[ RadSafe ] Mr. Connell states basis for radon riskreduction "havebeen rejected by legitimate scientists for decades"

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Wed May 6 15:38:58 CDT 2009

Hi, Steve.

Proving that something *will* cause a negative outcome is, of course,
impossible to do before the negative outcome has occurred, and sometime
even then it isn't accepted by all parties.  I had an uncle who was
convinced that drinking did not effect his driving, and that no one
could prove differently.  And, to be fair, he was never involved in a
serious collision that I know of.  Still.

As I understand it, at the moment there is no way of demonstrating that
a particular cancer was caused by radiation (please note that this is
not my field, and I may be wrong about some cases.  Also, new
developments might at any moment make it easy to do).  I do, however,
understand and accept the model that predicts that some cells that are
exposed to radiation will become cancerous.  I feel that is pretty well
established.  I listen with interest when people talk about hormesis
and/or thresholds, and await models and studies that would elevate one
of those concepts to the dominant paradigm status.     

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
Behalf Of Steven Dapra
Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 5:43 PM
To: radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Mr. Connell states basis for radon
riskreduction "havebeen rejected by legitimate scientists for decades"

May 5

         True enough.  No one has made that claim.  Is it possible to
prove that 250 pCi/L in a home *can* cause cancer?  Or that it will?
And for what period of time must one be exposed to Rn at this level?
Etc., etc.  I am not suggesting that anyone is making the claim that
exposure in a home, at this level, can cause cancer.  I am merely asking
an academic question, to wit, can it be proven.

Steven Dapra

At 03:29 PM 5/5/09 -0400, you wrote:
>Brennan, Mike (DOH) wrote:
>>While it is not a study, here is an article about a situation I was 
>>slightly involved in:
>>http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/mar/08/a-silent-danger/. The 
>>woman in the article is a never-smoker, living in and from non-smoking

>>households, and working in a smoke free workplace.  She was diagnosed 
>>with lung cancer.  When her home was tested for radon the levels on 
>>the main floor, including in her bedroom, were around 250 pCi/l.  I am

>>not a radi-phobe, but that's a lot of radon.  I acknowledge that we do

>>not know for certain what induced her cancer, but I know what I 
>>consider to be the most likely suspect.

>  No one has claimed that 250 pCi/L in a home cannot cause cancer
>Bernard L. Cohen
>Physics Dept., University of Pittsburgh
>Pittsburgh, PA 15260
>Tel: (412)624-9245  Fax: (412)624-9163
>e-mail: blc at pitt.edu  web site: http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc

You are currently subscribed to the RadSafe mailing list

Before posting a message to RadSafe be sure to have read and understood
the RadSafe rules. These can be found at:

For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe and other settings
visit: http://radlab.nl/radsafe/

More information about the RadSafe mailing list