[ RadSafe ] "Radioactive cocktail: Blending waste won't lessen the danger"

Cindy Bloom radbloom at comcast.net
Mon Jul 7 12:47:37 CDT 2008

Chemical and radiological toxicity are both related to dose which is 
related to concentration.  If the concentration of a "hazard" is very low 
(and I mean low relative to that level which has been shown to cause harm), 
it is likely that the risk to a cell, organ, individual or society is very 
low.  Most of us would agree that the uranium found in our garden soils 
causes little or no harm (and some believe that it might even be beneficial).

Regarding U-238, it's not at all clear what is meant by the phrase "about one
million times worse for U238".  What else was being tested?  What is meant 
by worse?  What effect do you mean?  What mode of exposure do you mean - 
external exposure, ingestion, inhalation, injection, skin absorption?  What 
is U-238 1,000,000 worse than - other uranium 
isotopes?  Carbon?  Nickle?  Arsenic?  Lead?  Do you mean that the dosage 
to cause damage from the chemical is 1,000,000 times the dosage to cause 
damage from the radiation?

I tend to believe that damage depends on uranium's isotopic mix (DU while 
mostly U-238 on mass or atomic scale includes other U isotopes) and 
chemical form and intake mode as well as dosage and dose, and that the 
numbers specified in regulations and guidance are provided as a way to 
control risks, and that there are levels of risk that are just too low to 
worry about, because worry is associated with its own risk and resources 
used to control reduce small risks take away from resources available to 
reduce large risks.


At 01:40 PM 7/3/2008 -0700, Dave Blaine wrote:
>Dear Dr. Cohen,
>I thought you would know the answer to your question, "If the of
>concentration of radioactivity in waste is not indicative of its
>potential  danger, then what is?"
>The chemical toxicity, which is very often much worse,  According to
>Alexandria C. Miller's experiments published in 2004, about one
>million times worse for U238.
>Do you agree with that assessment?
>James Salsman
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