[ RadSafe ] Re: LNT= "practical" regulation?

John Jacobus crispy_bird at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 15 14:41:54 CST 2006

Dr. Long,
Are you taking 10 rem CT scans every year?

--- howard long <hflong at pacbell.net> wrote:

>   Closer analogy than air pollution regulation (and
> I considered being LA Public Health AP Control
> Officer 45 years ago) should be radiation in the
> wave length of ultra violet.
>   Like ionizing radiation and unlike air pollution,
> UV is not visible or smellable, but burns in high
> dosage (sunburn and sunlamp overexposure) but is
> needed in lower dosage (vitamin D absorbtion to
> prevent osteoporosis, etc).
>   Regulators, stop your lazy, frightening, horribly
> expensive, nuclear power inhibiting LNT fraud and
> expedite anything (like full-body CT scan) up to 10
> rem/year!
>   Howard Long MD MPH
>   Bernard Cohen <blc+ at pitt.edu> wrote:
> Franz Schönhofer wrote:
> >John, as usual I agree with you. The LNT is a
> valuable tool for Radiation
> >Protection Legislation - if not the only one
> acceptable and administrable. 
> > 
> >
> I hardily disagree with this statement, as explained
> in my note in 
> the Bulletin of Canadian Nuclear Society a few years
> ago:
> The alternative is to treat radiation as we treat
> chemical 
> pollutants. Using air pollution as an example, we
> limit concentrations 
> of SO2, nitrogen oxides, particulates, ozone, etc.
> Osborne says that 
> this is equivalent to assuming that dose rate,
> rather than integrated 
> dose determines the risk --a rather different
> scientific model-- but 
> that is a misinterpretation. For example, air
> pollution regulations 
> limit the number of days per year that specified
> pollution levels can be 
> exceeded. They were designed basically to make them
> practical to 
> implement. They are admittedly a very crude way of
> limiting exposures 
> without being specific about whether the important
> risk parameter is 
> dose rate, total dose with or without a threshold,
> or some combination 
> of these with other factors. But crude as it is, its
> crudeness is 
> consistent with the crudeness of our scientific
> understanding.
> Using LNT for regulating radiation is very clearly a
> more 
> quantitative approach, much less crude than the air
> pollution method. 
> But that does not mean that it is better; the
> problem is that it is not 
> consistent with the crudeness of our scientific
> understanding. The fact 
> that it is more quantitative is a deceptive veneer
> of false pretense, 
> hiding the fact that it has no scientific basis.
> Osborne claims that it 
> is "prudent", but prudence is best judged by the
> results achieved. Let's 
> compare them on that basis.
> The air pollution regulations, crude as they are,
> prevent 
> catastrophes like the 1930 Meuse Valley, the 1948
> Donora (Pennsylvania), 
> and the 1952 London incidents, and they generally
> avoid identifiable 
> deaths. Most importantly, they give the public
> confidence that it is 
> being protected. The Mayor of Pittsburgh, a strong
> advocate for 
> environmental causes, will go to great lengths to
> attract new 
> industries, so long as they comply even marginally
> with air pollution 
> regulations, and the Pittsburgh public, which is
> highly sensitized to 
> air pollution problems, supports him on this. The
> Media give scant 
> attention to studies indicating that tens of
> thousands of Americans die 
> prematurely each year from air pollution; no one
> seems to be interested 
> as long as no victims are identifiably tied to the
> pollution..
> How unsatisfactory is this situation? It allows our 
> technology to progress and to increase Society's
> wealth, and technology 
> and wealth create health, far outstripping the harm
> to health done by 
> the pollution. Air pollution may reduce our life
> expectancy by something 
> like 30 days, whereas technology and the wealth it
> has created have 
> increased our life expectancy by 30 years in this
> century, and life 
> expectancy is continually increasing
> How well has the radiation-LNT approach to
> regulation worked?
> For every little bit of radiation, we calculate the
> number of deaths, 
> and killing is something the Media are quick to
> report. People are moved 
> by such reports and view these deaths as real,
> perhaps even afflicting 
> themselves or their loved ones. The public has thus
> been driven insane 
> over fear of radiation, losing all contact with
> reality. As a result, we 
> have largely lost the benefits of nuclear power
> which could be averting 
> tens of thousands of deaths per year from air
> pollution (and also 
> solving other environmental problems like global
> warming, acid rain, 
> etc). We are losing many other benefits of radiation
> such as food 
> irradiation which could be averting millions of
> cases of food poisoning, 
> saving thousands of lives, each year. We are wasting
> our Society's 
> wealth on ridiculous clean-up programs at nuclear
> facilities; this 
> wasted wealth could save thousands of lives each
> year if it were spent 
> on biomedical research, on public health programs,
> or on highway safety.
> In the light of these comparisons between the
> results of the 
> air pollution vs the radiation-LNT approaches to
> regulation, which is 
> the more prudent?

"Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse."
Adlai Stevenson

-- John
John Jacobus, MS
Certified Health Physicist
e-mail:  crispy_bird at yahoo.com

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