[ RadSafe ] IEER Memorandum on Tritium
Conklin, Al (DOH)
Al.Conklin at DOH.WA.GOV
Wed Apr 19 10:10:54 CDT 2006
This is a dilemma when talking to the public or news media about
anything related to radiation, when they ask "is it safe?". I almost
have to get their definition of safe before I can answer because too
many think safe means zero risk. As indicated previously, nothing in
life is without risk. You can calculate some "risk" from anything,
including the remote possibility that the sun will go supernova
tomorrow. An example I use to describe "safe" is the I-131 contamination
in Washington State following the Chernobyl accident in 1986. I-131
levels got to about 50% of the old EPA preventive action guides, and the
public kept asking if drinking the milk was "safe". My answer was that I
considered it safe enough to allow my young children to continue
drinking the milk, and I'm a very protective father. People liked that.
Another example was during a dirty bomb table top at the Port of Tacoma
in March of this year. The scenario called for the longshoremen to go in
and unload the ship when we declared it "safe". The longshoremen's
representative said, "why should we believe you? You're government!" My
response was that if I said it was safe, then I would personally go and
stay with them the entire time, being exposed to whatever they were
exposed to. We became best buddies after that. People seem to like it
and trust a little more when you make it personal.
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
Behalf Of Sandy Perle
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2006 3:21 PM
To: Jim Hoerner; radsafe at radlab.nl; jjcohen at prodigy.net
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] IEER Memorandum on Tritium
On 18 Apr 2006 at 10:29, jjcohen at prodigy.net wrote:
> According to the alleged EPA definition of "safe" as "zero known
risk", could anyone please provide a list of human activities that are
known to be safe???
> I can't think of any!
I can't either. Even birth starts out with risks, and they follow
throughout life in every single breathing moment.
EPA is a "little bit out there" with this definition!
Senior Vice President, Technical Operations Global Dosimetry Solutions,
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