[ RadSafe ] Re: relevance of coffee to radiation

Maury Siskel maurysis at peoplepc.com
Fri May 30 21:54:40 CDT 2008


First paragraph follows; link leads to complete paper.
Maury&Dog ....
                        Bernard L. Cohen              (1/3/1989)
   By Bernard L. Cohen, Department of Physics, University of
          Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260.

(From Karl Otto Ott and Bernard I. Spinard, eds. Nuclear Energy
          (New York: Plenum Press, 1985), pp. 355-365)

              [Kindly uploaded by Freeman 10602PANC]

   Plutonium is constantly referred to by the news media as ``the
most toxic substance known to man.''  Ralph Nader has said that a
pound  of plutonium  could cause  8  billion cancers,  and former
Senator Ribicoff  has said  that a  single particle  of plutonium
inhaled into the  lung can cause cancer.   There is no scientific
basis for any of  these statements as I have  shown in a paper in
the  refereed scientific  journal  Health Physics  (Vol.  32, pp.
359-379, 1977).  Nader asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to 
evaluate  my  paper, which  they  did in  considerable  depth and
detail,  but when  they gave  it  a ``clean  bill of  health'' he
ignored their report.  When he accuses me of ``trying to detoxify
plutonium with a pen,'' I offered  to eat as much plutonium as he
would  eat  of  caffeine,  which  my  paper  shows  is comparably
dangerous, or given reasonable  TV coverage, to personally inhale
1000 times  as much plutonium  as he  says would be  fatal, or in
response to  former Senator  Ribicoff's statement  to inhale 1000
particles of plutonium of any size  that can be suspended in air.
My offer was  made to all  major TV networks  but there has never been a 
reply  beyond a request for  a copy of  my paper.  Yet the false 
statements continue in the news media and surely 95% of the public  
accept them  as  fact although  virtually  no one  in the radiation 
health  scientific community  gives them  credence.  We have  here  a  
complete breakdown  in  communication  between the scientific  community 
and  the news  media, and  an unprecedented display  of  
irresponsibility  by  the  latter.   One  must  also question the 
ethics  of Nader and  Ribicoff; I have  sent them my papers  and  
written  them  personal  letters,  but  I  have never received a reply.

Mark Sonter wrote:

> Was it not Bernie Cohen who a generation ago pointed out that caffeine 
> was one tenth as toxic as plutonium...??  And offered to drink a mug 
> of both to prove some point (probably in response to needling from 
> Gofman or Sternglass or Caldicott or some other cheer-chaser....)
> Mark Sonter

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