Birds as well as other animals were and still are affected negatively by the radiation around Chernobyl, contrary to some journalists and sources such as PBS and the IAEA, who seem to be claiming that the area around Chernobyl is a radiation free oasis, full if teeming numbers of animals, which is patently false.
There are very few animals available around Chernobyl for the tourists to photograph, who are now showing up in droves. When the tourists and press cannot find any animals, they end up going to a local ‘petting zoo’, where authorities have conveniently arranged for a few animals to be available for photographs for the tourists and the press.
What can happen, is that some animals can live inside of of ‘green zones’ within this exclusion radiation zone, where the radiation level is very low. As long as the animal does not wander into the hot ‘red’ areas, that animal theoretically can stay free of most radiation contamination sources and live a relatively health life, as long as it is not hunted. Since hunters are not allowed inside the zone, animals could theoretically be free to breed and prosper, but for the most part, this is NOT happening.
The problem is that radiation is invisible. People, just like animals, cannot see the green low radiation areas, or sense the hot red high radiation zones. They wander around and get contaminated in the high radiation zones and their fur or feathers absorb this radiation and carry it back into the ‘green’ zones, just like people carry radiation from ‘hot’ zones into their homes on their shoes, hair and clothing.
As you can see, the hot red zones extend outside the 20 mile circle which was drawn arbitrarily around Chernobyl.
The main question is; does radiation have an effect on animals? The result of these studies is that radiation DOES have a negative effect on animals, just the same way it does on humans. There are only 1/3 of the normal number of animals, and only 50% of the normal number of species of animals in the contaminated areas around Chernobyl.
This study answers the assumption by the pro nuclear apologists who claim low level radiation has no health effects, no genetic effects and no environmental effects. Their claim is that stress and depression are the cause of all diseases and health complaints that people believe is coming from low level radiation effects.
Now those same people can go back to their doctors and the pro nuclear apologists and show them that their health issues are NOT just in their heads, and that low level radiation DOES have a negative PHYSICAL health effect.
The pro nuclear apologists have an argument for this too, and say that these bird studies should be completely ignored. They claim that birds are hyper sensitive to low dose radiation, so this radiation effect that was found, must be discounted completely, as it does not apply to humans, much like a canary in a coal mine.
So in response to the claim by the pro nuclear apologists in the nuclear industry, these researchers also studied insects.
They found that in the areas contaminated by low or high level radiation, bumble bees disappeared as did butterflies. Spiders also disappeared. There were many fewer grasshoppers and dragonflies. The same relationship between radiation levels and effects on insects was found in insects as it was found in birds.
The pro nuclear apologists responded to this by saying that no one cares about insects anyway, and insects are not human, so this study can also be discounted and dismissed, and it does not matter either, because insects are not even mammals.
So in response to this attack and/or challenge by the pro nuclear apologists, these researchers also studied rodents and mammals in the Chernobyl area. They found the same dose dependent relationship that was found in insects, birds and humans.
Many fewer mammals were found and the diversity was also much lower than in non radioactive control areas. Those with the highest radiation levels were the sickest.
The Red Forest is famous near Chernobyl, because all of the pine trees died from the radiation coming from Chernobyl. The same thing happened around Fukushima.
Trees were found by the researchers to be deformed at a much higher rate than in control areas. Tree growth was affected, and trees absorbed radiation as well, into their structures, making them unfit for use in some cases.
In one study, pine trees ended up putting massive amounts of radiation into the pine cones which then let it out in the spores that wafted across the land through the air.
The Fukushima area showed results that were twice as bad as the areas around Chernobyl with the same general radiation levels, but the reasons why have not been discovered yet.
Bottom line, the Geiger Counter turned out to be a powerful predictive tool to correlate the health effects with what was being found with insects, birds, mammals and trees. The higher the radiation levels measured, the more negative health effects were found.
So the moral of the story is to buy a radiation detecting Geiger Counter, and keep it turned on and with you, when you go somewhere, or even when you are at home. Stay out of high radiation areas, and get out of any radiation detected hot spot areas quickly.
Pay attention when the Geiger Counter starts ‘alerting’ you with beeps, buzzes or flashing lights. Radiation does not discriminate between animals, insects, birds, trees or humans. It is an equal opportunity, invisible death machine.
Dr. Mousseau – Chernobyl’s Deadly Radioactive Legacy Recorded In Trees, Animals, Insects And Birds; via @AGreenRoad
For more articles like this;
Animals And Plants; Low Level Radiation Effects
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Thanks for hosting! This week I’ve shared a post about my decision to stop eating corn and cucumbers and other summer produce until they come into season again where I
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