AW: AW: [ RadSafe ] Cameron's refutation of "Alara Does Work" - Preemployment physicals

Robert J. Gunter rjgunter at
Fri Jul 7 08:38:53 CDT 2006

Greetings All,

I don't know if people were rejected based on family history in the early
years, but on the face of it, with somewhere in the range of 2/5 - 2/10
people having fatal cancers, each person having two parents would imply a
large number of rejections based on this criteria.  That might be an avenue
to explore regarding selection bias creating the healthy worker effect.  I
wonder if there is a number of people recorded who were rejected based on
family history.

In my experience, you are frequently asked about family history, but I am
not sure that it has been used in my case to disqualify me from work.  There
was a time in the US where "pregnant workers" were removed from "hazardous"
jobs (I think the famous case was a Pb acid battery plant??) and demoted to
less hazardous jobs, with career affecting consequences.  This is why we now
do the "Declared" pregnant, rather than assume and automatically remove
someone from the workplace.  

So it is within the realm of possibility that a selection bias is there, but
it would seem that if it were used to any extent, there would be a very
large number of rejections.  I doubt many workers would be prepared to give
details on the exact type of cancer (so a doctor could determine probability
of causation), so all cancers would be treated the same (with the exception
perhaps of leukemia which is commonly known).

Robert J. Gunter, CHP
CHP Consultants
Oak Ridge, TN
Ph:  (865) 387-0028
Fax: (865) 483-7189
rjgunter at
Products and Services at:

-----Original Message-----
From: John Jacobus [mailto:crispy_bird at] 
Sent: Friday, July 07, 2006 9:19 AM
To: Rainer.Facius at; rjgunter at; radsafe at
Subject: Re: AW: AW: [ RadSafe ] Cameron's refutation of "Alara Does Work" -
Preemployment physicals

While I do feel it is really worth my time continuing
with this discussion, I would like you to provide you
with copies of MY old radiation physicals.  They show
the overprint regarding family history of cancer,
anemia, and cataracts.  I found them while going
through my old militray medical records for
information on hearing test.

If they are not attached, let me know and I will send
them to you directly.

Have a good weekend.

--- John Jacobus <crispy_bird at> wrote:

> Rainer,
> As I have said, I was involved with oversight of the
> medical exams.  There were other Navy officers also
> involved, and their experiences may have been
> different from mine.  Maybe the number of workers
> not
> accepted for radiation work was not significant. 
> Nevertheless, I would think that even the suggestion
> of selection bias that was not corrected would call
> into question the original data set.  
> If you wish to consider my concerns as being valid,
> that is up to you.
> --- Rainer.Facius at wrote:
> > Dear John,
> > 
> > if in fact a selection bias was operating against
> > the assignment of applicants to a nuclear
> workplace
> > by the persistent application of such "family
> > history" regulations, this indeed would render the
> > NSYW study immaterial regarding health effects
> from
> > radiation. 
> > 
> > The regulations which you kindly offered so far so
> > that I could study them do not mention family
> > history and others here familiar with such
> > procedures reject it as a selection mechanism
> > possibly affecting the bulk of the NSY workforce.
> > Unless I can read documents proving otherwise, I
> > prefer to discard it as an explanation for the
> > improved health status of nuclear workers.
> > 
> > Kind regards, Rainer
> > 
> > Dr. Rainer Facius
> > German Aerospace Center
> > Institute of Aerospace Medicine
> > Linder Hoehe
> > 51147 Koeln
> > Voice: +49 2203 601 3147 or 3150
> > FAX:   +49 2203 61970

e to the x, dy dx, e to the x, dx
Tangent, Secant, Cosine, Sine
Square Root, Cuberoot, udv
Slipstick, slideroot

Cheerleaders chant from my old undergraduate college.
-- John
John Jacobus, MS
Certified Health Physicist
e-mail:  crispy_bird at

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