[ RadSafe ] Re: Radiation Hormesis

Dan W McCarn hotgreenchile at gmail.com
Thu Dec 27 17:47:55 CST 2007


What is the status of the proposed low-radiation laboratory that was under
consideration near Carlsbad, New Mexico?  As I recall, Leo Gomez at Sandia
was involved in that proposal.  What became of it?


Dan ii

Dan W. McCarn, Geologist; 3118 Pebble Lake Drive; Sugar Land, TX 77479; USA
Cell: +1-505-710-3600; Home: +1-281-903-7667; Fax: +1-713-241-1012; Office:
+1-713-241-5726; Austria:  +43-676-725-6622
mccarn at unileoben.ac.at HotGreenChile at gmail.com Dan.McCarn at shell.com

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On Behalf
Of Doug Aitken
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2007 2:36 PM
To: Rainer.Facius at dlr.de; Floyd.Flanigan at nmcco.com; Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV;
radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: RE: [ RadSafe ] Re: Radiation Hormesis

As a proclaimed amateur in the question of radiation hormetic effects (all
my professional efforts are in minimizing dose received from occupational
sources in my particular industry), I can but surmise that reasonable doses
of "natural" radiation cannot be harmful to the human race, due to the
apparent ability of this organism to adapt and survive in this "toxic"
environment. And that humans flourish in many areas of elevated natural
radiation without apparent negative effects would tend to indicate that the
threshold is fairly high. 

However, natural emissions may differ from those of man-made isotopes used
in industrial work and I feel that there is no reason why we should be lax
about minimizing such occupational doses....

And setting reasonable thresholds for such doses does seem to be a
reasonable approach. The problem lies in what people seem to consider
"reasonable". But as keeping below the current limits are easily achievable
in my work, I am not particularly flustered by the whole argument that the
limits should be raised. 

However, when the anti-nukes goad the regulators into increasingly
ridiculous limits on nuclear power station emissions and safety factors
(especially when compared to the same factors for fossil-fuel power stations
- especially radioactive emissions), along with the various limits on
residual radioactivity after clean-up of old sites (and the general public
paranoia about all things "Nuclear"), I see the justification for some
pressure to rationalize the situation. 

And, as everyone on this forum (hopefully) realizes there are many more
dangerous industrial activities out there, I wish that the public,
politicians and regulators would accept the true definition of dose limits
(as low as reasonably achievable, economic and social factors being taken
into account....) and work in a positive way" perhaps focusing on
risk-benefit rather than risk-risk-risk..... 
Sadly, when politicians such as Cuomo and misguided "celebrities" jump on
the band-wagon and try and shut down nuclear power, without apparently
weighing the effects... it makes me realize one more time that reason gets
short shrift when ionizing radiation is discussed..... 

Happy Holidays and a safe, healthy, prosperous and CIVIL New Year to all

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On Behalf
Of Rainer.Facius at dlr.de
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2007 1:59 PM
To: Floyd.Flanigan at nmcco.com; Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV; radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: AW: [ RadSafe ] Re: Radiation Hormesis


1.) Much longer than the 500 years since Paracelsus, pharmacologists know
that toxins can be remedies. Paracelsus' dictum "dosis facit venenum" (the
dose makes the poison) to my knowledge stands unchallenged in medicine.


2.) In addition, for I don't know how many natural and synthetic chemical
toxins - not usually utilized as drugs - a biphasic (non-linear) dose
response function has been experimentally established. 


Given 1) and 2), the burden of proof lies on those claiming an exception
from this rule for an ubiquitous toxin such as ionizing radiation - at
'background intensities' actually more pervading than any single other


Regards, Rainer


Von: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl im Auftrag von Flanigan, Floyd
Gesendet: Do 27.12.2007 20:05
An: Brennan, Mike (DOH); radsafe at radlab.nl
Betreff: RE: [ RadSafe ] Re: Radiation Hormesis

Unfortunately, with the 35 some odd year period prior to some symptoms
expressing, and the moratorium on buying human babies and raising them
in a clinically controlled environment, definitive proof is hard to come
by. I am a firm supporter of Hormesis but with all of the other
environmental influences which can mask most true expressions of the
Hormetic Effect, I fear it will be a very long time before we see such a
study. I suppose it could be conducted on lab animals, but no matter
what evidence was produced, the nay-sayers would find their way back to
the fact that humans have a different physiology than the test subjects.
Hope may indeed spring eternal, but in this case it is in short supply.

Floyd W. Flanigan B.S.Nuc.H.P.
Health Physics Supervisor

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
Behalf Of Brennan, Mike (DOH)
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2007 12:02 PM
To: radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: RE: [ RadSafe ] Re: Radiation Hormesis

"All science is either physics or stamp collecting."      Ernest.
I am reminded of the story of a zoologist, biologist, and physicist each
being asked to discuss the most important aspects of elephants.  The
zoologist discussed the social aspects of the herd how elephants
interact with their environment.  The biologist discussed the huge
amount of food the elephant consumes and processes in which it is
processed.  The physicist gets up, thinks for a minute, and starts,
"Assume the elephant is a sphere..."

On the topic of hormesis; I would love for someone to do some definitive
research, well designed and meticulously controlled, that would address
both the claims and the criticisms.  I will even allow as to how I would
LOVE to have hormesis confirmed, if for no other reason than the
entertainment value of watching my friends in the EPA struggle with
setting maximum and minimum desired radon exposure levels.  Sadly, I
have yet to see anything about such research being done.  The hormesis
papers I've seen show as much evidence of cherry picking as the
anti-(fill in the blank for whatever you don't like) papers. 

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