[ RadSafe ] National Academies Project: Toxicological and Radiological Effects from Exposures to Depleted Uranium During and After Combat

dckosloff at firstenergycorp.com dckosloff at firstenergycorp.com
Fri Nov 17 07:10:53 CST 2006

Dr, Daxon,

The word "safe" cannot be honestly used in a scientific context because
nothing involving humans is safe for humans.   For example, the use of
peanuts or peanut oil is not safe.  Neither is the use of milk or water.
Even the use of the phrase "safe and effectinve" in discussing the approval
of medicines is misleading at best.  Nobody is ever safe.

However, it would be honest to state simply that something or some activity
is "as safe as" or "safer than" something else or some other activity.  For
example, one might honestly say that "the use of DU munitions is safer than
the use of lead or tungsten munitions," or safer than using no munitions at

Don Kosloff
Shippingport PA and Bedford OH

             "Eric D"                                                      
             <edaxon at satx.rr.c                                             
             om>                                                        To 
             Sent by:                  "'Robert Cherry'"                   
             radsafe-bounces at r         <bobcherry at satx.rr.com>,            
             adlab.nl                  <radsafe at radlab.nl>                 
             11/16/2006 10:49                                      Subject 
             PM                        RE: [ RadSafe ] National Academies  
                                       Project: Toxicological   and        
                                       Radiological Effects from Exposures 
                                       to Depleted  Uranium     During and 
                                       After Combat                        

This will bring scientific closure to the issue.  I was a part of the DoD
IPT that initiated the Capstone project.  I also helped in writing parts of
the report.  It was a real honor to work with the people on that project.

Whether it will assist with the "soft" part of the issue depends upon the
Charter of the committee and the willingness of the committee to speak in
plain language.  One of the NAS's earlier evaluations of the health effects
of DU actually said it was safe but the language was so convoluted that it
took me several reads to understand what they were trying to say.  To the
layman or the non-epidemiologist science-type reading the report, it
like we did not know what the health effects were.

Unfortunately, there are very few - if any - instances where I have seen
word "safe" in any of the scientific reviews of health effects we do.  We
tend to couch risk numbers with other risk numbers and hope that the
non-scientist will understand.  It has been my experience that doing this
just adds to the distrust of the message.

Unfortunately again, not using that word - safe - with a targeted substance
causes harm in the form of fear and never ending Congressional requirements
for more research. More research is not a good thing when it is diverting
funds from other work that will yield a benefit.

I hope the Committee speaks plainly and perhaps uses a four letter word
and there - safe.

Eric Daxon, PhD

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