About three and a half years ago an uncle of mine was diagnosed with vascular dementia which has grown progressively worse. The last time I saw my uncle was in October 2016, when he and my aunty came over to France for a visit. Then in his early 80s, my uncle is a tall man who’s physically very fit for someone that age. One day my mother and aunty went out on a shopping expedition and I volunteered to look after my uncle, who couldn’t be left on his own. I cooked my uncle a big fry-up, because he has always had a hearty appetite. As we sat there in the kitchen my uncle just about remembered who I was, but he didn’t know my mother (his sister-in-law), and whilst he remembered my aunty he didn’t know that she was his wife. By early 2017 my uncle’s dementia had got so bad that he had to go into a care home. My aunty just couldn’t cope with it anymore.
My uncle is just one statistic in what is now a worldwide epidemic of dementia. That link I’ve just given suggests that dementia is caused by lifestyle, because it’s quite prevalent in the western world, but it’s also very prevalent in the developing world, particularly parts of south east Asia. This haphazard incidence rate can also be found in the corresponding cancer epidemic. You’ll know where I’m going with this when I say that cancer was a rare disease before the nuclear age. Radiation has its biggest effect on the auto immune system, and cancer is the disease that will spring to most people’s mind; but there’s lots of other diseases that result from a compromised immune system, such as arthritis, diabetes and heart disease (if interested do a search for ‘Chernobyl heart’). There’s now a growing body of research which says that certain forms of dementia are caused by radiation, and it’s long been known that dementia is linked to a compromised immune system. NASA have acknowledged the radiation – dementia link for years now.
Since the Trinity test in 1945 thousands and thousands of nuclear bombs have been tested. Then there’s all the nuclear ‘accidents’, such as Fukushima, which at the time of writing has been continuously spewing radiation into the environment for six and a half years and may well be an extinction event. Radiation is invisible. You can’t see it, you can’t smell it, you can’t taste it. If you could see it, and you looked out of your window, there would be a smog, like those photographs of polluted Chinese cities. Here’s part of a speech that John F Kennedy gave in 1960…
“It is true that the amount of radiation created by bomb tests so far offers no serious threat to the well-being or existence of mankind as a whole. But it is also true that there is no amount of radiation so small that it has no ill effects at all on anybody. There is actually no such thing as a minimum permissible dose. Perhaps we are talking about only a very small number of individual tragedies – the number of atomic age children with cancer, the new victims of leukemia, the damage to skin tissues here and reproductive systems there – perhaps these are too small to measure with statistics. But they nevertheless loom very large indeed in human and moral terms.
Radiation, in its simplest terms – figuratively, literally and chemically – is poison. Nuclear explosions in the atmosphere are slowly but progressively poisoning our air, our earth, our water and our food. And it falls, let us remember, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, on all peoples of all lands, regardless of their political ideology, their way of life, their religion or the color of their skin. Beneath this bombardment of radiation which man has created, all men are indeed equal.”
John F. Kennedy, 1960