[ RadSafe ] Arguments with Dr. Busby

Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Mon May 16 21:52:31 CDT 2011

May 16

         My comments will be interspersed below.

Steven Dapra

At 12:16 PM 5/16/2011, you wrote:

>Let me try to add some clarity. What I have seen is that you make some
>claims about the effects of ionizing radiation exposure, and then you
>propose several new theories to explain how exposure to ionizing
>radiation might be drastically more hazardous that previously thought.


>OK. Good. Ill try to make it short.
>I started this in 1987 because of Sellafield. 
>You may recall that a TV company discovered a 
>10-fold excess of child leukaemia at Sellafield, 
>a fuel reprocessing site, in 1982. There was a 
>government enquiry. The nuclear establishment 
>scientists said the (on the basis of the 
>Japanese data for cancer yield, (the ICRP model 
>that the health physicists apply) the doses 
>(about 500uSv) were too low so it couldn’t be 
>radiation. Of course 500uSv is far lower than natural; background.
>But I thought, surely the Japanese data are 
>about high dose acute external irradiation? Not 
>low dose chronic internal irradiation. This is 
>not a scientifically valid comparison, 
>especially since the Japanese RERF/ABCC cohorts 
>were all equally exposed to internal.
>I decided to dig a bit, both epidemiologically and at the cell level.
>I found basically (and to my astonishment) that 
>“absorbed dose” the covariate in any 
>epidemiological study was applied at the 
>kilogram level. And please don’t refer me to 
>ICRP66 as that has bogus coefficients.

         Why do you believe the coefficients in 
ICRP 66 are "bogus"?  Please don't refer me (us) 
to your books or articles, for they are definitely bogus.


>I decided to look at the most easy 
>epidemiological comparison: the population of 
>Wales (high fallout from weapons testing, all 
>measured) and England (low fallout exposures). I 
>found that the Welsh population suddenly 
>increased their cancer rate 20 years after the 
>fallout to 30% higher than the England rate. The 
>Sr-90 dose was 1mSv as calculated by ICRP 
>(UNSCEAR) I published a book (Wings of Death 
>1995) and got a letter into the BMJ in 1994.

         No source material, of course, for the 
claims about exposure in England and Wales.  SD


>I looked at the literature and found that 
>various people has found that X-ray 
>fractionation within the cell cycle time of 
>10-12 hrs increased the risk. The Second event 
>theory followed, but basically I don’t depend on 
>that. Its just one idea. No one has done the 
>experiments apart from the early split dose work so no one knows.
>Since then I have done an awful lot of 
>epidemiology and also theoretical stuff. The 
>conclusions and those of my colleagues (who are 
>not lightweights in this area) are on the 
>www.euradom.org site, check the "Lesvos Declaration".
>So basically, yes, there is epidemiological 
>evidence, a lot of it. And it is denied by the 
>radsafers and the authorities on the basis of the Japanese data essentially.

         Apparently Busby means evidence for his 
claim that low level ionizing radiation is much 
more harmful that it is generally believed to 
be.  Again, no citations to any 
literature.  We're just supposed to believe 
"Wings of Death," Busby's letter in the BMJ, and 
the "Lesvos Declaration."  This Declaration, 
which I have just now finished skimming, is a 
series of un-supported assertions.  It has a mere 
17 signatories.  I recognize two names:  Busby's 
and (surprise, surprise) Marvin Resnikoff.

Link to the Declaration: http://www.euradcom.org/2009/lesvosdeclaration.htm


>OK, so to the high background radiation. This is 
>only a valid comparison for cancer if the people 
>concerned are equivalent. You know that cancer 
>rates vary with populations. The Japanese 
>emigrants in Hawaii take on the cancer rates of 
>the Hawaiians. The immigrants to Sweden from 
>Iraq take on the Sweden rates for various 
>cancers. This is old stuff. People who are 
>indigenous to high background radiation areas 
>may have adjusted by killing off the radiation 
>sensitive individuals. Who knows?  I have a book 
>on it which I can send you, Wolves of Water.  In 
>addition, I showed in Wings of Death in 1995 
>that these high background studies all show 
>chromosome damage, all of them. Loutit in 1971, 
>(head of the Medical Research Council UK) argued 
>(in a paper) that radium effects on bone marrow 
>would result in early deaths. So focussing on 
>cancer is not a good thing.If you die of a heart 
>attack early you dont die of cancer which is a 
>old age thing.  Radiation kills by a kind of 
>premature ageing: this is seen in the Chernobyl 
>affected territories where in the Ukraine and 
>Belarus for example they have lost 20 years of lifespan.

         Again, no citations.  None of this does 
anything to prove that ionizing radiation is more 
dangerous that it is generally believed to be.  I 
question Busby's claim that lifespan in the 
Ukraine and in Belarus has dropped by 20 
y.  Naturally, he attributes this to Chernobyl, 
conveniently forgetting about confounding factors 
such as cigarette smoking, heavy drinking, bad 
food, bad water, and poor medical care.

         Loutit is John Freeman Loutit, who died 
in 1992.  I couldn't find a 1971 paper by him but 
I did find a paper "Malignancy from Radium" (Br J 
Cancer. 1970 June; 24(2): 195–207.)

>Have a look at ECRR2010. You can download it from www.euradcom.org

         I'm sure ECRR 2010 is as junky as 
everything else that Chris Busby has his hand in.

Steven Dapra


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