Radiation and Human Health: Three Years after the Japan Disaster

January 16, 2014
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

Slides & Resources

Speaker Presentation Slides

Dr. Gould: Radiation and Human Health: Three Years After the Japan Disaster

Additional Resources

From Hiroshima to Fukushima: Dual Threats of Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power, by Dr. Gould, MD

Physicians for Social Responsiblity factsheets

Physicians for Social Responsibility: Health risks of the releases of radioactivity from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors: Are they a convern for residents of the United States?

Physicians for Social Responsibility briefing book: Lessons from Fukushima and Chernobyl for US Public Health

Asian Perspective (Special Issue): A Public Health Perspective On the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

Coast getting little radiation from Fukushima disaster. Scientists reported Wednesday that low levels of radiation from Japan's Fukushima disaster first detected off the California coast two years ago have been declining ever since and remain well below any levels considered unsafe for humans. San Francisco Chronicle, California.

Video: West Coast Radiation Exposure: What Are the Risks? Fairewinds discusses the risk to the US West Coast population from the ongoing releases from Fukushima Daiichi. Should we be worried about walking by or swimming in the Pacific? How safe are California’s beaches? What about eating Pacific seafood?

The Oceanography Society Magazine: Fukushima and Ocean Radioactivity - Read the article

NYT: Fukushima Radiation (Still) Poses No California Risk

Deep Sea News: All the Best, Scientifically Verified, Information on Fukushima Impacts

Carbon Free and Nuclear Free by Dr. Makhijani

IEER: The Mythology and Messy Reality of Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing

IEER: Traveling Wave Reactors: Sodium-cooled Gold at the End of a Nuclear Rainbow?

IEER: Light Water Designs of Small Modular Reactors: Facts and Analysis

Listen to Recording

Radiation has long been identified as a serious risk factor in various human diseases. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the resultant ongoing struggles to contain radiation released from reactors there, has brought radiation to the forefront again. This call explored the many controversies which persist since the initial disaster: What are the primary risks to human health, of both acute high-level and lower-level exposures? Are there scientifically valid strategies for minimizing harm in those exposed? And how might such disasters best be avoided in the future?

Featured Speakers

Robert M. Gould, MD, graduated from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and from 1981 until 2012 worked as a pathologist at Kaiser Hospital in San Jose. In 2012 Dr. Gould was appointed as an associate adjunct professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the UCSF School of Medicine, to serve as director of Health Professional Outreach and Education for the UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE). Since 1989, he has been president of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), and in 2003 was president of National PSR, to serve again in this capacity in 2014. Since 1986, Dr. Gould has been active in the Peace Caucus of the American Public Health Association, for which he has been chairperson for numerous years, and in 2009 APHA awarded him the prestigious Sidel-Levy Peace Award. In addition to speaking and publishing extensively on the clinician’s role in environmental and public health advocacy, Dr. Gould is an expert on the environmental and public health impacts of nuclear weapons; he is a contributing author to chapters on health impacts of nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism in War and Public Health (2008) and Terrorism and Public Health (2011) published by Oxford University Press. Since 1992 Dr. Gould has been a leading member of the Environmental Committee of the Santa Clara County chapter of the California Medical Association (CMA), and through this work has authored and submitted numerous environmental health resolutions adopted by CMA as policy. For his work within CMA, he received the Santa Clara County Medical Association’s "Outstanding Contribution in Community Service" award in 2001, and “Outstanding Contribution to the Medical Society" award in 2012. Dr. Gould was also listed as one of Santa Clara County's "Top 400 Physicians" in peer-review surveys published in San Jose Magazine in 2001 through 2007.

Arjun Makhijani, PhD, president of The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER), holds a doctorate in engineering (specialization: nuclear fusion) from the University of California at Berkeley. He has produced many studies and articles on nuclear fuel cycle-related issues—including weapons production, testing and nuclear waste—over the past twenty years. Most recently, Dr. Makhijani has authored Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for US Energy Policy. He is the principal editor of Nuclear Wastelands and the principal author of Mending the Ozone Hole, both published by MIT Press.

Anna O'Malley, MD, graduated from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2005 and completed her residency in family and community medicine at the University of California-San Francisco in 2008. She was awarded a Bravewell Fellowship in Integrative Medicine and completed the University of Arizona's Program in Integrative Medicine fellowship in December of 2010. She brings a strong commitment to environmental health and social justice to her integrative primary care practice with the Coastal Health Alliance in West Marin, California.

The call was moderated by Steve Heilig, MPH, CHE director of Public Health & Education, and director of Public Health & Education at the San Francisco Medical Society.