Our readers will recall that on Friday afternoon that we were alerted to the impending release of a study authored by Joseph Mangano and Dr. Janette Sherman on the alleged effects of radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi incident here in the U.S.
Earlier today, Mangano and company held a teleconference to announce their findings:
An estimated 14,000 excess deaths in the United States are linked to the radioactive fallout from the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan, according to a major new article in the December 2011 edition of the International Journal of Health Services.Sounds scary, doesn't it? Then again, only a few hours later, Mangano admitted in an interview with MedPage Today that the results of his research weren't quite as definitive as his press release would have led folks to believe:
But he (Managno) told MedPage Today that the researchers can't rule out factors other than the Fukushima radiation that might have accounted for the excess.Huh? In any case, it's clear that the scientific community doesn't think terribly much of Mangano and his study. As luck would have it, MedPage Today also talked to Richard L. Morin, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida:
"There are probably a variety of factors that could be linked to this excess of 14,000 deaths," he said.
On the contrary, any link between the deaths and the radiation released by the reactors is "very, very unlikely" simply because the levels are low, according to Richard Morin, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.It's been more than six years since I wrote my first post on Mangano's antics. As I wrote at the time, eight states have investigated Mangano's claims and all eight refused to validate them. One wonders why reporters even bother to talk to him anymore when his work has been so thoroughly debunked.
Morin told MedPage Today that such an acute effect would be unlikely, unless radiation levels were four or five orders of magnitude higher than those reported by Mangano and Sherman, and the whole body of the victim was exposed.
Typically, he said, the effect of low-level ionizing radiation doesn't appear until years after the exposure.
Morin, who is chair of the American College of Radiology's safety committee, said an earlier public report by the authors on the same issue -- preceding the journal article -- "has not been taken seriously by the scientific community."
He added it's important to remember that "association doesn't imply causation.