[ RadSafe ] TFP - next questions
StevenFrey at aol.com
StevenFrey at aol.com
Thu Jan 5 18:45:44 CST 2006
Hi James, pretty entertaining comments. Couple thoughts:
- you suggest that the nuclear power industry should bear the cost for
sampling bone to help understand the tooth results. I would counter suggest that
it is the responsibility of the study producers to do that, since it is they
who are making the suggestion (read: veiled claim) claim that there is
- chemoluminescence is not contamination. It is a source of counting error
in liquid scintillation samples in which fluorescence photons produced from the
interaction of the sample material with the cocktail will produce counts.
And lots of them, even in ordinary cases. Radioactivity does not have to be
present in the sample to produce it. That is why care in sample preparation is
vital. Having a liquid scintillation counter that can automatically detect
and discount chemoluminescence counts would help, too. The Report makes no
mention of whether chemoluminescence was anticipated or discounted.
- Why did the study producers apparently not split their tooth samples and
send them to multiple labs? Relying on only one lab, and that one being
selected by the study producer, eliminates objectivity from the claimed results.
- Your quoting of cancer statistics below is missing any objective causative
mechanism that nuclear power caused it. There could be other sources of
error that were not identified in the Report as having been considered. For
example, chemical exposure, air pollution, lifestyle, gerrymandering of the
statistics themselves, and so on. Besides, there are other, much better controlled
data, that indicates that at low doses, there is no increase in cancer rates
among the studied individuals. The DOE Nuclear Shipyard Worker Study is one
such data set, and it involved a pretty convincing study population of many
tens of thousands of individuals. Plus, there does not seem to be an increase
in cancer among nuclear medicine or radiology practitioners. So you see, my
statistics can beat up your statistics.
- statistics again: a claim of p < 0.002 by the study producers means
nothing without any explanation provided as to how it was calculated. Again,
selective gerrymandering of the tooth statistics can easily produce an even lower p
than that! The quality of the p depends in part on how small one cuts the
sample, that is, number of individuals against whom a single incidence of tooth
Sr-90 (real or fancied) is detected, and then including only those kernels
in the final statistical summary. The Report offers no explanation on how its
p was calculated.
- K-40 is a naturally-occurring radionuclide, produced by cosmic ray
interactions with the atmosphere. Nuclear power doesn't produce it, and the medical
profession doesn't use it, either. You would have to erect a 1000-foot thick
concrete astrodome over America to effectively stop its production. But would
you want to do that? There's no scientific evidence that K-40 in natural
concentrations causes cancer, and you can bet that graffiti artists would be
busting to get at all that clean 'canvas' up there.
Thanks for your thoughts...Ernie's, too. :-)
In a message dated 1/5/2006 6:50:45 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
james at bovik.org writes:
I guess I get to be the lone defender of Sternglass on RADSAFE.
Just what I've always wanted!
> Two potential error factors that do not appear to be
> addressed in
> are chemoluminescence and K-40 LSA correction, either of
> which can easily produce a 'false positive' for Sr-90/Y-90
Why would this confound the blinding of the teeth source?
Is there any reason that chemoluminescent contamination is
expected to be more prevalent in areas near reactors?
If the increased radiation is due to K-40, what difference
does that make if the higher scintillation activity is
strongly correlated with geographical regions where the
cancer death rate is 13% above the national mean (24% above
for breast cancer; 16% for childhood cancer) but all other
causes of death are only 0.1% about the national mean.
Where is the hormesis effect that should be occurring?
> Another problem is the absence of comparative sample media
> to help understand and correlate the study results. If we
> assume that Sr-90 in teeth ought to correspond with Sr-90
> in bone from the same individual, too, then bone sampling
> and analysis should be part of this particular study.
Certainly the nuclear energy industry associations will
immediately front the money to pay for independent study
of bone-teeth correlations to clear their good name at
their earliest possible convenience, right?
You -- at your desk with the funny trefoil stickers on your
monitor -- can you spare fifty grand for some bone studies
of cows in the Tooth Fairy Project's hot areas?
> Finally, the claim by the Report that the data shows more
> Sr-90 in teeth near nuclear power plants than elsewhere
> seems to be a weak correlation at best....
Is there any actual mathematical argument against the reports
claim of p < 0.002 (p. 24), or is this just a thinly veiled
argument from emotion?
> simply precipiting carbonates is not specific enough for
> Sr-90 analysis. A whole range of natural (and artificial)
> radionuclides would carry through the procedure.
So where's that mass spectroscopy money from the nuclear
energy industry associations?
And, so what? If the kids are getting killed by massive
amount of K-40 or something instead of Sr-90, is there any
evidence that whatever isotope(s) are the culprit aren't
coming from the reactors near which the activity levels are
found to be much greater?
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