuclear power industry in California. Dr. Ernest Sternglass has provided powerful evidence[22] that in the state of California, autism has increased and is correlated with the increase of energy generated by nuclear power plants since the early 1970’s. An investigation of U.S. autism rates and nuclear power plant operating capacity confirmed the California findings. Ionizing radiation in the environment has a cumulative effect, where increased levels have been reported in dairy products and soils such as in New York City, causing an increase in biological problems in exposed populations.[23]

Fig. 5A (left): High-risk counties within 100 miles of nuclear reactors where 2/3 of breast cancer deaths occurred 1985-1989. Fig. 5B (right): Nuclear power plant locations in the U.S.
Source: 5(A) J. Gould, The Enemy Within: The High Cost of Living Near Nuclear Reactors, Four Walls Eight Windows, NY/London (1996), p.187.
5(B) Source: “The Madness of Nuclear Energy”, The Ecologist, Vol. 29 No. 7, November 1999, back cover.


The University of California, as the unchallenged manager for 61 years of the nuclear weapons program at Los Alamos National Lab, Lawrence Livermore Lab, and Lawrence Berkeley Lab, has received billions of dollars to make a global radioactive environmental mess, hundreds of millions of dollars more to “study” the breast cancer clusters in Marin County, and has still failed to identify the cause. The “platinum plated” labs have so much sophisticated equipment and personnel to study ionizing radiation that they are, as one Livermore scientist said, a “solution looking for a problem.” Yet, during a breast cancer conference on January 21, 2006, by the Bay Area Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Center (BABCERC), University of California scientist Dr. Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff from the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, introduced herself as “the mouse lady”. She stated very clearly, during her presentation to 600 women, that “radiation is the only known cause of breast cancer in mice.”[24] She repeatedly mentioned in her talk that “Radiation is the only known cause of breast cancer in mice and that is why I use it to cause breast cancer in mice.” She concluded her talk, by saying that in their research they “never identified the cause of breast cancer in women”.

No, but hundreds of millions of dollars later, they sure did in mice… ionizing radiation.


When it was time for questions, I held up an enlarged breast cancer map [Fig. 5A] using US Government data (1985-1989) from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The map identified that within a 100-mile radius of nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons labs, [Fig. 5B] two thirds of all breast cancer deaths occurred in the United States from 1985-89.

I asked the speaker, Dr. Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, if BABCERC was investigating ionizing radiation as a cause of breast cancer around these sites. She quickly replied, “Oh, I’m a microbiologist!” distancing herself from the “R” word.

Fig. 6 (above): Kokopelli is a fertility deity, an ancient humpbacked flute player from an Anasazi glyph. He presides over childbirth, agriculture, and reproduction of game animals, and is venerated by Southwestern Indians.
Source: Walker, D., Cuckoo for Kokopelli, Northland Pub. Flagstaff AZ (1998), p.3-Pottery by Melissa Antonio, Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico, p.1-Navajo basket by Eleanor Rock, Twin Rocks Trading Post, New Mexico.


Living on the Navajo Reservation heavily contaminated from uranium mining, a young Navajo girl when she was nine, lost her grandmother, her ama’sa’ni, to breast cancer.[25] Her mother later had breast cancer twice. When Stefanie Raymond-Whish decided to become a molecular biologist at the University of Northern Arizona, she dedicated her research to finding the root causes of breast cancer.


Raymond-Whish discovered that there was New Mexico State Tumor Registry data on the New Mexico portion of the Navajo Reservation, which showed a 17-fold increase in childhood reproductive cancers compared to the U.S. average.[26] Ms. Williams, the journalist who wrote “On Cancer’s Trail” about Raymond-Whish reported “These are extremely rare cancers related to hormone systems."[27] Another set of registry data from 1970-1982 showed a 2.5-fold increase in these cancers among all New Mexico Native Americans.[28] A 1981 paper identified a possible link between proximity to uranium mine tailings and incidents of birth defects in families. Breast cancer [Fig. 7] is the number two killer of Navajo women after heart disease.[29] Uterine and ovarian cancers doubled or tripled since 1970 in New Mexico Indians, with no change in whites and Hispanics.[30] This has prompted the U.S. Health and Human Services to fund a study on kidney disease to be done jointly by a Navajo health agency and a New Mexico state agency. They will be looking at 1300 Navajos and 160 drinking wells, compiling illness data and analyses of drinking water contaminants (uranium, arsenic, etc.). With less than ¼ of the wells tested, the study has already established that living within 0.8 kilometer from an abandoned mine is a significant predictor of kidney disease and diabetes.[31] This suggests that local uranium pollution point sources are contaminating the groundwater on the Navajo reservation where many family dwellings have their own well. Municipal drinking water supplies, utilized by whites and Hispanics in more populated urban areas, may explain the reduced uterine cancer rates in non-Indian populations.

Fig. 7 (above): A dividing breast cancer cell as seen through a colored scanning electron micrograph.
Source: Steve Gschmeissner/Science Photo Library. http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Article?article_id=17708

Dr. Ernest Sternglass has recommended that reverse osmosis filtration systems, for a cost to the U.S Government of about $500 per household, will remove heavy metals including uranium and other contaminants from water. He suggests that the U.S Government cost of providing these systems to contaminated Native American populations would be far cheaper than the public health studies and high health care costs of chronic exposure to uranium contamination.

