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High Levels of Radioactivity Found in American Baby Teeth

Aug 17, 2007
In October 1999, the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP) released results of baby teeth examinations in an ongoing study called the "Tooth Fairy Project." These results showed startling levels of radioactive material Strontium-90 (SR-90) in teeth of children born in Southern Florida, New York and New Jersey in the 1980s. The levels were as high as during the 1950s when aboveground nuclear testing was taking place.

The effects of radiation:

SR-90 has been linked to various forms of cancer including leukemia, and is thought to be still present in the air, soil, water and food. Once assimilated into the body, SR-90 destroys blood cells that make up the immune system, and since the chemical structure is so similar to calcium, the body mistakenly concentrates it in the bones and teeth.

It is believed that most of the SR-90 is transferred from a mother to her fetus during pregnancy. Since the baby is so sensitive to toxins, the SR-90 could cause serious problems. Although not yet proven, one New Jersey County reports that the occurrence of a rare childhood cancer (rabdomyosarcoma, which affects the skeletal muscle) is 22 times higher than the national average. There could be many reasons for this elevation, but some factors could be that they are located within 10 miles from a nuclear reactor and in the wind path of two other reactors.

Nuclear Testing and Accidents:

Another factor for high levels of radiation in this area could be nuclear accidents. In 1979, there was a reactor accident in Pennsylvania, and even the 1986 Chernobyl disaster could have a biological as well as an environmental affect on these findings. French and Chinese atmospheric testing ceased in the 1980s which should have significantly reduced the SR-90 levels.

Next steps

In an attempt to discover as much as possible about the risks of assimilating and passing on SR-90, there has been an increasing sense of urgency in requesting baby teeth from around the country, so clearer scientific results can be obtained over the next two years.

Actor Alec Baldwin, who is on the board of directors of Standing for Truth About Radiation (STAR), has spoken publicly to request families donate baby teeth with the hopes of obtaining at least 5,000 teeth from all over the country.

What you can do?

To participate in the study by ask your dentist to send in the baby teeth of your children, call the RPHP at 1-800-582-3716, or visit www.radiation.org for more information.
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