In Japan, Pregnant Women Have Double the Reason to Dodge Radiation

Source: Time Healthland

Link: in-japan-pregnant-women-have-doubly-good-reason-to-dodge-radiation

 

 

When Kathryn Higley, head of the department of nuclear engineering and radiation health physics at Oregon State University, learned she was pregnant years ago, she immediately informed her supervisor, who outfitted her with a fetal dosimeter, an iPod-sized personal radiation monitoring system, to attach to her belly.

In the U.S., pregnant women who work in a nuclear facility can be exposed to 50 millirem per month — or about 500 millirem over the course of a full-term pregnancy. “At that level,” says Higley, “nothing will happen to the fetus.”

But the fluctuating levels of radiation near the malfunctioning Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear reactors could be more of a cause for concern for unborn babies and young children, who appear to be at greater risk because their cells multiply more rapidly than adults’. In pregnant women, radiation passes via the mother’s blood to the fetus through the umbilical cord. Radiation can also accumulate near the uterus — in the mother’s bladder, for example — and affect the fetus. (More on Time.comJapan’s Next Nightmare: Health Problems from Radiation Exposure)

The information coming out of Japan changes so frequently that it’s difficult to pin down a specific level of radiation that residents are exposed to; in any case, levels vary from place to place.

Earlier this week, Higley heard a report of 800 millirem at the nuclear plant’s boundary. But taking into account the 12-mile evacuation zone, she says the risk is probably not even as great as the 50 millirems per month that a pregnant nuclear-facility employee is allowed to absorb.

“For convenience, we assume any radiation dose gives us an increased risk of cancer,” says Higley. “But a dose of 10,000 millirem increases the lifetime cancer risk between 1/2 to 1%.” (In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the typical lifetime cancer risk at up to 50%.)

Yet in areas experiencing high concentrations of radiation, says Higley, “there is no question that really elevated levels do affect the embryo and fetus.”

For that reason, pregnant women and parents of little kids would be wise to heed advisories regarding evacuation zones. Newly pregnant women are particularly vulnerable. They may not even be aware they’re pregnant, yet inside their bodies, the dividing ball of cells, called a blastocyst, is extremely sensitive. (More on Time.comRadiation Exposure: Fast Facts About Thyroid Cancer and Other Health Risks)

“Early on, any radiation dose at the blastocyst stage is an all-or-nothing event,” says Higley, meaning the blastocyst is thought to either recover and continue growing or miscarry.

According to Duke University’s Radiation Safety Division, rapidly dividing tissues — an embryo or fetus is a good example — are more sensitive to radiation. “Therefore, one could infer that the human fetus, because of its rapid progression from a single cell to a formed organism in nine months, is more sensitive to radiation than the adult,” states a one-page explainer called “A Perspective on Risk to the Fetus from Ionizing Radiation.”

Possible side effects include miscarriage, birth defects, mental retardation and childhood cancers such as leukemia. Poor outcomes are largely related not only to dosage but to a woman’s stage of pregnancy at the time of exposure; first and second trimesters are of the most concern.

At fetal doses less than 1,000 millirem, according to Duke, there is no evidence of harm. Doses between 1,000 millirem and 10,000 millirem incur a low risk of problems, while doses over 10,000 millirem may be linked to lower IQ, retardation and poor academic achievement. (More on Time.comRadiation May Be a Greater Cancer Risk for Adults Than Doctors Thought)

This week, the New York Times published an email from Douglas Almond, a Columbia University economist who researched the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster, in which he worries that the Japanese government is not adequately protecting pregnant women.

Almond’s research, published in 2009 in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, examined Chernobyl fallout in Sweden, where radiation levels were considered safe. He wrote:

While this has been largely confirmed in subsequent studies, there is one important exception: children in utero at the time of the accident. Swedish students who were in utero during the accident experienced significantly lower cognitive function, as reflected in performance on standardized tests in middle school, especially those tests that correspond best to IQ.

The damage was greatest for cohorts in utero in regions of Sweden that received more fallout by virtue of rainfall during the time the radioactive plume was over Sweden, and were of gestational age 8-25 weeks at the time of the accident. This last finding mirrors earlier epidemiological analysis of the survivors of Atomic bombings in Japan, which found reduced IQ and head circumference among the cohort exposed to radiation at those gestation ages.

Bottom line: if you’re pregnant and living near the reactor, steer clear of the contamination zone — and then some.

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LITTLE BORACAY BEACH RESORT

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Little Boracay Beach Resort at Sta. Maria, Davao del Sur.

Contact person, Ms. Joyce Mariscal +63917-706-0005.

For more information, check out this link:

Little Boracay Beach Resort: Your Next Adventure Awaits

 

Photos by Pipeline Productions.

PORTFOLIO: JAPAN

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All photographs taken by Tating during her trip to Japan on 23 January until 09 February 2011.

White House backs online ‘privacy bill of rights’

Source: Yahoo! News

Link: White House backs online \’privacy bill of rights\’

 

The White House urged Congress on Wednesday to approve a “consumer privacy bill of rights” to govern the collection and use of personal data on the Internet.

Assistant Commerce Secretary Lawrence Strickling called for the legislation at a hearing on online privacy held by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

“The administration urges Congress to enact a ‘consumer privacy bill of rights’ to provide baseline consumer data privacy protections,” he said.

Strickling said authority to enforce privacy protections should be given to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), whose chairman, Jon Leibowitz, has advocated a “Do Not Track” mechanism that would allow Internet users to opt out of having their activities monitored.

