Environment News Service

STATISTICS LINK INFANT MORTALITY, NEW JERSEY NUCLEAR PLANTS

AmeriScan: June 15, 1999

A new study has found statistical connections between the two Salem Nuclear Plants in New Jersey and infant mortality in Salem County from the time the reactors first went on-line until at least the early 1990s. In 13 of 16 years since 1977, while infant death rates were going down in the rest of New Jersey, infant death rates were going up in Salem County. However, in 1994 through 1996 when the Salem plants were largely or completely shutdown, infant death rates were lower than the 1977 levels. Similar results are also found on the rate of stillborn children, said study author Joseph Mangano, research associate with the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP), a nonprofit educational and scientific organization established by scientists and physicians dedicated to understanding the relationships between low-level nuclear radiation and public health. "This startling finding is one more reason why the Salem Nukes should be shut down," said Norm Cohen, coordinator for the UNPLUG Salem Campaign of the Coalition for Peace and Justice. Cohen urged New Jersey families to send their children’s baby teeth to Operation Tooth Fairy, an RPHP program using teeth from around the country to help gauge radiation exposures in different locations.

© Environment News Service (ENS) 1999. All Rights Reserved.