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Fetuses Contaminated by Radiation from Chernobyl Nuclear Accident Got Sick of Leukemia
Children contaminated by Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident contracted leukemia
What are the effects of radioactive materials from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Russia that leaked in 1986?
Some medical researchers investigated the effects.
“We assessed acute leukaemia cases occurring among children who were in utero at the time of exposure to determine to what degree, if any, these events were associated with the Chernobyl accident” (Noshchenno, and Moysich, A. G., K. B.; A. Bondar, P. V. Zamostyan, V.D. Drosdova, A. M. Michalek. Patterns of acute leukaemia occurrence among children in the Chernobyl region. International Journal of Epidemiology. 2001;30:125-129).
In utero means embryo or fetus is still in the womb.
The researchers concluded: “...Rates of acute lymphoblastic leukaema (ALL) were dramatically elevated for males and to a lesser extent for females. For both gender combined, the RR for ALL was more than three times greater in the exposed compared to the unexposed region.” RR means rate ratio.
Observations for the contaminated fetus were from Zhitomir and those for uncontaminated fetus were from Poltava regions at the Ukraine. Children born in 1986 who lived in these regions through to the end of this study were observed. High incidence of leukemia among children born in 1986 occurred in 1990 through to 1996.
The Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident occurred in 1986 that released large amounts of radioactive materials. Data were collected from 1986 to 1996 compiled by the Ministry of Ukraine. These were ingested via food consumption or inhaled. Sources of contamination were external gamma radiation (from radioactive cloud), radioactive fallout on the ground and internal radiation from caesium(134Cs, 137Cs), strontium (89Sr. 90Sr) and transuranium elements (238-240Pu, 241Am).
More than 80% of the radiation were accumulated during the first five years since 1986.
Children contaminated while still in the womb began showing symptoms of leukemia about four years after they were born. This pattern is similar to the occurrence of leukemia among workers who produced nuclear weapon materials in a plant in Savanna site, South Carolina, USA. Workers exposed to radiation contracted the disease three years after exposure that peak up until six years. (I have a Hub “Death due to leukemia among workers who produced nuclear weapon materials in a plant in USA.). Dr. Samuel S. Epstein, MD said cancer has a average gestation of 10 years (Epstein, S.S.MD. The Politics of Cancer. 1978).
In my Hub mentioned above I discussed partly how a radioactive material causes leukemia which is cancer of the white blood cells.The growth of white blood cells become uncontrolled and crowd out red blood cells, among others, resulting in less oxygen carried by the red blood cells. Lack of oxygen results in death.
Editing as of Jan. 1,2015
Radiation, DNA mutation, cancer
A radioactive material is unstable. To attain stability it goes through decay called tunnelling, along the quantum theory. The radioactive polonium 210 emits alpha particles and alpha radiation, a form of energy, through a barrier, the nucleus. Alpha particles tunnel through the nucleus. Radiation hits tissues like the DNA, the heredity material. DNA has a lot of hydrogen that consists of one proton and one electron. The hydrogen bond (like in water) joins the bases of DNA together but the joints are weak. Hydrogen has no nucleus so it is all the easier for radiation to hit its elements. The strength of the bond between hydrogen electron and proton is only 5% that of the ionic bond (of salt) or covalent bond (like iron) according to Tortora and associate (Tortora G. and J. Becker. Life Science. 1978:14).
In the hydrogen bond, there is a potential energy barrier. In both sides of this barrier are potential wells. One is shallower than the other. The proton normally settles on the shallower well. However, it can tunnel to the shallower well when hit by radiation. When replication of DNA occurs while the proton is at the shallower well, the pairing between bases of DNA is compromised (lenntech.com. Aug. 26,2014)
This error results in mutation in DNA that can result further in tumor or cancer.
