[ RadSafe ] uranium smoke is a teratogen

James Salsman BenjB4 at gmail.com
Wed May 28 00:21:36 CDT 2008


Thank you for your continued critique and fact-checking.  This message
is entirely replies to you.

Steven Dapra wrote:

> the MJBU paper, recommended by
> James, says, "It has been estimated that 20% of birth defects are due to
> gene mutations, 5-10% to chromosomal abnormalities (structural and
> numerical) and about 5-10% due to exposure to a teratogenic agent of
> maternal factor [citation omitted]."....

Those are the background proportions for the population at large, not after
exposure to above-average levels of teratogens.

>  What causes the other 60 percent?  Even the authors don't suggest
> any cause(s).

Other sources list the causes in more detail; I'm sure you can find some if
you look.  We have discussed folic acid deficiency and fetal alcohol
syndrome, but there are a handful of other causes, too.

>  I believe that poor nutrition (lack of folic acid) results in *incomplete*
> closure of the neural tube, not closure of the tube.

You are right about that; by "closure of the neural tube and
related birth defects," I was trying to say closure-related defects.

> In invoking a "broad spectrum" of birth defects you are dragging in
> a red herring.

You are wrong about that.  Folate deficiency has a unique effect, and
germ cell exposure to teratogenic agents with genotoxicity as their
primary method of action (such as uranyl) has a completely different
pattern of malformations, leading, for example, to aortic valve stenosis
orders of magnitude more than malnutrition does.

> What you are trying to do here, James, is instigate an argument
> about whether birth defects are "major" or "significant."

Do you deny the distinction?

>  I am not going to spend $31.50 to read a seven page paper.  ILL
> is expensive too.

Fine, the abstract speaks for itself.  Do you believe that if I scan in
the paper and let you read it you will be able to find something which
will allow you to believe that uranyl isn't teratogenic?  Fat chance.
Also, the Hinden et al. paper recapitulates some of Domingo's most
important findings, and that's free on the web.

> "Influence of Maternal Stress on Uranium-Induced Developmental
> Toxicity in Rats." ...  "No teratogenic effects were noted in any group."

I note that you saved the year of that earlier Domingo paper, 1991,
until the end of your message discussing it.  Is that because you
don't want people to know that you are discussing a paper ten years
older than the same author's peer-reviewed literature review, which,
as you can see by its abstract, has none of the 1991 paper's uncertainty?

James Salsman

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