Skip to comments.Toxicologist Says NAS Panel 'Misled the World' When Adopting Radiation Exposure Guidelines
Posted on 08/14/2013 2:52:40 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter
In two recently published peer-reviewed articles, toxicologist Edward Calabrese of the University of Massachusetts Amherst describes how regulators came to adopt the linear no threshold (LNT) dose-response approach to ionizing radiation exposure in the 1950s, which was later generalized to chemical carcinogen risk assessment.
He also offers further evidence to support his earlier assertions that two geneticists deliberately suppressed evidence to prevent the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) from considering an alternative, threshold model, for which there was experimental support. Calabrese's articles appear in the July 26 and August 4 issues of Archives of Toxicology.
The first of Calabrese's recent articles is a straightforward history of the LNT model for ionizing radiation mutation, a concept accepted by radiation geneticists in the 1950s and recommended by national and international advisory committees for risk assessment and human exposure guidelines and later generalized to chemical carcinogens ever since. It is now used by public health and regulatory agencies worldwide, he notes.
His own career-long research on hormesis, which is a non-linear, threshold-based or biphasic approach to dose-response and risk assessment for ionizing radiation and toxic chemicals, provides evidence that low-dose exposure of some chemicals and ionizing radiation are benign or even helpful. In three "substantial validation tests" of the threshold, hormesis and linear no-threshold models, Calabrese and colleagues say, "only the hermetic (biphasic) dose-response made consistently accurate predictions."
The UMass Amherst toxicologist has argued for many years that a reappraisal of cancer risk assessment methods is urgently needed because the LNT model was incorporated into U.S. regulatory policy based on faulty assumptions and by Muller and Stern's manipulation of the scientific literature.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
Could there be a pattern here?
Secondary cigarette smoke exposure?
Yes it is well worth a read. In short, radiation limits set by regulators are based on a theory that is maliciously incorrect. This has potentially cost the commercial nuclear business billions of dollars alone and therefore increased the cost of nuclear generated electricity.
But much, MUCH bigger than that.
For almost 60 years decisions about “acceptable” levels of radiation and chemical exposures have been based on assumptions, the LNT model, that are almost certainly wrong for many, if not most, exposures.
The LNT is at the root of much of the nanny-state determination to make life “safer” by reducing “pollutants” to levels that get well into the diminishing returns stage. Thus giving them enormous leverage to regulate industry, control people’s lives, etc.
What is most interesting is to get into discussions online about hormesis. People react with shock and horror, like you are proposing legalizing child molestation, at the suggestion that it should even be studied. Very much like the reaction to challenging AGW or suggesting that scientific studies might have something to tell us about differential characteristics of ethnic groups.
The reaction is emotional, not rational, and people don’t want to look, for fear of what they might see. And they don’t want to allow you to look, either.
These are the same people who accuse us of being anti-science.
I’ve often wondered about the claims of a nuclear bomb going off and making the impact area “uninhabitable for centuries”. Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been completely rebuilt and are now stunning cities of success........
Back in the 80s I lived in Los Alamos and had a small business where I worked in people’s homes. Met lots of the old-timers who had actually built the Bombs, from machinists to physicists.
Lots of them complained about how the radiation had messed up their lives. What I always wanted to ask was, “Here it is 40-some years later and you’re still breathing air instead of dirt. It couldn’t have been all THAT harmful.”
But it woulnd’t have been good for business, so never popped that particular question.
I personally believe that the hormesis model (aka J curve) is overwhelmingly supported by the literature and, as the researcher has pointed out previously, small doses of most toxins can be beneficial.
“The reaction is emotional, not rational, and people dont want to look, for fear of what they might see. And they dont want to allow you to look, either.”
I’ve always wondered how the anti-nuke crowd could gather at Ground Zero in Hiroshima for their peace vigils and not die of fright!
