[ RadSafe ] Adverse Health Consequences due to Extensive Exposures of Ionizing Radiation X-rays and Electromagnetic Radiation(UNCLASSIFIED)

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Mon Aug 2 18:34:53 CDT 2010

With all due respect to Mr. von Kessel, I believe his calculations are
wrong.  If he were exposed to between 38 and 76 rem per day for weeks at
a time, undoubtedly some type of acute effect would have occurred,
though I don't know what.  (I could not find anywhere talking about this
kind of exposure.  The few places I looked talked about either exposure
in the 1 to 10 rem per year range, or 100s or 1,000s of rem in a single
event).  Without seeing his numbers, I suspect that he may not have
taken into account the output of x-rays is spherical, so the vast
majority of the photons produced do not hit a particular target.  I also
suspect that there may be some decrease due to distance that wasn't
properly taken into effect, and also likely some shielding.  The net
result is I suspect the exposure to x-rays from the tubes, while not
zero, was likely orders of magnitude less than in these calculations.  

Although cancer is not my field of expertise, I would point out that it
is very, very hard to link a whole body exposure around 30 years ago to
a specific cancer now.  This is even more the case with something like
prostate cancer.  A quick check did not find any sources citing
radiation exposure as a cause of prostate cancer.  The strongest
connections (besides being male, obviously) seem to be genetic
predisposition, diet, and perhaps blood pressure.  

Speaking as a fellow retired service member (US Navy, 2001), I wish Mr.
von Kessel the best of luck.  I do not, however, believe this particular
path will be productive.

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Jeff Terry
Sent: Monday, August 02, 2010 2:24 PM
To: Radsafe
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Adverse Health Consequences due to Extensive
Exposuresof Ionizing Radiation X-rays and Electromagnetic

For Jon von Kessel:

See below.


Begin forwarded message:

> From: "von Kessel, Jon Mr CIV US USA AMC" <Jon.vonKessel at us.army.mil>
> Date: August 2, 2010 4:22:24 PM CDT
> To: "radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu" <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>,
"JvK at clearwire.net" <JvK at clearwire.net>, Jeff Terry <terryj at iit.edu>
> Subject: Adverse Health Consequences due to Extensive Exposures of
Ionizing Radiation X-rays and Electromagnetic Radiation (UNCLASSIFIED)
> Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
> Caveats: NONE
> Folks,
> I'm inquiring whether any of you well learned scholars have any
> that you could share regarding the potential health consequences of
> Bremsstrahlung X-rays as they pertain to the subject matter and the
> following:
> George Chabot, PhD, CHP of the Health Physics Society, at:
> http://www.hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q6213.html, states that "In
> high-voltage tubes the anode voltage has a direct bearing on the
> and intensities of 'bremsstrahlung' X-rays that are generated. The
> intensity has strong voltage dependence, usually increasing with at
> the square of the voltage. The effect such changes might have on the
> response of an ionization chamber depends largely on the specific
> characteristics of the chamber, especially its energy response
> characteristics. Ionization chambers vary in their energy responses,
> depending on design, especially on the wall material and wall
> According to Princeton University, in an article on Open Source
> Safety Training and Radiation Properties, their study reported at:
> onproperties.htm, that the effects of bremsstrahlung X-ray production
> like a gamma ray, an X-ray is a packet (or photon) of electromagnetic
> radiation emitted from an atom, except that the X-ray is not emitted
> the nucleus. X-rays are produced as the result of changes in the
> of the electrons orbiting the nucleus, as the electrons shift to
> energy levels. X-rays can be produced during the process of
> decay or as bremsstrahlung radiation. Bremsstrahlung radiations are
> produced when high-energy electrons strike a target made of a heavy
> such as tungsten or copper.  As electrons collide with this material,
> have their paths deflected by the nucleus of the metal atoms.  This
> deflection results in the
> production of X-rays as the electrons lose energy. 
> I understand that this is the process by which an X-ray machine
> X-rays.  X-rays particularly can present a hazard from exposures
external to
> the body. Essentially, this is the same effect that occurs with the
> emitting electrons towards the anode within a power amplifier vacuum
> such as that which are used to generate the LORAN-C transmitter's 1 to
> Megawatt navigation system's 100 kHz signals.
> Now, you might ask, why am I interested in the subject.  I spent a
good part
> of 20 years working in the immediate vicinity of the power amplifier
> of U.S. Coast Guard's LORAN-C transmitters.  The anode voltage used is
> kV.  I've encountered prostate cancer and other health related
ailments of
> which may be a direct consequence of the effects of high levels of
> bremsstrahlung X-rays.  The nominal level of exposure conservatively
> estimated is about 38,400 mrem/day, with occasional periods of
exposure at
> 76,800 mrem/day or 9600 mrem/hr.  Unfortunately for me and many other
> personnel, the potential radiation exposure levels were unknown to
> everyone concerned, otherwise we would have probably had training and
> area would have been classified as a controlled "Radiation Area".
> Your response will be much appreciated.  Thanking you in advance.
> Jon von Kessel
> U.S. Coast Guard (Retired 1984)
> Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
> Caveats: NONE

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