Skip to main content

On the Trail of the "Tooth Fairy"

Tuesday's edition of the Brattleboro Reformer carried a story that Joseph Mangano, head of the Radiation and Public Health Project, better known as the "Tooth Fairy" project, has parachuted into Vermont with his shaky science in order to shake things up around Vermont Yankee.

For those who aren't familiar with his schtick, Mangano is determined to demonstrate a link between Strontium 90 (Sr-90), nuclear plants and childhood cancer by analyzing the levels of Sr-90 found in baby teeth.

What the Brattleboro reporter neglects to mention, is that Mangano has been taking his public health snake oil show on the road for some time now. And whenever real scientists debunk his research findings, Mangano just goes to another city or town hoping that nobody follows his trail.

Earlier this year when CNN did a feature on Mangano, we had this to say:
Consistently, the NRC has found no appreciable changes from background radiation near nuclear plants. In all, eight state departments of health have investigated Mangano's claims, and all eight states (Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Michigan) refused to validate them.
Just as damaging was this determination published by the New Jersey Commission on Radiation Protection in February 2004:
The Commission is of the opinion that "Radioactive Strontium-90 in Baby Teeth of New Jersey Children and the Link with Cancer: A Special Report," is a flawed report, with substantial errors in methodology and invalid statistics. As a result, any information gathered through this project would not stand up to the scrutiny of the scientific community. There is also no evidence to support the allegation that the State of New Jersey has a problem with the release of Sr-90 into the environment from nuclear generating plants: more than 30 years of environmental monitoring data refute this.
All this information is relatively easy to find, including our earlier entry on Mangano, which shows up in the first ten Goggle search results when you search on his name and "tooth fairy".

For me, this issue is a whole lot like the accusations that Helen Caldicott makes against the nuclear industry. And the response always has to be the same: To counter the hysteria with sound science whenever it gets repeated.

For more on the "Tooth Fairy" issue from the NEI archives, click here and here.

UPDATE: In other news, Entergy Nuclear, the owner of Vermont Yankee, has applied to NRC for renewal of the plant's license, as well as the license for the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.

Technorati tags: , , , , ,

Comments

Well, the Tooth Fairy Project is a subset of RPHP, but I nitpick.

My September 30 Anti-Nuclear Quote of the Day covered it. An interesting comment from an anti-nuclear activist can be found near the end.

Popular posts from this blog

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…