In 1979, I didn’t know about radioactive isotopes.
As a teenager, I barely noticed Three Mile Island nuclear plant across the Susquehanna River.
In 2012, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Previously, my younger brother was also diagnosed with a brain tumor, skin cancer, and thyroid cancer. Many neighbors and classmates were also diagnosed with cancers and neurological diseases as well. We lived southeast about 12 miles away from Three Mile Island.
In the summer of 1982, it was (quietly) announced that Three Mile Island (TMI) had a 50% meltdown of its fuel rods, the world’s first nuclear meltdown.
In 2015, I started my research about the long-term effects of radiation from nuclear accidents and nuclear meltdowns.
First, I think you should know this about radiation.
Radiation is invisible.
Radiation is silent.
Radiation is odorless.
Radiation is weightless.
Radiation is tasteless—unless you’re too close; then it tastes like metal.
Radiation is cumulative in your body.
You need to know when you are exposed.
On March 28, 1979, Three Mile Island nuclear “accident” made the national and international news. More than 300 reporters showed up and also came to live with diagnoses years and decades later.
Long-term exposure to radiation presents in 21 cancers, neurological diseases, and brain tumors, which show up decades later.
On May 31, 2017, a molecular medical study was published by Dr. David Goldenberg of Penn State University College of Medicine and Hershey Medical Center that links the thyroid cancer in Central Pennsylvania to the 1979 nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island. (Email me for PDF of this medical study.)
This is how iodine-131 can be ingested:
If dairy cows eat the contaminated hay or drink contaminated water,
And if we drink the milk
Or if we eat anything made from the cow’s milk
Or if we eat food made with the milk or butter
Or if we eat any contaminated fruit and vegetables
Or if we eat contaminated meat like chicken, eggs, steak, pork, or fish
Or if we eat any foods made with the contaminated ingredients
Or if we drink the water, swim in the water, bathe in the water...
iodine-131 has been ingested.
When radioactive foods and water are ingested, iodine-131 mimics and replaces iodide in the body.
Radioactive isotope iodine-131 was released from TMI and it can do damage to those exposed because it is highly radioactive, despite its half life is only 8.02 days.
Potassium iodide tablets blocks the uptake of the radioactive isotope iodine-131 from the thyroid gland and prevents thyroid cancer and its related diseases.
In 1979, I didn’t know that thyroid cancer could be prevented if potassium iodide (KI) is taken, but the government did.
During the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, 240,000 dosages of potassium iodide were ordered on April 1, 1979, but they were NOT distributed to the local residents of Central Pennsylvania.
As of 2001, the Pennsylvania Department of Health now distributes FREE potassium iodide tablets to you if live near one of the FIVE nuclear reactors in our beautiful state of Pennsylvania.
I was born and raised in PA and I can still remember those blue road signs:
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful
What happened to those signs?
What happened to us in 1979?
MELTDOWN, Based on True Events
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Grazie! Danke! Gracias!
Thank you for reading!
Jill Murphy Long
Report of the President’s Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island
(Published 10/29/1979) Email me for the 178-page PDF. If short on time, review the photo captions and read the Epilogue; you’ll get the gist.
Or ask Google; it is available free online.
Or check it out at your local library.
For more information about Potassium Iodide (KI)
To read a recent article on the free distribution of Potassium Iodide (KI)
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