[ RadSafe ] Miller and McClain, 2007
sjd at swcp.com
Fri Jul 4 18:05:17 CDT 2008
At 01:10 PM 7/3/08 -0700, James Salsman wrote:
>Here are some quotes from Alexandria C. Miller and
>David McClain (2007) "A Review of Depleted Uranium Biological Effects:
>In Vitro and In Vivo Studies" Rev Environ Health 22(1) 75-89:
James Salsman (JS) presented us with some quotes from a paper by
Miller and McClain that he appears to believe suggest or prove that
depleted uranium is harmful. One of JS's quotes has Miller and McClain
invoking McDairmid et al. (2004) as saying: "McDairmid et al (2004), in
their 10-year follow-up of 39 veterans exposed to DU in friendly fire
incidents during the 1991 Gulf war, reported that the study participants
exposed to the highest levels of DU showed a statistically significant
increase in chromosomal aberrations as compared with low-exposure groups."
These are not the exact words of McDiarmid et al., this is how
Miller and McClain summarize them. What about McDairmid et al., (2004)?
I located their paper (Health Effects of Depleted Uranium on
Exposed Gulf War Veterans: A 10 Year Follow-up) on line. I'll present some
quotes from it, and discuss them.
"Baseline CAs [chromosomal aberrations] were statistically
different, with the high uranium group displaying a higher, but minimally
different, CA frequency per cell. This difference was not observed in
previous surveillance rounds. Due to the limited number of chromosomal
aberrations observed, it was not possible to use regression to assess its
relationship with ln urine uranium or a method to test for the persistence
of the relationship despite the presence of confounders. However, the
association between chromosomal aberrations and urine uranium observed here
does not appear to be the result of smoking, exposure to mutagens, or age
in this cohort, since none of these were found to be significantly
associated with either average chromosomal aberrations or urinary uranium
levels." (from p. 289) (Note: ln means log normal.)
According to McDiarmid et al., so few chromosomal aberrations were
found that they couldn't perform linear regression on them. How can there
be a "statistically significant increase" when the aberrations can't even
Also: "In two previous observations, no differences in
chromosomal aberrations (CAs) were noted between the high and low uranium
groups, although there was a statistically significant increase in SCE
observed in the high uranium group in the last evaluation (McDiarmid et
al., 2001) . . .." (from p. 293)
This statistically significant increase was found in sister
chromatid exchanges, not in chromosomal aberrations.
McDiarmid et al. note "a statistical difference in CAs (higher in
the high U group)." They do not say it's significant, only that it's
different. According the next sentence, "This is, however, based on close
to normal absolute frequencies of CAs per cells."
Look at that, James a "normal" frequency, not a statistically
McDiarmid et al. also write: "Because multiple outcomes are being
examined, there exists the risk that statistically significant findings may
be observed by chance alone. Although the kidney is the putative "critical"
target organ for uranium toxicity under acute and chronic exposure
conditions, no evidence of renal dysfunction (glomerular or tubular) was
found. The biomarkers for proximal tubule dysfunction, the presumed target
of uranium, showed minimal differences between the groups." (p. 292;
I think this speaks for itself about any so-called statistically
significant increase. I would like to emphasize the authors' statement
that no damage was found in the kidneys. In light of that, I rather doubt
that exposure to depleted uranium, or any type of uranium, did any damage
anywhere else. The authors also say that since they only studied 39
veterans, "the power to detect subtle effects is low."
Earlier today, James, in response to my request for your CV, you
wrote, "The only pertinent qualification is the ability to read reports of
experiments . . .." If you'll pardon me for saying so, it has become
patently obvious to me that you *can't* read reports.
McDiarmid, et al. Health Effects of Depleted Uranium on Exposed Gulf War
Veterans: A 10 Year Follow-up. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental
Health, Part A 67:277-296; (2004).
Available on line at:
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