[ RadSafe ] TFP - next questions

StevenFrey at aol.com StevenFrey at aol.com
Fri Jan 6 02:11:28 CST 2006

Thanks, Jim. I stand corrected (was thinking C-14 rather than K-40), and am  
flattered that anyone is reading my ramblings.
As for the point that Mr. Salsman was making that "K-40 or something  instead 
of Sr-90....is killing kids", the larger response remains: there is no  
credible scientific or statistical evidence of that claim, either.
In a message dated 1/6/2006 2:40:53 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  jimm at WPI.EDU 

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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