Thyroditis linked to fallout

PATRICE ST. GERMAIN, THE SPECTRUM, UTAH, OCTOBER 14, 2006
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“Grable”, 15 kilotons, explodes at the Nevada Test Site, May 25, 1953. For pictures of other tests see below. PHOTO SOURCE: TRINITY ATOMIC WEBSITE
HURRICANE – A study conducted by several agencies and researchers, including University of Utah professor Joseph L. Lyon, indicates a much stronger association than previously believed between fallout from testing at the Nevada Test Site during the 1950s and thyroid conditions.
The conclusion to the study, which will be published in the Nov. 1 journal “Epidemiology,” indicates that persons exposed to radioactive iodine as children have an increased risk of thyroid neoplasms and autoimmune thyroiditis up to 30 years after exposure.
What was surprising to Lyon was that benign neoplasms, a precursor for cancerous lesions, was elevated in this group, but unfortunately, he said, the government halted testing last year.
Thyroiditis strikes about 1 percent of the population, Lyon said.
“There were about 10,000 people in Washington County in 1950, and you would affect hundreds,” Lyon said. “The only problem we are looking at is the risk can occur over a lifetime, unlike leukemia where children died within 10 years of the testing. Here, it’s still developing so it would be hard to say how many hundreds of people exposed would have been affected.”
The report didn’t come as a surprise to St. George resident and downwinder Michelle Thomas who participated in thyroid studies for decades.
“Many children (who are) now adults had thyroid nodules and thyroids removed and some have been on thyroid medicine for years,” Thomas said. “For those of us who were part of the study, we didn’t need to wait for any study to tell us something we already knew. We are living, breathing evidence.”
Lyon said the recent study was a follow-up of one done in 1985 and 1986. However, after the last round of examinations the government halted the testing.
“Basically, the government decided they didn’t want to know any more information,” Lyon said. “Our government is spending money in Russia to follow kids after Chernobyl, yet they are not interested in finding anything out about their own citizens.”
Lyon said one group in the United States received the same exposure as Chernobyl. There were 3,500 people in his test group. Lyon said he needed another three to four years of testing because there may be other risks that have not yet been anticipated.
Thyroiditis, Lyon said, is treatable. Those diagnosed are prescribed a daily medication that they need to take for the rest of their lives.
Although some people develop an enlarged thyroid, Lyon said other symptoms include fatigue.
The presence of neoplasm, although non-cancerous, placed persons at a much higher risk of developing cancer.
“Stopping the funding (for testing) doesn’t make sense, especially since we are funding studies in Russia,” Lyon said. “In terms of the United States, there is no political interest in knowing and it was virtually the same exposure.”

ATOMIC TESTS CARRIED OUT AT THE NEVADA TEST SITE

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ABLE, 1 KILOTON, JANUARY 27, 1951 or APRIL 1, 1952
annie1b.jpg
ANNIE, 16 KILOTONS, MARCH 17, 1953
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APPLE, 14 KILOTONS, MARCH 29, 1955
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APPLE II, 29 KILOTONS, MAY 5, 1955
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BEE, 8 KILOTONS, MARCH 22, 1955
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BOLTZMAN, 12 KILOTONS, MAY 28, 1957
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BUSTER CHARLIE, 14 KILOTONS, OCTOBER 30, 1951
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CHARLIE I, 14 KILOTONS, OCTOBER 30, 1951
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CHARLIE II, 31 KILOTONS, APRIL 22, 1952
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CLIMAX, 61 KILOTONS, JUNE 4, 1953
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BUSTER DOG, 21 KILOTONS, NOVEMBER 1, 1951
dog1b.jpg
DOG I, 21 KILOTONS, NOVEMBER 1, 1951
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DOG II, 19 KILOTONS, MAY 1, 1951
dog3b.jpg
DOG III, 19 KILOTONS, MAY 1, 1951
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BUSTER EASY, 31 KILOTONS, NOVEMBER 5, 1951
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FIZEAU I, 11 KILOTONS, SEPTEMBER 14, 1957
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FIZEAU 11, 11 KILOTONS, SEPTEMBER 14, 1957
foxb.jpg
FOX, 11 KILOTONS, MAY 25, 1952
franklnb.jpg
FRANKLIN, 4.7 KILOTONS, AUGUST 30, 1957
galileob.jpg
GALILEO, 11 KILOTONS, SEPTEMBER 2, 1957
george1b.jpg
GEORGE, 225 KILOTONS, MAY 8, 1951
george2b.jpg
GEORGE II, 15 KILOTONS, JUNE 1, 1952
grableb.jpg
GRABLE, 15 KILOTONS, MAY 25, 1953
harryb.jpg
HARRY, 32 KILOTONS, MAY 19, 1953
hornetb.jpg
HORNET, 4 KILOTONS, MARCH 12, 1955
howb.jpg
HOW, 14 KILOTONS, JUNE 5, 1952
keplerb.jpg
KEPLER 10 KILOTONS, JULY 24, 1957
metb.jpg
MET, 22 KILOTONS, APRIL 15, 1955
mothb.jpg
MOTH, 2 KILOTONS, FEBRUARY 22, 1955
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NEWTON, 12 KILOTONS, SEPTEMBER 16, 1957
santafeb.jpg
SANTA FE, 1.3 KILOTONS, OCTOBER 30, 1958
shastab.jpg
SHASTA, 17 KILOTONS, AUGUST 18, 1957
simonb.jpg
SIMON, 17 KILOTONS, AUGUST 18, 1957
smokeyb.jpg
SMOKEY, 44 KILOTONS, AUGUST 31, 1957
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SOCORRO, 6 KILOTONS, OCTOBER 22, 1958
stokesb.jpg
STOKES, 19 KILOTONS, AUGUST 7, 1957
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TESLA, 7 KILOTONS, MARCH 1, 1955

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