[ RadSafe ] RE: rad material at your local high school

jjcohen at prodigy.net jjcohen at prodigy.net
Tue Dec 12 13:33:11 CST 2006

Let's face it! Radiophobia is the official policy of the U.S. government and
just about all other official authorities in the world. If that were not the
case, why would we need  a Nuclear Regulatory Commission, IAEA, ICRP,
UNSCEAR, etc, etc.? So, we all need to do is explain to the public why our
official radiation policies are irrational.  Good Luck.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Keith Welch" <welch at jlab.org>
To: <radsafe at radlab.nl>
Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2006 10:40 AM
Subject: [ RadSafe ] RE: rad material at your local high school

> Friends,
> Shouldn't we be outraged at the idea that our tax dollars and sparse
> resources are being used to deal with this non-problem?  Ed has it
> right.  So do others who have commented at the idiocy of "cleaning up"
> this stuff.  It's like the emergency management rep said in the article:
> "it's a low hazard, but they want no hazard".  Why is that acceptable to
> any of us?
> Why are our emergency response organizations devoting part of their
> budgets to this?
> Why aren't they instead using those same resources to EDUCATE these
> educators about the real (almost-zero) risks of working with this
> material, and the great benefit it is to the students as a teaching aid
> (if used responsibly, by knowledgeable teachers)?
> Are they ridding the school chemistry departments of all their chemicals
> as well?
> Why do WE sit idly by and let this happen?
> The king has no clothes.
> At least there are a few people here and there swimming upstream against
> this flow, but I fear it is not nearly enough.  Thanks to some dedicated
> teachers in our state (and others, I trust), and the efforts of local
> HPS chapters, there are some school kids getting a little dose of
> reality regarding radiation.  This is the whole point of the science
> teacher education initiative of the HPS - to communicate radiation
> hazard information accurately, in the context of real life, where "no
> hazard" is not an acceptable standard unless you're willing to embrace
> enormous wastefulness and a non-rational, non-realistic, lopsided risk
> paradigm.   We should be vocally resisting (or at least rationally
> evaluating) these 'cleanup' initiatives at every opportunity, if we
> really believe that the beneficial uses of radiation are worthwhile if
> managed properly.  Here is the message the affected teachers and
> students are taking home from these government sanctioned, taxpayer
> funded efforts -- there is no activity worth even the slightest amount
> of radiation exposure.
> Instead of teaching our kids to fear radiation shouldn't we be teaching
> them the science and application of radiation safety?
> Keith Welch
> welch at jlab.org
> (The above is a highly opinionated rant by the author, is not intended
> to offend anyone, and represents only my own feeble thoughts, and not
> the feeble thoughts of any employer, past, present or future.)
> > Message: 2 Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 10:27:40 -0700 From: "Ed Stroud"
> > <estroud at smtpgate.dphe.state.co.us> Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] rad
> > material at your local high school To: "Mahmoud S. Haleem"
> > <HALEEM at cua.edu>, "Academic-Medical Radiation Safety Officers
> > listserve" <amrso at mailman.mcw.edu>, "radsafe" <radsafe at radlab.nl>
> > Message-ID: <456D609C0200003800009005 at dphe.state.co.us> Content-Type:
> > text/plain; charset=US-ASCII My own opinion is that this is an
> > overreaction to very small amounts of radioactive material. I have
> > visited high schools in my area whose staff expressed concerns about
> > the radioactive materials they use in science class, and all the
> > sources/kits contained truly small quantities of no concern. Also
> > consider that the radioactive materials are normally kept in the
> > physics or chemistry department lockers, along with reagent grade
> > chemicals and/or high voltage experimental equipment, which pose much
> > more of a hazard than the radioactive materials. Ed Stroud, Health
> > Physicist Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
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