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Forget Nuke-Plant Radiation; Worry About Belts

May 28, 2013
Written by: , Filed in: Abdominal Imaging
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Living near a nuclear power plant apparently poses no health hazard from radioactivity, at least in Ontario. But dressing fashionably might.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission announced last week that its study of populations living near Ontario’s three nuclear power plants found no evidence of increased risk of cancer. Radiation and Incidence of Cancer Around Nuclear Power Plants From 1990 to 2008, known as the RADICON Study, used data from the Canadian Cancer Registry, the Ontario Cancer Registry, and the Census of Canada.

Michael Binder, PhD, president of the commission, said:

We often hear concerns from the public about a possible link between childhood leukemia and radiation from nuclear power plants. We now have Canadian data to reassure them with science-based and conclusive evidence that children living nearby are as healthy as children living elsewhere in Ontario.

Dr. Binder was quoted in a commission news release.

The study found no increased risk of any kind of cancer. Its conclusion states: “Overall, the cancers are well within the natural variation of disease within Ontario.”

The commission said it planned to submit the study for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom–based online fashion retailer ASOS has recalled a brass-studded peplum leather belt that was found to be radioactive. The belts tested positive for cobalt-60, according to the UK newspaper The Guardian. ASOS is recalling all 49 sold across 14 countries.

The newspaper reported that an internal company report said the belts could cause injury if worn for more than 500 hours. “Unfortunately,” the report said, “this incident is quite a common occurrence. India and the Far East are large consumers of scrap metal for their home and foreign markets. During the refining process of these metals, orphaned radioactive sources are sometimes accidentally melted at the same time.”

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