Below we reproduce Chapter 5 of "Wasted Lives: Radioactive Poisoning in Bukit Merah" for our readers. It shows the many ill-effects of low-level radiation and its impacts on the residents in Bukit Merah.
What is frightening about radiation is that you cannot see it, feel it, hear it or taste it. You do not have to get into the area of a radioactive dump, dig the soil, bathe in it, or throw it over your head to get hurt.
In general, patients undergoing radiological and nuclear examinations receive no, very little, or inaccurate information regarding the risks involved. Take, for example, the CT Scans and X-rays. They are so common that they are used as if they don’t pose any risk.
The total number of imaging examinations (use of nuclear and X-rays), for instance, account for 2 billion per year. Angiograms are performed routinely by cardiologists; radioisotope studies are common; the use of contrast mediums like iodine is also routine and now we have the Helical CT Scans which carry a high risk of cancer or death.
Water fluoridation was discontinued in 1989 by the then Sabah State Government which feared that inadequate supervision in the process of adding fluoride to the water could cause adverse effects. It is reported that the imminent water fluoridation project is under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) with an allocation of RM2.5 million.
By Gar Smith
You can use the latest toothpaste
And then wash out your mouth
With industrial waste."