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March 4th, 2008
There are three things that determine the toxicity of radioactive materials:
Chemical effects - Uranium is chemically very toxic.
Radioactive effects (includes half-life and energy released) - One gram of DU (1/20th of a cubic centimeter) releases 13,000 alpha particles a second. One alpha particle can cause cancer under the right conditions and certainly it has the capacity to wreck havoc in beta cells and everywhere else.
Particle size - in the nanoparticle range (diameter of 0.1 microns or smaller) the particulate effect (non-specific catalyst or enzyme) is far more biologically toxic than the first two effects. This is why DU is so devastating (See extensive notes on this in the reference section).
Type Two Diabetes is an increasingly prevalent disease in the world, especially the United States, where the number of new patients grew 49% between 1991 and 2000.
The Chernobyl incident was a major humanitarian disaster, which has resulted in a plethora of health problems that are still far from being fully recognized. Most studies analyzing the medical consequences of this catastrophe have so far focused on diseases such as thyroid cancer, leukemia, immune and autoimmune pathology, even though an increase in the incidence of Type 1 diabetes mellitus, a disorder involving the immune system, was observed within the residential population of Hiroshima among survivors of the atom bomb detonation. Studies have also shown that thymectomy and a sub-lethal dose of gamma radiation induces Type 1 diabetes in rats.
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