There is no evidence that radiation emissions during the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island affected the health of area residents, an independent study released today concludes.
The study by Columbia University scientists said there was no sign that the radiation caused leukemia or childhood cancer among people living within 10 miles of the plant. Those illnesses are more sensitive to low-level radiation than other diseases and are the first to appear after exposure, the scientists said in a briefing several miles from the nuclear plant near Harrisburg.
The findings were published today in the American Journal of Epidemiology. They match the conclusions of a 1985 report, released by the state Health Department, that found no evidence of increased cancer in a 20-mile radius.
In the latest study, Columbia epidemiologists Mervyn Susser and Maureen Hatch studied the health records of 160,000 residents of 69 areas within the 10-mile radius. They also compared cancer rates between 1975 and 1985.