Welcome to the RIB Joint. A blog discussing science issues with an emphasis on health physics and agnotology.
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Re Stewart Brand's appalling misinformation re LNT, readers might like to consider the following:1. "The radiobiology/radiation protection interface in Healthcare" (Martin et al, 2009), published by the Journal of Radiological Protection and available at the Institute of Physics website."The 21st L H Gray conference gathered leading experts in radiobiology, radiation epidemiology, radiation effect modelling, and the application of radiation in medicineEpidemiological evidence from the Japanese A-bomb survivors provides strong evidence that there is a linear relationship between the excess risk of cancer and organ dose that extends from about 50 mSv up to 2.5 Sv, and results from pooled data for multiple epidemiological studies indicate that risks extend down to doses of 20 mSv. Thus linear extrapolation of the A-bomb dose-effect data provides an appropriate basis for radiological protection standards at the present time.....Another area of study which is relevant when considering carcinogenic effects at low doses is the induction of childhood leukaemia in children radiographed in utero with doses of 10-20 mSv (Stewart et al 1956, Knox et al 1987). These studies provide further evidence that effects do occur at doses down to 10 or 20 mSv.......Data from the UK, USA and Canada have been combined to give results for 95 000 radiation workers who received a mean individual cumulative dose of 40 mSv (Cardis et al 1995) and data from 15 countries pooled to give 400 000 workers with a mean cumulative dose of 19.4 mSv (Cardis et al 2005b). Results from both studies indicate an excess relative risk of leukaemia that is statistically signiﬁcant...........Comparative studies on groups exposed to different levels of natural background radiation do not have the statistical power to detect effects on cancer incidence, because of the small numbers receiving higher doses (BEIR 2006, Hendry et al 2009). Based on current risk estimates a population of 10 million would be required in order to prove whether there was a high incidence of solid cancer in an area where the population was exposed to 10 mSv yr−1, whereas the populations that have been studied comprise less than 100 000 individuals. Populations that have higher doses from radon exposure provide the best indicator of a link between cancer and dose at lower dose levels. Results of a European project, which combined data from a number of individual case control studies in member states, show a clear increase in the risk of lung cancer among residents of homes with an enhanced concentration of radon (above 150 Bq m−3).........the LNT dose-effect model is the most appropriate one to adopt to describe the risks of cancer and provides a workable practical framework for the operation of protection............." .4. The radiobiologist Dr. Ian Fairlie has written "It is dispiriting to read many articles – on both sides of the Atlantic – by media pundits and poorly-informed scientists about low-level radiation risks. These articles commonly assert, with little or no evidence, that there is nothing to worry about radiation and that nuclear projects are encumbered by overly strict safety limits. In particular, they usually state that no risks are seen below 100 mSv; that the Linear No-Threshold (LNT) model is wrong; and that there were only about 50 deaths at Chernobyl with no more expected.There often seems to be a close relationship between the level of ignorance evidenced in articles on this subject and the over-confidence with which they are written."http://www.ianfairlie.org/news/recent-evidence-on-the-risks-of-very-low-level-radiation/http://www.ianfairlie.org/publications/http://www.ianfairlie.org/about-ian-fairlie/Retire Stewart Brand.
HA! HA! Thanks for your mega-comment!