Radiation released in a 1979 accident at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island nuclear power plant may have raised cancer rates of residents living downwind, according to a study published today.
A 1990 study said the accident was not responsible for slightly higher cancer rates near the area because the radiation release was low. This study said radiation doses may have been higher than thought. It said lung cancer and leukemia rates downwind of the reactor were 2 to 10 times higher than upwind rates.
The study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was published in Environmental Health Perspectives, the journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
“I would be the first to say that our study doesn’t prove by itself that there were high-level radiation exposures, but it is part of a body of evidence that is consistent with high exposures,” Steven Wing, the study’s chief researcher said.