Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How Nuclear Power Devastates Human Health!

Well, it doesn't.  So why this podcast title?

"Dr. Wladimir Wertelecki on birth defects caused by Chernobyl and how nuclear power devastates human health"

It's Helen Caldicott's podcast, that's why.

Here's Helen Caldicott interviewing Wladimir Wertelecki about his work in Chernobyl, particularly this paper.  At least Wertelecki is essentially honest, he points out that there might be other potential causes of the birth defects he observed.  He even acknowledges that his study was not epidemiological (because it suffered from the ecologic fallacy, he doesn't say that, but it does).

BEIR VII (2006) addressed the heritable effects of radiation including epidemiological studies around Chernobyl, and included other data to conclude a doubling dose of heritable effects of about 0.5%/Gy for all classes of disease.

A 2008 paper which reviewed ICRP 103 (2007, Wrixon, Journal Of Radiological Protection, 2008) ) said:

"Regarding the risks to embryo and foetus, ICRP has essentially confirmed the position that it
took previously, which is that at doses under 100 mGy, lethal effects in the pre-implantation
period of embryonic developments will be very infrequent. As far as the induction of
malformations is concerned, ICRP judges that there is a true dose-threshold of around 100 mGy.
As far as severe mental retardation is concerned, it supports a dose-threshold of at least
300 mGy during the most sensitive pre-natal period (8–15 weeks post-conception). It also
concludes that any effects on IQ following in utero exposure to less than 100 mGy would be of
no practical significance and judges that the life-time cancer risk following exposure
will be similar to that following irradiation in early childhood, i.e. at most, about three times
that of the population as a whole."

The UNSCEAR 2010 report on health effects concluded similar heritable risk as BEIR VII.

Dr. Wertelecki discusses many malformative diseases (at the urging of Caldicott), but that still doesn't mean any excess was caused by the excess radiation.

He compares radioactivity to a vibrator (not the sexual tool), which is a bit odd.  He says radiation dosimetry is a bit funny, because different isotopes accumulate in different parts of the body (meaning that the dosimetry doesn't account for this) but he doesn't seem to realize we account for that as well as the different radiations emitted by different isotopes.

For some reason Wertelecki has fixated on Sr-90.  He mentions that it is hard to detect, which is true, because it is a pure beta emitter.  It has to be radiochemically separated out from its medium to get good detection capability.

He and Caldicott talk about certain health effects being ignored by the responsible scientific bodies, but as I've just pointed out above, they don't.  Why are these two pediatricians willfully ignorant?

Wertelecki brings up genomic instability which is the influence on part of the genome by other genes or epigenetic causes.  BEIR VII discusses this at length, search for the term using the link I provided.

I think Wertelecki just about gave Caldicott cerebral damage when he said coal power plants emit more radiation than nuclear plants.  HA!  HA!

Funny how she reached the end of her time just then!!!  HA!

Of course, "as doctors", to quote Caldicott, neither of them mentioned that medical radiation exposure is excessive in the U.S.

Maybe, they should familiarize themselves with the Image Gently campaign.

1 comment: