[ RadSafe ] " Uranium dangers are very real "

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Fri Feb 13 11:01:42 CST 2009

Dr, Dworkind,

It the conscientious physicians of Sept Îles didn't then threaten to leave town if all smokers in town didn't stop immediately, then they have their priorities confused, as you yourself point out that radon is second behind smoking, and you are probably aware that smoking is the most likely cause in 90% of lung cancers.  

While the conscientious physicians are at it, they should threaten to leave town if every house in town isn't tested for radon and all above the action level mitigated.  The Canadian government has indeed reduced to be more in line with the level the USA has been using for decades, and this was done without any physicians threatening to leave anywhere.  But reasoned, evidence based decision making lacks the drama of blackmail.  

While the conscientious physicians are at it, they should threaten to leave if the residents of town don't agree to exercise properly, eat better diets, and drink only in moderation.  

After all that is accomplished, I am sure there is another tier of health risks, maybe two tiers, before they get down to the risks posed by the mine.  

And, of course, the uranium will always be there later, when people change their minds. 

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On Behalf Of Jaro
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 3:52 AM
Subject: [ RadSafe ] " Uranium dangers are very real "

Uranium dangers are very real
The Gazette, February 13, 2009 3:02 AM

Re: "Mining town balks at uranium" (Gazette, Feb. 7).

Mark Cardwell's article might leave readers believing that the residents of Sept Îles were only imagining the threatening health and environmental concerns that led to a permanent moratorium on uranium mining.

His article doesn't mention radon gas, a principal toxic contaminant of uranium mining. This is especially true of the low-grade ore, whose extraction creates huge deposits of ground-up tailings that leak radon into the air, soil and water.

Health Canada describes radon gas as second only to cigarettes as the leading cause of lung cancer. Recently the federal government has reduced the permissible level by 75 per cent to achieve safer public health measures.

We must applaud the conscientious physicians of Sept Îles in threatening to leave town in a desperate and successful attempt to alert the mayor and council that profit over people is unacceptable. The short-term economic benefits that uranium mining might produce do not outweigh the devastating long-term effects it has on the environment and people's health.

Dr. Michael A. Dworkind
Cancer Prevention Unit
Jewish General Hospital


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