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

Otto Raabe ograabe at ucdavis.edu
Mon Jul 10 14:05:08 CDT 2006

At 11:11 AM 7/10/2006, Ruth Sponsler wrote:
>I can easily find studies of
>other sorts of workers that have increased SMR
>compared to control populations - e.g. the lack of a
>'healthy worker effect.'
Dear Ruth,

Although it is easy to see the possibility of confounding factors in the 
non-radiation studies you cited, I have seen published radiation 
epidemiology studies that seem to  target "significant" findings and treat 
possible confounding factors as virtually irrelevant, The most important 
frequently ignored or mishandled confounder in radiation studies is tobacco 
use. Of course, tobacco is an important carcinogen. Tobacco use is often 
treated as if it is somehow perfectly corrected by the choice of the 
controls (usually not). One published study based a "significant" finding 
on cancer in four workers where two of the four had lung cancer. When I 
asked the senior investigator if those two lung-cancer cases were smokers, 
he said he did not know! Another study looked at the incidence of many 
different types of human cancer (I guess there are at least 40 types), 
found one to be significantly increased in radiation workers, and published 
a paper proclaiming radiation workers got that one type of cancer from 
radiation exposures.


Prof. Otto G. Raabe, Ph.D., CHP
Center for Health & the Environment
University of California
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
E-Mail: ograabe at ucdavis.edu
Phone: (530) 752-7754   FAX: (530) 758-6140

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