BTW, way back when i was in the USMC I was the squadron Nuclear, Biological & Chemical(NBC) warfare officer. When I attended NBC school, my instructor told us that his instructor was married to a Japanese woman who was a one year old infant in a bomb shelter near ground Zero in Hiroshima when they dropped the bomb.
She was a healthy adult and their all kids were normal & healthy.
Selenium is the clearest example of the fallacy of linear no threshold policies.
Above 500-1500 µg/day is toxic (health suffers)
Below 90-50 µg/day, health suffers.
I don’t believe that in 1950, that the limits were set maliciously. Back in the 1950’s they really didn’t know what low level radiation (less then 25 rem) could do because they didn’t have the studies or instruments to accurately gauge it, so they came up with the Linear limits.
However, it probably is true that they could have changed the limits within the last 20 years, but change is near impossible in that industry. One other reason may be because most of the public is stupid about radiation, they knew they would get slaughtered in the media, so they just didn’t try.
Another factor is the entire body's ability to roll with a certain degree of exposure until it gets overwhelmed.
"No threshold" was perfect in theoryif your theory is that radiation represents evil itself. Radiation can be dangerous, but it's just a physical phenomenon. It can be described and measured and managed like any other.
Of course, the proponents do not think that they are being malicious. They simply excuse bad behavior on their part by saying it is for the overall good. Such an excuse can work for anything, including the holocaust.
When I talked to liberal meteorologists about the AGW theory, and said that the science was not good, the response that I recall was “Well, maybe the science is not real good, but it doesn't do any harm. Worse case, we have more money put into green energy and we build more mass transit. The government regulates oil a bit more. All of that is good, so even if the science is not great, there is no harm.”
They tended not to mention the substantial government research grants they were getting related to AGW.
“Progressives” are champions of self deception.
NASA, for example, has a threshold of estimated exposure to cosmic radiation gauged in terms of an astronauts individual lifetime "risk of radiation exposure-induced death," or REID. Once an individual passes a 5 percent lifetime chance of REID, that person is grounded. Ironically, perhaps, an older astronaut has a greater chance of dying from other causes, which is why Shannon Lucid was allowed to spend so long on MIR and ISS. The younger woman who took her record, recently, has Zero Chance of being allowed on a deep space mission, and is conscious of that choice.
What is denied, largely, by the space community is that fact that, using present technology, a round trip to Mars is certain to surpass the five percent limit.
I'm unsure if this proposed change in gauging risk will alter the REID model.
It's popularly believed that deep space travel through the inner solar system is a greater hazard when solar activity is high, but this is not so. At solar max, the interplanetary magnetic field nested in the Sun reduces cosmic ray incidence in the inner solar system by more than 50 percent, and standard aluminum-alloy hulls are very effective against most solar radiation. Those same materials increase the hazard from cosmic radiation, however, sometimes creating a secondary shower from intercepted high-energy cosmic rays inside a spacecraft.
Electro-magnetic shielding would need to begin refracting incoming cosmic rays at least 2000 km away to offer protection from highly energetic cosmic rays, a feat accomplished to a great degree by Earth's dynamic and relatively widespread magnetic field.
Even low-earth orbit, well below the Van Allen belts and well inside Earth's magnetic field has it's weaknesses also, particularly when ISS, for example, orbits over the "South American Anomaly," or SAA, an effectively soft spot, or perhaps a dip, in field lines over southeastern South America and the western South Atlantic, and migrating very slowly westward.
And we haven't even begin talking about Fukishima, etc.
Indeed, the changes proposed would effect a very wide range of activities, including estimating risks for flights over the poles, generating plant safety, radon, etc., etc.
Here is another article along the same lines that is worth reading.
