[ RadSafe ] Chris Busby

Savitz, Kenneth R (1UQ) savitzkr at y12.doe.gov
Thu Apr 21 08:13:31 CDT 2011


I like to think of myself as open-minded; so, I will at least consider dissenting opinions and regard them as such and not as scientific fact.  Until we become omnipotent and no longer have the need for experts and statistics to tell us right from wrong, I will continue to listen to all sides of a story.

Having said that - 

from a 2005 paper, by the Division of Pediatric Epidemiology and Clinical Research, 
Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. spector at epi.umn.edu  Maternal diet and infant leukemia: the DNA topoisomerase II inhibitor hypothesis: a report from the children's oncology group.

"Overall, maternal consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits during pregnancy was associated with a decreased risk of infant leukemia ..."

Perhaps, a reduced consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits in the aftermath of Chernobyl was a possible cause of the perceived increase in leukemia incidence rather than a leap to conclude -
"The importance of the infant leukemia results are that the in utero doses were well characterized, and that since the cohort is so well described, there is really no other explanation for the finding apart from exposure to ionizing radiation." (Busby)

I've also read somewhere recently (I can't recall the citation) that an increase in the infant leukemia before Chernobyl had been noted in Europe by actual epidemiological studies (as opposed to a newspaper article or other equally less acceptable source).

While Busby cites the "apparently inexplicable associations between childhood leukemia and exposure near nuclear sites, notably the ongoing child leukemia cluster near the UK Sellafield reprocessing plant" there is also the citation from CERRIE (one of Busby's references) that "scientists have pointed to childhood leukaemia clusters in areas remote from nuclear sites."  So what conclusion would one derive from that information only - two clusters with one near a nuclear site and the other not?

Making statements such as, "continues to result in the deaths of many millions of people." does not help credibility when Busby's paper does not examine mortality - only the incidence of a disease.  By my quick calculation, if all increases caused a mortality, the population of the earth would need to be in the many trillions to cause 'millions of deaths'.

I am neither an epidemiologist nor a statistician (and I have never played one in the media); therefore, I will leave the conclusions of a scientific study to those trained to make logical, statistical, and scientifically defendable arguments.  I may or may not agree with the conclusion based on perceived bias of the author(s) or their credibility or a potential or real financial or political motive or just the way they look; that is my prerogative - however uneducated and unreasonable. 

Making statements such as "There are hundreds of peer review papers" and then citing only one; and then, within that paper, no fewer than seven of twenty references by the same author seems disingenuous, at best.   Most, if not all, scientifically acceptable papers involve a team of experts (statisticians, health physicists, chemists, physicians, epidemiologists, etc), each with their own role and the goal (and obligation) to remain objective to the findings.

So, in the absence of better information (or a scientific study on the matter), I would conclude that Busby is not ignorant (after all, he has a PhD in chemistry, I believe) - only writing and speaking out of his field of expertise.

Ken Savitz
(just a dosimetrist for many years)

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Steven Dapra
Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2011 8:12 AM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Chris Busby

April 21

         This 'no witch hunt' e-mail was sent from 
"RRGWNYEnviro at aol.com".  Who is RRGWNY?  WNY is undoubtedly western 
New York.  Isn't Louis Ricciuti from western NY?  (I'm not saying 
it's LR, I'm merely asking.)

         No one is conducting a witch hunt.  This is a hackneyed 
cliche used to assail speakers who are usually telling the plain 
unvarnished and unpopular truth, or who are asking tough and pointed 
questions.  I haven't seen any ad hominem arguments either.  (Ad 
hominem is Latin, not Greek.)

         I reiterate what I said earlier.  Chris Busby is not a 
health physicist.  I am not making nonsensical claims about 400,000 
additional cancer deaths.  CB needs to substantiate these extravagant 
assertions, and so far he has not done so.

Steven Dapra

At 12:56 AM 4/21/2011, you wrote:
>:AGREE - Conduct science not witch hunt on personal issue. Facts only. No
>place for Greek ad hominem argumentum. Safety must always be in nuclear
>At 09:09 AM 4/20/2011, you wrote:
> >Radsafers
> >
> >I  don't understand all this criticism of Chris Busby. I used google
> >to  find _http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Busby_
>(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Busby)    to look at
> >his background and he looks like a scientist we should  encourage
> >discussion with. I am an "internal dosimetrist" and one of the  items
> >given in the web site I would like to hear more about is the  "Second
> >Event Theory" which distinguishes between hazards of external  and
>internal  radiation.
> >
> >John
> >
> >***************
> >John R  Johnson, PhD
> >CEO, IDIAS, Inc.
> >4535 West 9th Ave
> >Vancouver,  B. C.
> >V6R 2E2, Canada
>:DISAGREE - Not controversial. Busby science positions are becoming  more
>accepted mainstream than past positions on protections. Conservatism in
>protections is a good thing, is it not?
>Wikipedia also notes that Busby is "known for his
>controversial  theories about the negative health effects of very
>low-dose ionising  radiation."  [link  omitted]
>For all we  know, Busby may be the best chemist in the
>UK.  He is not a health  physicist.
>Steven Dapra
>Not controversial. Physical chemistry is so closely related and needed for
>physics understanding. Dr. Busby has it seems.
>Your credential please Mr. Steven Dapra, are you health physicist,  chemist?
>Very truly yours,
>M. Sato
>Environment Monitoring

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