2006_9_health_fish.jpgWell, maybe not. But parts of it areradioactive. AM New York tells of a secret program conducted by the Department of Energy which had federal helicopters surveying the city to look for areas with abnormal radiation activity. This was in order to help the NYPD prepare in case a "dirty bomb" or other radiation-based weapon was ever deployed in New York. The survey discovered 80 radiological "hot spots" around the city with a particularly unusual hot spot in the Great Kills park in Staten Island.

The point of the program is to record pre-existing hot beds of radiation and establish a baseline so that new radiation sources could be identified quickly. This is alarming news but the NYPD assures us that the hot spots are no real threat with the highest readings coming from hospitals where nuclear medicine departments store significant quantities of the radioactive stuff. But the high levels in Staten Island have baffled the government, leading to a sequestering of the region in question. Studies based on the radiation exposure from Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Chernobyl have been used to establish just how dangerous exposure may be to humans. The most worrisome outcomes include cancers of the thyroid, lung, and breast and leukemia. Babies who were exposed to radiation in-utero have also been seen to have higher rates of cancers and birth defects.