I wonder if this guy can say anything meaningful, like oh, say-—those old radar ranges weren’t really giving people brain tumors? Or Madame Curie didn’t really die from radiation induced leukemia? Or a lifetime exposure of 600 Rems isn’t really fatal? Unless he’s actually proposing a different daily/weekly/monthly radiation limit for industry workers he ought to keep his piehole shut. And if he’s proposing larger exposure limits then I just say: you go first Big Guy. I used to build this stuff and had access to health records of guys in the nuclear trades going back to the earliest days of larger limits. Anyone proposing more liberal exposure limits had better bring a lunch.
I’ve noticed in recent times that the medical guys have adopted the Siefert as their radiation exposure unit of measure. The Siefert is 100 times less sensitive that the Rem. My suspicion is that the smaller resulting number is used to keep from alarming patients. Or there could be some other scam involved but there is absolutely NO reason for a standard/unit different from the industrial/naval one unless confusion is the purpose?
My guess would be it is to cover for the new modern human element. Like for example the following modern human.
So if “Calabrese and colleagues say, “only the hermetic (biphasic) dose-response made consistently accurate predictions,” it’s time to start screaming “THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED” and ignore decades of research by organizations of which the NAS is only one?
John Gofman is “the father of Plutonium” because he helped discover it. He was on the in crowd in the develoment of the nuclear age and did Oppenheim a favor during the early research. He was also a medical doctor. He was happy to invest his life in both medical research and physics. He was highly respected and since he was unique in that he was also a medical doctor, he was asked to head a lab to study the effects on human health. Everything was going great - the father of plutonium was studying the physical effects of radiation on people. Until he discovered through his medical research that there’s no safe limit. Then suddenly he was despised. He had no motive for reporting information that flew in the face of some of his accomplishments (physics). He and other researchers were attacked and derided. TO this day it’s known that any researcher who wants to individually research the effects of low level radiation is voted “most likely to be stripped of funding and have their reputation destroyed” because that’s the only way to “settle the science” - shut researches up.
I see alot of wishful thinking on this thread. Atomic bombs are, ironically, cleaner than Fukushima and Chernobyl type events. Noting that Hiroshima is a nice place now doesn’t address the nice people who bore the gentic damage from that explosion or the fact that comparing Hiroshima to FUkushima - it’s obvious there was less deposition of radiation and it attenuated more rapidly on a year by year comparison.
Instead of arguing about Hiroshima, why not check out the Chernobyl region today? People are still dying of radiation related illnesses there today - no need to debate 70 year old atomic bomb stats when large portions of the Ukraine are contaminated and there’s no place to put the people who live there - it’s an ongoing medical experiment which does not rely on history.
Beta radiation is blocked by skin, not the more harmful gamma. Also, it doesn’t help to compare external radiation to internal irradiation - the latter is much more harmful and sun block won’t help.
Aside from independent research supporting in the LNT model, there’s the problem of hormesis. WHy didn’t low doses turn out better in Gofman’s research and that of many others?
For those who refute the LNT theory, there’s still the problem with dosing -it accumulates - so accumulated dose makes you ill, doesn’t matter if it’s slowly accumulated. The threshold is reached regardless. Why do you think dentists and other medical professionals have you sign a waver stating that tiny doses increase your risk of getting cancer, albeit by tiny amounts. Why do those who support a threshhold theory believe that anyone knows how to stay below the threshold. Right now - what is your cummulative dose? How much more exposure should you have to stay under that imaginary safe threshold? With fukushima making it’s way into the food chain and air and water, it’s even harder (impossible) than it was before (impossible) for anyone to know where they stood medically in relation to their threshold. Or do you have a running tally of all the little medical exposures (dental, xrays, airport scanners) as well as a solid, reliable estimate of other forms of radiation you’ve been exposed to? And how much has your local nuke plant contributed to your approach to your “threshold”? They are legally permitted to release radioactive gasses on the claims that the releases are below safe limits? How much have you accumulated? With every little exposure comes a proportionate increase in risk.
I think it’s a safe guess that this OP’s groundbreaking research is yet another PR attempt by the nuke industry.