“The bases of DNA are the parts that hold the key to inheritance. The four bases are adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C). In the two strands of DNA, A is always complementary to (pairs with) T, and G is always complementary to C...During mitosis, the chromosomes are replicated by the unwinding and pulling apart (splitting) of the DNA strands, a new strand is formed alongside the old. The old strand serves as a template so that wherever an A occurs on the old strand, a T will be directly opposite it on the new, and wherever a C occurs on the old strand, a G will be placed on the new. Complementary bases pair with each other until two entire double-stranded molecules are formed where originally there was one” (Taylor T. E. and T. G. Field. Scientific Farm Animal Production. 1998:219-220, parenthetical supplied)
Tumor or cancer starts in one mitotic cell. That is, a cell that produces two daughter cells by a process called mitosis. There are four stages of mitosis. At the start is a rest period where a cell has 46 chromosomes. Next, each chromosome duplicates itself. Next, the duplicates unwind and pull apart. Then two sets of chromosomes come together resulting in two daughter cells, each containing 46 chromosomes. The hydrogen bond in the chromosomes are vulnerable to radiation during the splitting of duplicates. Copying error occurs.
Polonium 210, with 84 protons, decays and stabilizes at polonium 206, with 82 protons. A proton is paired with an electron. There is a loss of two protons during alpha decay leaving two unpaired electrons. These unpaired electrons make for free radicals that are unstable. To stabilize itself, a free radical grabs one or two electrons from a neighboring molecule like DNA. This grabbing results in mutation of DNA, that, in turn, results in tumor or cancer.
"The daughter, or decayed, nucleus will have two fewer protons and two fewer neutrons than the original .... Once the electrons have rearranged themselves (and the two excess electrons have wandered off), the atom will, in fact, have changed identity" (Encyclopedia Britannica 2009).
But the partners (electrons) of the formerly 84 protons are not reduced in number. So, there are still 84 electrons after the annihilation of two protons. There are two extra electrons that are free, "wandering off," and are looking for partners. These two, unpaired extra electrons make polonium 210 a free radical. End of editing.
Electron moves out of its orbital
Phosphorus has 15 electrons and 15 protons since electrons and protons are paired, balancing each other. Protons are located in the nucleus and electrons spin around the nucleus along a path called orbital. Phosphorus has three orbitals; the first is occupied by two electrons; the second is occupied by eight electrons and the third is occupied by 5 electrons. When an electron absorbs energy it is excited and moves out of its orbital. That moving out of an electron, say, in the second orbital, is enough to change the nature of phosphorus. It is no longer the original phosphorus. That change is enough to initiate mutation of the DNA that results in tumor or cancer.
The destruction of protons leaves behind electrons that are now unpaired. For example, in lead 210 that has 84 electrons and 84 protons. When decayed, the protons of lead 210 are reduced to 82 protons. The extra two unpaired electrons make for a free radical. These unpaired electrons now seek to stabilize themselves. Each grabs one electron from a molecule that belongs to a tissue. This grabbing is actually an injury inflicted on the tissue. If electrons were grabbed from the DNA, the DNA is injured that results in mutation, then tumor or cancer.
Treatment for leukemia
Leukemia can be treated by stem cell therapy. Stem cells in cord blood are now being used to treat leukemia and other forms of cancer. Leukemia can also be treated with a decoction of chichirica or periwinkle.
Chemotherapy is costly, uncertain, with several side effects. For example, in metastatic Stage IV cancer, bone marrow is taken out from the patient before the administration of chemotherapy. This is stored to be given back (transplanted) to the patient once chemotherapy is completed. This is a way to protect the bone marrow because chemotherapy destroys bone morrow, the producer of blood. However, the bone morrow transplant is not a guarantee for long life. Recovery from a bone morrow transplant is painful and it takes a long time. Life may be prolonged for about eight months to over a year. [I have a Hub on heroines of bone morrow transplant in metastatic (Stage IV) breast cancer versus health maintenance organizations (HMO)].
Drugs used in chemotherapy, like adriamycin, produces a lot of free radicals that destroy the cancer cells. However, the free radicals also destroy the healthy cells in the vicinity of cancer cells (Sharma, H. MD. Freedom from Disease. 1993). That is why this drug initiates another cancer if given in overdose. The caveat is that conventional medicine does not mention about the free radicals that chemotherapy uses. The reason is that conventional medicine does not recognize free radicals as causes of disease.
Stem cell therapy for leukemia does not involve free radicals. The best approach to cancer is prevention.