[ RadSafe ] radiation risk

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Tue May 5 11:01:55 CDT 2009

Hi, Al. 

It rather depends on the definitions of "low-level carcinogenicity" and "virtually non-existent", doesn't it?  

If you define "high-level carcinogenicity" as levels at which the carcinogenic effects can be detected against the background, and "low-level carcinogenicity" as levels at which the carcinogenic effects are difficult or impossible to separate from normal background, the statement is both true and misleading.  

Note that I have no emotional attachment to LNT, and in fact believe that most potential carcinogens have dose/risk curves that, if the true shape could be determined, would show some threshold.  I also believe that the threshold is likely to be different between individuals, and even for the same individual at different times, and that it would be impossibly complex to even try to develop different models for different demographics for all but a few cases.  I also suspect that for most potential carcinogens the thresholds are likely so low that they would be difficult to pick out of the statistical noise that usually becomes more dominant the closer you get to "zero".  In the case of radon, I've made my peace with LNT not because I think it is exactly correct, but because I think it is good enough, and I doubt a significantly better model could be obtained at a reasonable price.

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On Behalf Of al gerhart
Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2009 7:09 PM
To: radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: [ RadSafe ] radiation risk

Could I get some comments on this statement?   I don't think this person has both oars in the water.
"The evidence for low-level carcinogenicity is virtually non-existent. "
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