Another Mouse Study and a Different Outcome

When Raymond-Whish received her PhD in May 2008, she had already co-published a groundbreaking paper[32] identifying uranium as an estrogen disruptor and a serious cause of infertility as well as breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer. She and researchers exposed mice to depleted uranium contaminated drinking water below the U.S. EPA water standard of [30] picoCuries/Liter [33] (or about 1 Bequerrel),[34] in other words at levels the U.S. government considered to be a minimal health risk. Their results: “Mice that drank uranium-containing water exhibited estrogenic responses including selective reduction of primary follicies, increased uterine weight, greater uterine luminal epithelial cell height, accelerated vaginal opening, and persistent presence of cornified vaginal cells. Coincident treatment with the antiestrogen ICI 182,780 blocked these responses to uranium or the synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol. In addition, mouse dams that drank uranium-containing water delivered grossly normal pups, but they had significantly fewer primordial follicies than pups whose dams drank control tap water.”[35]

Their Conclusions Were:

“Because of the decades of uranium mining/milling in the Colorado plateau in the Four Corners region of the American Southwest, the uranium concentration and the route of exposure used in these studies are environmentally relevant. Our data support the conclusion that uranium is an endocrine-disrupting chemical and populations exposed to environmental uranium should be followed for increased risk of fertility problems and reproductive cancers.”[36]

Andrea Gore, a neuroendocrinologist at the University of Texas, Austin, and former advisor to the National Science Foundation considers this to be a groundbreaking study:
“This is a science of subtlety, (Dyer’s and Raymond-Whish’s) work is consistent with other good labs. People criticize the field of endocrine disruption because we don’t always understand the mechanisms, but the effects are real. This is why animal studies are so important. The responses we see in lab animals can happen in humans, because we share the exact same hormones. The estrogen receptor is similar.”[37]

Fig. 8 (above): The start of every human life: Human ovulation where emergence of the oocyte from the ovary occurs before fertilization in the uterus.
Source: Geddes, L., “Human egg makes accidental debut on camera,” New Scientist, June 11, 2008.

A Global Depopulation
Doomsday Machine

Since 1945, the University of California and the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Labs together with other nuclear states have blanketed Planet Earth and the global atmosphere with accumulating uranium and fission products with an unknown biological outcome. This is very significant because low level uranium contamination, even below EPA drinking water standards, is an estrogen or hormone disruptor at a minimum, which means it will have a global affect, and not just on females of many species. Raymond-Whist has identified some of the effects in one biological system (reproductive), which is a part of a larger cooperating set of systems in a human or animal super-system. Her research predicts that infertility will increase in each future generation because of chronic low-level ionizing radiation exposure, cancers of reproductive organs in females will increase, and the viability of future generations will decline.

The link between diabetes and uranium exposure is also significant to the reproductive system, since pregnant women who have diabetes and little or no health care produce unhealthy babies.[38] The impact of uranium on the pancreas and production and function of insulin, another hormone, is very significant damage to another system. Environmental uranium is already causing a global epidemic of diabetes with large increases in rates. The World Health Organisation has predicted that global diabetes rates are expected to increase 10 times by 2030.

Animals too are being affected by the impact of environmental uranium pollution, since we share the same hormones and similar estrogen receptors. This is accelerating the collapse of the environment and our web of life. The entire planet is experiencing the greatest mass extinction of all species since the dinosaur extinction 65 million years ago. Examples of indicators are everywhere, such as increases in uranium levels in drinking water reported in Los Angeles,[39] which doubled in 2007 alone, from depleted uranium bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2006 depleted uranium was reported in the British atmosphere 7-9 days after bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan.[40] High increases of diabetes have been reported in Tasmania, and 50% of the Tasmanian Devil population has been exterminated by aggressive mouth cancers since 1993, when uranium mining and milling both doubled in Australia. The radioactive dust is carried in southern hemisphere atmospheric circulation patterns to Tasmania in a matter of days.

Ionizing radiation is different. There is no way to turn it off and no way to clean it up. It is the weapon that keeps giving and keeps killing. Fertile females, the unborn, and children are the primary targets of this global depopulation Doomsday Machine. The University of California, home of the Manhattan Project - the atomic bomb project that never ended, will forever be known as “the University that poisoned the world”.


1 Wall, S., H. Arden, WISDOMKEEPERS: Meetings With Native American Spiritual Elders, Beyond Words Publishing Inc. (1990), p.96.

2 Haviland, A., The geographical distribution of heart disease and dropsy, cancer in females and phthisis in females in England and Wales, London: Swan Schonnenschein, 1875.

3 Hardy, E.P., P.W. Krey, H.L. Volchok, “Global Inventory and Distribution of Fallout Plutonium”, NATURE, vol. 241, Feb. 16, 1973, p. 444-5.

