[ RadSafe ] Re: radsafe Digest, Vol 195, Issue 3

Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Sat May 2 13:21:47 CDT 2009

May 2

         Below are three links that were provided specifically for me.  The 
bloodindex link is a lengthy list of minerals in the human body.  I have no 
interest in these minerals and no use for the link.  The second link 
(docstoc) consists of a virtually empty page, with a few words about 
potassium.  I have no interest in potassium either.

         The third links (physics.isu) is to Idaho State University's web 
site and an article about "Radioactivity in Nature."  I can't say that I 
found any factual errors in it, however the article is poorly written and 
has many instances of clumsy sentence structure and clumsy 
phraseology.  One sentence ("Other sites with good information on cosmic 
radiation is. . . .") has a plural subject and a singular noun.  This is 
from a state university.  Makes you wonder who wrote it, and if it was 
proofread before being put on the web site.  One would think it would be an 
embarrassment to the University.

         I read another article (Radon Update) on this site which suffers 
from many of the same shortcomings.  This article was published in the 
Journal of Nuclear Medicine, (Vol. 35, No. 2; Feb 1994).  Fifteen years old 
--- a little behind the times, at least with respect to recent developments 
in radon epidemiology.  References number 19, 20, 30, 31, 33, and 34 give 
only the author(s) and date of the paper, and omit the title of the paper, 
and the name of the journal.  In a section of "Other" references, numbers 1 
and 12 are identical.  The Radon Update suffers from spelling errors, 
typographical errors, and errors of punctuation.  Canisters is spelled 
"cannisters" throughout.

         Despite its many shortcomings, the article is very 
informative.  It also takes a dim view of claims that household radon 
exposure is dangerous.  In fact, near the end of the article we read:

"Since there must be other causes of lung cancer besides cigarette smoking 
and radon progeny, many scientists involved in radiation protection matters 
believe that the hazards of radon exposure are significantly 
overestimated.  In any event, the cheapest and most effective way of 
diminishing the lung cancer risk is to decrease or eliminate cigarette 

         The Radon Update article also notes this about the "dangers" of radon:

"A large study is being conducted in the high background region of China in 
the Guangdong Province region, and an adjacent control region. (48)  The 
study involves 2 million person years of observation equally divided 
between the two regions.  The Rn-222 levels differ by a factor of 3 in the 
two areas, but the rates of lung cancer mortality were reversed in relation 
to radon dose.  There were 25 lung cancer deaths in the high background 
area (Av. lung and tracheobronchial dose= 300-400 mrem), and 35 in the 
control region (Ave. lung and tracheobronchial dose = 100 mrem), i.e., a 
25% higher lung cancer mortality rate in the low background region."

         Compare this with Al's comment below about 'begging to differ on 
the radon facts.'  To answer his question about the EPA, the reason the EPA 
spends so much time on radon "education" is that the EPA is determined to 
increase its regulatory reach and powers.  Yes, we could certainly use some 
"honest discussion of the facts."

Steven Dapra


The Radon Update articles gives reference (48) as "Luxin W, Yongru Z, Zufan 
T, Weihui H, Deqing C, and Yongling Y. (1990)."  No journal, no title, no 

At 07:14 PM 4/30/09 -0700, al at solidsurfacealliance.org wrote:

>This is not the first time Mr. Connell has ran [sic] loose with the facts 
>nor is it the first time he has used ridicule rather than accurate facts. 
>Allow me to point out some of the mistruths he used in his post.


>My point, besides showing Mr. Connells [sic] sloppy facts, . . . .


>"Remember, not one study to date, NOT ONE, has demonstrated that radon as 
>seen in homes has been able to demonstrate that it increases the risk of 
>cancer one iota ­ and remember too, that the US EPA found that as radoon 
>concentrations in a home go up, the cancer risk goes DOWN."
>I would think that many on this list server or the Iowa Radon 
>Professionals list server would beg to differ on the radon facts. And 
>someone please explain why the EPA spends so much effort on radon 
>education if increasing radon levels are good for humans?
>ALARA requires that we lower even insignificant doses if practical, 
>especially if it can be done at little additional cost or trouble. Knee 
>jerk reactions to radiation being mentioned hardly serves ALARA purposes. 
>Nor does it help to further confuse the public on radiation issues. A 
>honest discussion of the facts is better than ridiculing those you 
>disagree with nor should one compare an innocuous material with a 
>dangerous one.
>A few references for Steven Dapra.


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