Posted by: Debby Durkee | March 17, 2011

Radiation studies show it can be good for you.

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Radiation studies show it can be good for you.

The media’s anguished reporting on the tsunami and earthquake in Japan quickly gave way to their frantic reporting about the release of radiation from the nuclear power plants Japan is trying to get under control. What they’ve failed to report, however, is the good news about radiation. What, you didn’t know there was any good news about radiation? Well, that’s because our news media doesn’t report on it. Those exposed to higher than normal levels of radiation tend to live longer. This is from Ann Coulter.

With the terrible earthquake and resulting tsunami that have devastated Japan, the only good news is that anyone exposed to excess radiation from the nuclear power plants is now probably much less likely to get cancer.

This only seems counterintuitive because of media hysteria for the past 20 years trying to convince Americans that radiation at any dose is bad. There is, however, burgeoning evidence that excess radiation operates as a sort of cancer vaccine.

As The New York Times science section reported in 2001, an increasing number of scientists believe that at some level — much higher than the minimums set by the U.S. government — radiation is good for you. “They theorize,” the Times said, that “these doses protect against cancer by activating cells’ natural defense mechanisms.”

Among the studies mentioned by the Times was one in Canada finding that tuberculosis patients subjected to multiple chest X-rays had much lower rates of breast cancer than the general population. Snip –

A $10 million Department of Energy study from 1991 examined 10 years of epidemiological research by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health on 700,000 shipyard workers, some of whom had been exposed to 10 times more radiation than the others from their work on the ships’ nuclear reactors. The workers exposed to excess radiation had a 24 percent lower death rate and a 25 percent lower cancer mortality than the non-irradiated workers. Snip –

In 1983, a series of apartment buildings in Taiwan were accidentally constructed with massive amounts of cobalt 60, a radioactive substance. After 16 years, the buildings’ 10,000 occupants developed only five cases of cancer. The cancer rate for the same age group in the general Taiwanese population over that time period predicted 170 cancers.

The people in those buildings had been exposed to radiation nearly five times the maximum “safe” level according to the U.S. government. But they ended up with a cancer rate 96 percent lower than the general population. Snip —

She goes on to discuss radon and how a study found that those exposed to higher levels of it had fewer cases of lung cancer, and it had nothing to do with the rates of smoking. Many people, including scientists, expose themselves to radon as a cancer preventative.

At the Free Enterprise Radon Health Mine in Boulder (MT), people pay $5 to descend 85 feet into an old mining pit to be irradiated with more than 400 times the EPA-recommended level of radon. In the summer, 50 people a day visit the mine hoping for relief from chronic pain and autoimmune disorders.  Snip –

She goes on to discuss the fallacies out there about the Chernobyl power plant explosion and meltdown in the USSR in 1986.

Indeed, after endless investigations, including by the United Nations, Manhattan Project veteran Theodore Rockwell summarized the reports to (Tom) Bethell in 2002, saying, “They have not yet reported any deaths outside of the 30 who died in the plant.”

Even the thyroid cancers in people who lived near the reactor were attributed to low iodine in the Russian diet — and consequently had no effect on the cancer rate.

Meanwhile, the animals around the Chernobyl reactor, who were not evacuated, are “thriving,” according to scientists quoted in the April 28, 2002 Sunday Times (UK). Snip –

Although it is hardly a settled scientific fact that excess radiation is a health benefit, there’s certainly evidence that it decreases the risk of some cancers — and there are plenty of scientists willing to say so…

Ann Coulter documents everything she writes, so she knows of what she writes here. As she says, the reporters on the scene love reporting the scary stories, but they should report the facts: no one has died in Japan from exposure to radiation, but thousands have died due to Mother Nature. Those exposed to the radiation could very well outlive Americans who have been “protected” from radiation since Three Mile Island. Please read all of Coulter here:


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  1. As I was concerned by your article above appearing to support Anne Coulter’s statement on the supposed benefits of radiation, I consulted a senior medical doctor. He wrote: ‘As a medical doctor I find Ann Coulter’s comments about the benefits of radiation exposure to be utterly preposterous. In medically controlled therapeutic scenarios ie for treating malignancies it can be life-saving but uncontrolled environmental exposure is nothing but hazardous.’

    • Who is the medical doctor? He could very well be correct, but if he isn’t willing to put his name on what he says, then that doesn’t necessarily make him a good source. My purpose was to show that the jury is still out as far as radiation is concerned. That’s a part of the story that isn’t being told. Thanks for the information. I appreciate your addition to the conversation. I certainly don’t profess to be an expert, but I do think it’s worth knowing that there might be a good side to this story.

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