4 Dept. of Health Annual Report, State of Hawaii (1963), p.127.

5 Ibid.

6 Segi, M., M. Kurihara, and T. Matsuyama, “Cancer Mortality in Japan (1899-1962)”, Department of Public Health, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, 1965.

7 Dept. of Health Annual Report, State of Hawaii (1963), p. 127: Digestive system cancers - Stomach (12.7%), Large Intestine (8.0%), Pancreas (5.8%), Rectum (4.9%), other Digestive (9.7%).

8 Dept. of Health Annual Report, State of Hawaii (1963), p. 127: Respiratory system - Lung (17.6%), other Respiratory (1.4%).

9 Volpe, A.M., B.B. Bandong, B.K. Esser, G.M. Bianchini, “Radiocesium in North San Francisco Bay and Baja California coastal surface waters”, Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 60 (2002) 365-380.

10 Laurie, J., “Alarming breast cancer rates in northern California county”, World Socialist Web, Oct. 31, 2002. http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/oct2002/canc-o31.shtml

11 Smellof, E., P. Asmus, Reinventing Electric Utilities: competition, Citizen action, and Clean Power, Island Press, Wash. D.C., (1996), p.35-50.

12 “Improvements in Public Health in San Francisco after Rancho Seco Shutdown”, Hunter’s Point/San Francisco Press Conference Sept. 7, 2001, Radiation and Public Health Project.

13 Busby, C., Edit., with R.. Bertell, I. Schmitze-Feuerhake, M. Cato, A. Yablokov, ECRR: 2003 Recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, Regulator’s Edit.: Brussels, 2003, p.182.

14 Noshkin, V., K. Wong, R. Eagle, J. Dawson, J. Brunk, T. Jokela, “Environmental Radiological Studies Downstream from Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Generating Station”, LLNL Report UCID-20367 (one of a series).

15 Volpe, et al., 2002.

16 Busby, C. et al., 2003, p.182.

17 Glasstone, S., The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, Dept. of the Army Pamphlet No. 50-3, Headquarters Dept. of the Army, March 1977, p. 15 sec. 1.50.

18 Bronzan, J., “A Local, National and Worldwide Scourge”, New York Times, January 8, 2006.

19 Sternglass, E.J., “Fallout and Reproduction of Ocean Fish Populations”, unpublished 1971.

20 M. Segi (1965).

21 “M.I.N.D. Institute Study Confirms Autism Increase”, Press Release Oct. 17, 2002, Sacramento, California.

22 Dr. Sternglass was able to correlate State of California autism rates from pre-1945 to 2005, with NRC data on nuclear power generated electricity, personal communication June 2003.

23 Fowler, J.M., Fallout: A Study of Superbombs, Strontium 90, and Survival, Basic Books NY, 1960, p. 59 Fig. 11.

24 Nichols, B., “Breast cancer meeting fails people of Hunters Point, San Francisco, Marin County”, Indybay.org, January 26, 2006. http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/01/28/17987821.php

25 Williams, F., “On Cancer’s Trail”, High Country News, May 26, 2008. http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Article?article_id=17708

26 Ibid., p.8.

27 Ibid., p.8.

28 Ibid.

29 Halliwell, B., Gutteridge, J., FREE RADICALS IN BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE 4th Edit., Oxford University Press (2007).

30 F. Williams, 2008, p.8

31 F. Williams, 2008, p.10

32 Raymond-Whish, S., L.P. Mayer, T. O’Neal, A. Martinez, M.A.Sellers, P.J. Christian et al, “Drinking Water with Uranium below the U.S. EPA Water Standard Causes Estrogen Receptor-Dependent Responses in Female Mice”, Environ. Health Perspect., Vol. 115:12, Dec. 2007, pp.1711-16. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2137136

33 US EPA Drinking Water Standard, Federal Register/Vol. 65, No. 236/Dec. 7, 2000/ Rules and Regulations,
Table I-1: p. 76710.

34 Former Livermore nuclear weapons program scientist, Marion Fulk, has calculated that 27.027 pCi equals 1 Bequerrel (1 radioactive disintegration/second).

35 S. Raymond-Whish, 2007, p.1.

36 Ibid.

37 F. Williams, 2008.

38 Halliwell, B., J. Gutteridge, Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine, 3rd Edit., Oxford Univ. Press (1999), p.526

39 Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power, Annual Water Quality Report 2007, Table I.

40 Moret, L., “The Queen’s Death Star: Depleted Uranium Measured in British Atmosphere from Battlefields in the Middle East”, Mindfully.org, Feb. 26, 2006.


Leuren Moret is an Environmental and Scientist Geoscientist. She is an expert on atmospheric dust, and how it moves and is transported around the world. She was an expert witness at the International Criminal Tribunal for Afghanistan in Tokyo. She is an independent scientist and international expert on radiation and public health issues. She has worked internationally on radiation issues, educating citizens, the media, members of Parliaments and Congress and other officials. Leuren became a whistleblower in 1991 at the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab after experiencing major science fraud on the Yucca Mountain Project. She is a former Environmental Commissioner for the City of Berkeley and President of Scientists of Indigenous People.
Tel: +(1) 510 845 3139

Email: leurenmoret@yahoo.com

See http://www.beyondtreason.org