[ RadSafe ] TFP - next questions

Muckerheide, James jimm at WPI.EDU
Fri Jan 6 01:04:46 CST 2006

Hi Steve,  A good response, but note that K40 is not cosmogenic.  It is a
primordial radionuclide, half-life 1.3 billion years, and makes up 0.000117
of natural potassium, which is essential for biology to function, and is a
significant source of direct radiation from the ground, especially in those
areas that have low natural uranium and thorium concentrations.

Regards, Jim Muckerheide

> -----Original Message-----
> From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
> Behalf Of StevenFrey at aol.com
> Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2006 7:46 PM
> To: james at bovik.org; radsafe at radlab.nl
> Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] TFP - next questions
> 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
> causation.
> - 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. :-)
> Steve
> 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
> >  http://mtafund.org/prodlib/radiation_health/final_report.pdf
> > are   chemoluminescence and K-40 LSA correction, either of
> > which can easily  produce a 'false positive' for Sr-90/Y-90
> > presence.
> 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?
> Right?
> Any takers?
> 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?
> Please?
> [crickets chirping]
> > 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?
> [more crickets]
> 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?
> Sincerely,
> James  Salsman
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