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Ali RosenDec 4, 2017, 7:08 pmDec 5, 2017, 10:59 am

Researcher-activist claims spike in thyroid cancer rates in NY due to Indian Point

Research funded by Radiation and Public Health Project suggests link between radiation emissions, increase in cancer rates

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MANHATTAN — A new study done sponsored by the nonprofit Radiation and Public Health Project suggests that a spike in thyroid cancer rates in four counties surrounding the plant are due to radiation emitted from the site.

Researcher-activist Joseph Mangano called for the immediate closure of Indian Point, citing the research as evidence that the Buchannan plant has caused health issues for Rockland, Westchester, Putnam and Orange residents.

“Indian point routinely emits radioactive isotopes into the air and water. These isotopes are known to cause cancer and, specifically, they release radioactive iodine 131, which is a known marker for thyroid cancer,” environmental lawyer Susan Shapiro said.

Susan Shapiro says Entergy has a license to operate through 2024 but hopes it sticks with its plan of closing in 2021 or sooner.

According to the study done by researcher Mangano, the rate for thyroid cancer in this area was 22 percent below the U.S. average when the plant was first built in the 1970s.

Since then, Mangano says, that percentage has increased dramatically.

“[B]y the 2000s, it has now reached 53 percent above the U.S. average,” Mangano said,

His research shows that in the late '70s, there were 51 new thyroid cancer cases each year. Today, that number is 412 within the four counties.

“We found a correlation here which suggests a cause and effect between the releases from Indian Point and local thyroid cancer,” he said.

In response to this research, Entergy Spokesman Jerry Nappi said: "Joe Mangano's research has regularly been labeled junk-science and criticized and discredited by legitimate scientists and government public health officials across the nation. The claims made today are by a group that is first and foremost opposed to nuclear power."

While the death rate for thyroid cancer is low and is fairly curable, the number of people being diagnosed across the country is increasing. And three-quarters of those patients are women.

Joanne DeVito shared her story of raising four children in Rockland, later learning that she and her three daughters would develop thyroid cancer.

“It's an awful, awful disease. They say it's a good cancer. I don't find it so good. It can metastasize like in my daughter's case,” DeVito said.

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