“The large-scale collection, analysis, and storage of personal information is becoming more central to the Internet economy,” said Strickling, the White House’s top communications policy advisor.

“These activities help to make the online economy more efficient and companies more responsive to their customer needs,” he said.

“Yet these same practices also give rise to growing unease among consumers, who are unsure about how data about their activities and transactions are collected, used, and stored,” Strickling said.

In his opening statement, committee chairman Senator Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat from West Virginia, said it was time for Congress to act.

“There is an online privacy war going on, and without help, consumers will lose,” Rockefeller said. “We must act to give Americans the basic online privacy protections they deserve.

“Self-regulation, by and large, has been a failed experiment,” he said. “The majority of consumers are uncomfortable being tracked online and it is time the law gave Americans a choice in the matter.”

Senator John Kerry, the former Democratic presidential candidate from Massachusetts, said he is already drafting online privacy legislation and the “status quo cannot stand.”

“We cannot continue to allow the collectors of people’s information to dictate the level of privacy protection Americans get when they engage in commerce,” Kerry said.

Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri, questioned, however, whether privacy controls might have a chilling effect on online advertising and Internet commerce.

“What is the cost going to be in terms of the economic vibrancy of the Internet?” she asked. “How will we draw the line between what kind of behavioral marketing is fair and what kind of behavioral market invades privacy?”

“I just think we have to be very careful about the unintended consequences,” McCaskill continued. “I just want to make sure that we don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg here under the very laudable goal of privacy.”

“The sky won’t fall down on Internet commerce,” replied the FTC’s Leibowitz, who also addressed the committee. “It’s going to continue.

“And indeed, if consumers have more trust in the Internet there’s going to be more business on the Internet too,” Leibowitz said.

“We think most consumers don’t mind being tracked,” he added. “We just think they should have the option of opting out of that tracking.”

Strickling said the Obama administration had found “a strong level of support among industry” to create the privacy protections and proposed “working with all stakeholders to develop appropriate codes.”

“We think we can get to a regime that will greatly improve privacy for consumers and still meet the needs of businesses who want to continue to see the growth of the Internet,” he said.

The Center for Democracy & Technology welcomed the Obama administration’s call for online privacy legislation.

“This is a historic announcement, marking the first time the White House has called for a baseline consumer privacy bill,” CDT president Leslie Harris said.

Dog in Japan stays by the side of its ailing friend in the rubble

Oprah Winfrey

The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.

SERENITY

 

There’s a certain sense of serenity which overflows in the rivers of our hearts.

There’s a certain sense of serenity when it overflows beyond the confines of our intentions.

That serenity, the overflow…  Can be found…  Felt…  In you.

 

I have always believed that each of us was made for a destined purpose,

A purpose far reaching than what books and the past could prepare us all.

I have always believed that each of us was fatefully destined to change lives, to make lives better.

That destiny, that glaring sense of purpose…  Glows…  In you.

 

A fate, a growing sense of being able to make a difference, to really make a difference,

When you heal the wounds of your patients through your skilled hands,

And touch their lives through your empathic heart.

 

A fate, a relentless sense of being able to make a difference, to really make a difference,

When you spontaneously give more than you could to your family,

And diligently care for them without expecting anything in return.

 

A fate, an incessant sense of being able to make a difference, to really make a difference,

When you unselfishly succor to your friends and colleagues in the profession,

And graciously help them in every possible way you can.

 

A fate, a surging sense of being able to make a difference, to really make a difference,

When you unguardedly opened your heart and who you are to a complete stranger,

Vulnerabilities and all included.

 

In a rare feat of distance defying usual circumstances,

I have been given the privilege to be shone with the brightest glimmer of that serenity.

A glimmer encompassing the many things which make life beautiful,

Flourishing through an incandescent luster with each passing moment.

 

A serene glimmer which I have been granted the honor to see, to know,

And to appreciate…  The person behind the scrub suit,

The individual behind the illustrious name ending with an M.D.,

The human being that is Inday to her family,

The human being that is Dokie to me,

The human being unknown perhaps to many…

 

The one who…

Earnestly works for the safety of her patients even if she herself needs medical care.

Personally attends to the well-being of her patients even amidst uncalled for times of the day.

Pitifully weighing what cost to charge even if the service given calls for so much more.

 

The one who…

Never fails to give hope that a pot of gold is waiting at the end of the interminable rainbow.

Never loses the zest to improve in her chosen craft and brazenly swim unchartered waters.

Never ceases to make others feel that they deserve all the time she gives them in this busy world.

 

The one who…

Sensitively knows when to give even before someone could ask for it.

Unselfishly shares whatever she can even to the extent of sacrificing her needs.

Voluntarily performs tasks even if the same has already taken its toll on her.

 

The one who…

Forgives…  Forgives…  And forgives some more.

Who swallowed the person she thought she was for the relationships she value most.

Who gave second, third, and fourth chances to save relationships.

Who has given more than she could…

And more than she is willing to take to prove the importance of relationships.

 

The one who…

Bickers and bickers me just to change the serious look on my face.

Bickers and bickers me some more to test the limits of my lengthy patience.

Bickers and bickers me more, more and so much more, like any genuine friend would.

That’s who she is to me, for me, and to the ones closest to her heart.

 

Happy 32nd Birthday Dokie Marlu!

May that serenity continue to glow in you and radiate way beyond the lives you presently touch.

I have been so blessed to be shimmered with its ray…

 


Note: The above message is part of a framed photograph gift I gave to Marie Lou L. Gallego, M.D. on 17 September 2010 on the occasion of her 32nd birthday.

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