AW: [ RadSafe ] Re: Radiation Hormesis

John Jacobus crispy_bird at
Fri Dec 28 10:28:25 CST 2007

  I don't think that any person who studies both the use and misuse of ionizing radiation sees the benefits.  In medicine, even those who oppose the overuse of CT scans do not claim that its use is benefitical and saves lives.  It is the overuse that is in question, as is the overuse of any drug.  

Rainer.Facius at wrote:

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 toxin. 

Regards, Rainer


Von: radsafe-bounces at im Auftrag von Flanigan, Floyd
Gesendet: Do 27.12.2007 20:05
An: Brennan, Mike (DOH); radsafe at
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 [mailto:radsafe-bounces at] On
Behalf Of Brennan, Mike (DOH)
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2007 12:02 PM
To: radsafe at
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. 


"If history teaches any lesson it is that no nation has an inherent right to greatness.  Greatness has to be earned and continually re-earned."
- Norman Augustine, Chairman of the National Academies Committee 

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