A new study shows that the parts of the U.S. that are 40 miles or less from nuclear power plants have higher levels of radioactive strontium-90 than other areas. Strontium-90 collects in bones and tissues and increases the risk of cancer and leukemia.

Gary Stoller writes in USA Today that the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP) compared over 2,000 baby teeth from areas near two nuclear plants in Florida and plants in California, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania with baby teeth from other places in the same states and found higher strontium-90 levels in the teeth of people living near nuclear plants.

The EPA says everyone is exposed to small amounts of strontium-90, because it was widely dispersed by above-ground nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and 1960s. It was also released into the environment by French and Chinese nuclear tests between 1970 and 1980 and by the Chernobyl accident in 1986.

The RPHP says they were surprised to find that strontium-90 levels are steadily rising, after decades of decline. Baby teeth of children born in 1994 to 1997 had a 50% higher strontium-90 concentration than those from children born in 1986 to 1989. But strontium-90 levels should be dropping because above-ground atomic bomb tests were stopped decades ago, and even underground testing stopped 12 years ago. The reprocessing of nuclear fuels stopped in the late 1970s. Their study says, “The only other source of strontium-90 that can explain this steady and dramatic rise in the 1990s is emissions from nuclear power reactors.”

Some researchers think that fooling around with nuclear energy is what attracted ETs here in the first place.

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