More than a few folks have passed along a news clip to us from The Chattanoogan detailing another "study" by Joseph Mangano of the Radiation and Public Health Project and the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) claiming that they've discovered higher mortality rates in populations living near the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant. We don't believe this study is credible.
Mangano and company are making these claims despite the fact that nuclear power plants only account for .1% of the radiation that a typical American is exposed to over the course of a year. Meanwhile, exposures from life saving medical procedures like CT scans and X-Rays account for about 50%.
Putting that aside, a number of third party experts and journalists have regularly taken turns debunking Mangano's research. In 2011, Michael Moyer of Scientific American said the following about one Mangano study that claimed Americans were suffering from severe health effects in the wake of Fukushima:
[A] check reveals that the authors’ statistical claims are critically flawed—if not deliberate mistruths.Here's a statement from Ralph Andersen, NEI's chief health physicist regarding Mangano's track record:
Only by explicitly excluding data from January and February were Sherman and Mangano able to froth up their specious statistical scaremongering.
This is not to say that the radiation from Fukushima is not dangerous, nor that we shouldn’t closely monitor its potential to spread (we should). But picking only the data that suits your analysis isn’t science—it’s politics. Beware those who would confuse the latter with the former.
Mr. Mangano's allegations of health effects associated with emissions from nuclear power plants have been reviewed in detail and repeatedly discredited by at least 8 state and 2 county public health departments, as well as the USNRC, as follows:As for BREDL, they have a dubious track record of their own. Back in 2007, our own David Bradish took a closer look at some of BREDL's claims in regards to Plant Vogtle in Georgia and found ample evidence that BREDL manipulated the numbers to "fit their presumptive conclusions."
USNRC; State of Connecticut; State of Florida; State of Illinois; State of New Jersey; State of New York; State of Pennsylvania; State of Minnesota; State of Michigan; Westchester County, NY and Suffolk County, NY.
In fact, we are not aware of any federal, state, or local government public health departments that have reviewed Mr. Mangano's allegations and found them to be credible.