For those who don’t agree with me, please explain why cancer clusters like this one have been found in other countries, including the US? (the us was breast cancer clusters around nuke plants)
“In 1992, the German Childhood Cancer Registry found a statistically significant increased incidence rate for leukaemias among children below five years of age within the 5-km-zone around nuclear sites. A second study was published in 1997, and again found increased childhood leukaemias near nuclear plants.”
Are nuke plants emitting radioactive gasses (offgassing - permitted by the government) at too high a rate? Shouldn’t we do something about nuke plants then? Or are nuke plants actually only releasing radioactive gasses according to policy (the claim is that they are low doses, safe for life) and that low doses are causing illnesses like breast cancer and leukemia? These two particular illnesses have significant research by Gofman and others showing that exposure to low levels of ionizing radiation can cause them.
No - this latest PR attempt doesn’t impress me. I’ll read and learn more about it. But I won’t seize strategically on someone espousing hormesis and start shrieking that THIS is the only theory we should ever listen to and all others are evil people who hate the innocent nuke power industry who brought us chernobyl and TMI and Fukushima and there’s probably something behind the claims that China has a major “incident” with one of it’s reactors too. (ok more than one but I am being fair). I keep seeing this with nuke power, claim all science is a conspiracy of lies except that which the nuke industry smiles on.
The poor widdle nuclear power industry is not discriminated against - it has behaved with malice toward the human population, refuses to accept responsibilty, today pretends that Fukushima is old news when the plant has actually been venting radioactive gasses into the air and dumping radioactive waste in to the ocean (mass quantities) every day for almost 3 years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future -t here’s no way to stop it and the nuke power plant never had a plan to deal with something like this other than to ridicule those who warned it could happen. There’s alot of fuel in jeopardy in Fukushima. I hope for the best but with a deceptive and incompetent nuclear power plan entirely silent on the issue and busy shrieking about hormesis, I am not optimistic.
Yes, the beginning of junk science in the US.
Also, many survived being underground within a half mile of the explosion. ducking under desks which is made fun of would also help.
I assume you are talking about a sievert. A sievert is not "100 times less sensitive than the rem" anymore than a kilometer is 1000 times less sensitive than a meter.
Speaking VERY anecdotaly...
I remember as a child being confidently told that the half-life of an Atomic Bomb was 10,000 years, and that nothing would ever grow either in Hiroshima or Bikini Atoll, and that both places would be uninhabitable for centuries.
When a dear friend of my late husband’s came home after diving the wrecks at Bikini, I was certain he would glow in the dark...he didn’t, and will probably out live me!
And as a current email points out, Hiroshima looks a lot better now than Detroit.
I am sure that Radiation is a danger, but the model that was drummed into my dear little ears never materialized.
I asked Bert the Turtle and he said this was BS !....:o)
If I ain’t got at least 500-750 mrem by the 4th of July each year it’s miraculous ....time, distance and shielding.....time, distance and shielding ....
Same deal with Cholesterol... if you do not consume enough of it, your body will produce the homone.
Radiation hormesis is just one type. You can blame Linus Pauling for much of the falsehood about hormesis.
He also studied DDT, IIRC, and it has positive health benefits in mice.
So I asked the Radiation-therapist how they make the radiation. “Do you have a hunk of plutonium in there”
“No” She said, “The Linear Accelerator uses photons”.
I said, “Photons...that’s light”
I know the radiation can burn you, but I thought it causes cancer.
It’s real dangerous if you happen to be a tumor.
Science is not a friend of the government.
After all, one has to have ability to do science.
Real science, that is.
We don’t need no Yucca Mountain! We can just dump all that waste right into the Ocean. And just think! People will live to be 200.
I think they could also use some of that material to make soap. It would be so good for the skin.
In fact we could solve all of our problems if we could just spread a little more radiation around.
You are sadly mistaken.
You provided inane cliches, but no thought.
You chattered nonsense with juvenile sarcasm.
You’ve been duped.
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