21
Jul
2004

INVESTIGATION INTO THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF IONISING RADIATION

Yesterday (20.07.04) the former Environment Minister Michael Meacher put down an Early Day Motion in the British House of Commons calling for the scrapping of two bodies which were set up to investigate the health effects of radiation.

The Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU) and the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) have failed to find a severe excess of childhood cancer on the north Wales coast or to give any warning that public health needs protection from the levels of radioactive pollution involved.

Like the notorious Seascale cluster near Sellafield in Cumbria, England, the clustering of cancers in north Wales was found by a TV reporter. It is far more significant and shows that 20 years on from the Black Report, which investigated Seascale, nothing has been learnt and nothing done to save people from cruel, premature and unnecessary suffering. COMARE has shrugged off Seascale as inexplicable and colluded with a cover-up of earlier evidence of excess cancer on the Welsh coast. SAHSU's expensive "investigations" consistently use stupidly inappropriate methods which they openly admit will overlook the effects of radioactive discharges, yet when faced with their mistakes and the inescapable truth of excess cancer on the polluted Blackwater estuary (near the Bradwell NPP) they changed their statistical method to diminish its significance.

We are asking our supporters in the UK to press their Members of Parliament to sign EDM 1548.
Monitor //edm.ais.co.uk/weblink/html/motion.html/ref=1548 to see progress or go to
//www.llrc.org (a link to EDM 1548 will be posted within 24 hours of this circular).

FULL TEXT OF EDM 1548
That this House notes a serious excess of childhood cancer and leukaemia recently discovered around the Menai Strait in North Wales, which appears associated with evidence near those parts of the coast of contamination with radioactivity; further notes that in 1983 the Independent Advisory Group chaired by the late Sir Douglas Black was established to investigate and advise on Yorkshire Television's discovery of an excess of leukaemia in children living on the Cumbrian coast near Sellafield, and that in 1984 the Black IAG recommended a centralised system for monitoring health data to give early warning; is concerned that the Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU) based at Imperial College in London has no power of independent investigation and did not find the excess leukaemia and cancer on the Menai Strait; is further concerned that, set up on the recommendation of the Black IAG, did not find the excess leukaemia and cancer on the Menai Strait and has not identified a cause of the excess in Cumbria, and has strictly limited powers of independent investigation; and calls on the Government to disband SAHSU and to replace COMARE with a Committee on the Health Effects of Ionising Radiation with a neutral chair, a full-time civil service secretariat, a budget sufficient to permit independent research, and a membership, paid for their work on the Committee and which represents all shades of relevant scientific opinion."

Richard Bramhall
Low Level Radiation Campaign
bramhall@llrc.org
The Knoll
Montpellier Park
Llandrindod
Powys LD1 5LW U.K.
+44 (0)1597 824771
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