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A recent study at Duke University has confirmed the presence of elevated levels of a radioactive isotope in the blood of young US military veterans undergoing treatment in the hospital in Puerto Rico, Reuters reports:
The study, published in the journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, was based on blood samples from 11 children between the ages of 1 and 5 who had been treated at the San Juan Veterans Administration Medical Center in the wake of Hurricane Maria in early September, which made it the epicenter of the US territorial damage in the Caribbean.
The study’s lead author said the levels of radioactivity in some of the children were nearly 100 times higher than the average in Puerto Rico. The radiation levels were more than three times higher in children who had come into contact with other children who were less likely to develop long-lasting effects from the radiation, such as cancer.
“These results are very concerning. As a parent, you want your child receiving the best care possible before they become a veteran,” said Richard Auerbach, PhD, professor and director of Duke’s Environmental Radiation Laboratory.
It was only because of the “unprecedented” level of radiation exposure that the children were diagnosed, he added.
The children came from the region where the island’s power plant was destroyed by the hurricane, Auerbach said.
A Texas mother had one last chance to plead guilty to child abuse and avoid a four-year sentence Monday, but she didn’t have a second chance.
Mia Aveline, 29, was convicted of third degree murder of her 2-year-old son, Noah Aveline, after a jury in Fort Worth heard the chilling details of what transpired in the days leading up to his death.
Aveline’s boyfriend, Jacob Walker, killed Noah in June 2013, when the toddler was just a month old. According to Walker, Noah had an asthma attack, went limp and woke up to find his father’s truck and a rifle gun slung over it.
The jury heard that the two men drove to a wooded area, where Aveline and Walker hid on top of a
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