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

Keith Welch welch at jlab.org
Tue Dec 12 13:45:17 CST 2006

That's one way to look at it.  But I'd rather believe that those 
organizations and their objectives are reasonable.  But even good things 
can be corrupted, mis-directed, or allowed to balloon to outrageous 
proportions.  What I think we have is sort of an unholy marriage of a 
corrupted sense of "ALARA" with the ignorance and irrational fear of 
radiation.  Nobody put the brakes on.  Don't know whether it's too late 
now, but for my part, I look for opportunities to engage the issue in my 
little way, in my community.

jjcohen at prodigy.net wrote:
> 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
>> _______________________________________________
>> You are currently subscribed to the RadSafe mailing list
>> Before posting a message to RadSafe be sure to have read and understood
> the RadSafe rules. These can be found at:
> http://radlab.nl/radsafe/radsaferules.html
>> For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe and other settings
> visit: http://radlab.nl/radsafe/

More information about the RadSafe mailing list