Annotated Secondary Bibliography – DW

Project Site: How the Media portrayed Three Mile Island (TMI) Health Issues

Source 1: New York Times

Title: Study of TMI Accident Finds Negligible Increase in Cancer


Date: SEPT. 1, 1990

Page: N.P

This article discusses the scientist’s findings on the TMI Power Plant in Pennsylvania 1979’s accident as well as its role on the rise in cancer rates within its 10-mile radius. The researchers found no convincing evidence that the accident had anything to do with the increase in cancer cases whereby around 160,000 individuals within the plant’s 10-mile radius were diagnosed with the condition. The research was conducted by the National Audubon Society and the Columbia University’s School of Public Health. It confirmed the 1985 report from the Pennsylvania State Health Department regarding the role of the power plant accident to rising cases of cancer. The article also looks at several critics who describe the study as “misleading.” It also discusses the limitation of the research as well as the role of the power plant in rising cancer rate including low radiation exposure. This article is essential in explaining how the media portrayed the accident’s role in increasing cases of cancer as well as the study limitations.

Source 5: American Journal of Public Health

Title: Effect of Pregnancy during TMI Crisis on Mothers’ Mental Health and Their Child’s Development

Author: NA

Date: March 1991

Page: 2

This article on the American Journal of Public Health involves a research orchestrated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to evaluate the long term psychological and physical impacts of the TMI plant incident on the women and children. The data was collected from the mothers regarding the perception of the development and health of the child as well as the mother’s mental health. The research involved control cohorts of 7,433 women participants to the study. The women gave birth during the two years after the TMI incident. This research was conducted five years following the accident, and it concluded that those who were pregnant during the incident were “highly disrupted” concerning their pregnancies compared to women who became a pregnant rater. They also indicated that their children’s health and psychological well being was weaker compared to those who became pregnant afterwards. This article is essential in the evaluation of the health and development process of both the mothers and children who were within the 10-mile radius during the accident. The study can help researchers and medical health professionals in analyzing the children psychological problems as well as the mother’s anxiety and depressions.


Title: Dispositional and Situational Variables Related to Evacuation at Three Mile Island

Author: Ian Miller, PhD

Date: May 1981

Page: 122

This dissertation study was conducted by Iran Miller to explore factors that would influence the Pennsylvanian community in remaining or evacuating the Three-Mile area during the march, 1979 nuclear power accident. The study involved the individual’s behavioral dispositions to avoid or attend the threatening stimuli. The respondent’s income, age, education levels, occupation were also gathered and analyzed with regard to the study. The study did not find any support for the hypothesized relationships between the dispositions and evacuation relative to the threat. The study also discussed the situational characteristics related to evacuation with regard to the individual’s awareness of the dangers before staying or evacuating. This article is essential because it will help in analyzing the strategy for the maximum evacuation from the potential disaster sites in the future. It will also help in evaluating the necessary needed support for the communities living within areas that are prone to disasters.