[ RadSafe ] TFP - next questions
Jim_Hardeman at dnr.state.ga.us
Fri Jan 6 08:13:53 CST 2006
Jim / Steve *
Thanks for such excellent responses to James' assertions. I would only add to the discussion of chemoluminescence that the whole discussion of how LSC was performed on these samples is lacking. We could get into the esoterica of dark adaptation of samples, temperature control of samples, QA/QC in terms of how many blanks / splits / duplicates were performed, etc. etc. etc. Blindly believing sample results that come spitting out of a laboratory simply because a laboratory scientist wears a white coat and the printout came out of a computer doesn't strike me as the way I would want to do business. Does the laboratory that performed these Sr-90 analyses participate in any laboratory-intercomparison programs?
My $0.02 worth ...
Jim Hardeman, Manager
Environmental Radiation Program
Environmental Protection Division
Georgia Department of Natural Resources
4220 International Parkway, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30354
Fax: (404) 362-2653
E-mail: Jim_Hardeman at dnr.state.ga.us
>>> <StevenFrey at aol.com> 1/6/2006 3:11:28 >>>
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
> 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
> present in the sample to produce it. That is why care in sample
> preparation is
> vital. Having a liquid scintillation counter that can automatically
> and discount chemoluminescence counts would help, too. The Report makes
> 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
> - Your quoting of cancer statistics below is missing any objective
> mechanism that nuclear power caused it. There could be other sources of
> error that were not identified in the Report as having been considered.
> example, chemical exposure, air pollution, lifestyle, gerrymandering of
> statistics themselves, and so on. Besides, there are other, much better
> data, that indicates that at low doses, there is no increase in cancer
> among the studied individuals. The DOE Nuclear Shipyard Worker Study is
> such data set, and it involved a pretty convincing study population of
> tens of thousands of individuals. Plus, there does not seem to be an
> in cancer among nuclear medicine or radiology practitioners. So you see,
> 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.
> 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
> Sr-90 (real or fancied) is detected, and then including only those
> in the final statistical summary. The Report offers no explanation on how
> 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
> concrete astrodome over America to effectively stop its production. But
> 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
> 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
> > 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?
> 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?
> [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?
> James Salsman
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