[ RadSafe ] The human sex odds at birth after theatmosphericatomic bomb tests, after Chernobyl, and in the vicinity of nuclear facilities

Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Sat May 28 08:15:07 CDT 2011

May 28

         Since Chris Busby complained (below) that no one has 
presented a "sensible explanation" of the post-Chernobyl infant 
leukemias, I have reproduced my brief critique of his article.  Then 
I reproduce his reply, and the germane portion of my rejoinder to 
that.  My rejoinder was never answered.  Below that are the 
References to my critique of Busby.

Steven Dapra

At 02:00 PM 5/27/2011, you wrote:
>But the ECRR and the ICRP have exactly the same status. Can it be 
>that you guys dont know this?
>They are both supposed to be independent.
>But just ask ICRP who funds it.
>It wont tell you.
>ICRP has no official status. This is what its secretary Jack 
>Valentin told us at a meeting in the European Parliament in 1997. He 
>said, the European Parliament is free to consult any organisation 
>for its advice.
>I still havent had any sensible explanation of the infant leukemias.


April 24, 2011

         Chris Busby's article [1] says "there were reported 
increases in infant leukemia in the in the in utero exposed cohort" 
in Scotland, Belarus, Greece, Germany, and Wales and Scotland combined.

         The claim about Scotland by itself is found in a one-column 
letter to the editor of the Lancet [2] in 1988.  The authors allude 
to the Chernobyl accident and write, "Whole body scanning for 
radiocaesium has been done in some of our children and their mothers 
but no increased levels have been found compared with 
controls."  Also:  "No increase in young children has been found in 
the Nordic countries," and "For West Germany data were available only 
for the whole age range to 14 years; again no increase has been 
observed."  (The authors refer to unpublished data for the Nordic 
countries, and for West Germany.)

         I would assume that the Nordic countries and West Germany 
received higher exposure to the Chernobyl accident than did 
Scotland.  If that assumption is correct, it seems likely that the 
former two areas would have higher rates of leukemia than did 
Scotland.  Again, if my assumption is correct, although Scotland saw 
an increase in leukemia it seems unlikely that it can be attributed 
to Chernobyl.

         At the end of their "Short Communication" (three pages long) 
[3] about leukemia in Belarus, the authors write:  "However, the 
observed excess in Belarus in the 'exposed cohort' is not 
statistically significant and is smaller than the increase seen in 
Greece or Germany. The radiation exposures after Chernobyl were far 
higher --- by a factor of more than 10 --- in Belarus than in Greece 
or in Germany [exposure levels omitted].  The comparison of observed 
excess rates in Greece and Germany with those in Belarus makes it, 
therefore, difficult to accept radiation from Chernobyl as the 
causative factor."

         The Petridou et al. study (a Letter to Nature) about Greece 
[4] is a little peculiar.  The de facto Abstract begins by saying, 
"There has been no documented increase in childhood leukaemia 
following the Chernobyl accident."  The closing paragraph of the 
letter says, "In conclusion, we provide evidence that infant 
leukaemia may be caused by very low level intrauterine exposure to 
ionizing radiation; that fallout from the Chernobyl explosion may 
have increased the incidence of infant leukaemia among Greek children 
exposed in utero, perhaps by as much as 2 to 3 fold; and that 
low-level preconceptional radiation has no demonstrable effect on 
leukaemia risk."

         "[M]ay be," "may have," and "perhaps."  The authors are not 
very decisive, are they?

         In the same issue of Nature [4] (pp. 303-304), in a brief 
"News and Views" assessment of the Petridou et al. study, Darby and 
Roman raise some legitimate questions about their findings, and note 
that their results "depend on only 12 cases of infant leukaemia".

         Busby invokes a study in Germany by Kaletsch, et al. [5], 
however I have not read it.  I doubt that it reports anything much 
different than what the other studies have found.  His claims about 
Wales and Scotland combined [6, 7] are based on studies that he 
co-authored.  I don't know if these two journals are available at the 
local university library, and my guess is that the primary source 
material is full of qualifiers about the findings of increased leukemias.

         In his article [1] Busby also wrote:

"Because the number of exposed children is so large, it can be safely 
concluded that there was a real increase in infant leukemia in those 
who were exposed in utero to the fallout from Chernobyl although we 
cannot say for certain that the effect was not due to parental 
pre-conception irradiation, since our exposed groups (defined by 
Petridou et al.) were born up to the end of 1987."

         Petridou et al. is the Letter to Nature [4] discussed 
above.  If we take the "cannot" and the "not" out of what Busby 
wrote, what he is saying in effect is that parental pre-conception 
irradiation may have caused the increase in leukemias.  This is the 
opposite of what Petridou et al. write.  They said, "we provide 
evidence . . . that low-level preconceptional radiation has no 
demonstrable effect on leukaemia risk."

         Busby [1] also wrote, " The ICRP model has been criticized 
for lack of scientific method and for failures to predict or explain 
a number of observations in children [11-13,16]."

         References 11,13, and 16, are all co-authored by 
Busby.  Numbers 11 and 16 are not peer-reviewed papers.  Number 12 is 
in French.  I don't read French, so I can't comment on it.

         Someone else has already pointed this out on RADSAFE, 
however it bear repeating:  Busby's article has 20 references.  Seven 
of them are Busby citing work that he wrote or co-wrote.  Three of 
those seven are not peer reviewed papers, they are reports or recommendations.

         I don't know where Chris Busby, a chemist, gets the idea 
that he is qualified to criticize the ICRP.

Steven Dapra

Busby's reply:

Dear everyone,
I have never claimed lots of abortions after Chernobyl. Just to put 
the matter straight.

And regarding the Dapra statement, I have only just seen what he said 
about the infant leukemias. He is the second one of you to address 
this issue though it took him long enough.

Basically he is saying there were no excess infant leukemias in the 
Chernobyl fallout in utero cohort. The 5 difference groups got it 
wrong. Is that a fair analysis? Or have I missed something?
Incidentally, the paper on the Scottish infant leukemias was by the 
Oxford-based Childhood cancer Research Group.
The French IRSN report saying that ICRP was questionable has been 
translated into English for those who cant read French.

Well thats one way to do it I suppose. Cant argue with that. All 5 
goups made up the data. Nice one Steven.
By the way, what are Mr Dapras qualifications? Has he done any 
research? Has he published anything in the peer review literature? I 
havent found anything published by him or his sidekick Helbig. Except 
attacks on me of course.

The germane portions of my reply to Busby:

         I, Steven Dapra, did NOT say there were no excess infant
leukemias.  This was said by the researchers who studied the
leukemias.  I am merely quoting what they said.  If Dr. Busby finds
their conclusions objectionable, I suggest that he take it up with
the researchers and not with me.

          I do not know who the "5 difference groups" are, nor have I
read their studies.  Hence, I can not comment on what they said, nor
can I comment on whether or not they prepared a "fair analysis."

          Dr. Busby appears to be surprised by my quoting the cited
literature as saying there were no excess leukemias.  (He asks, "Or
have I missed something?")  I think he missed reading the literature
he cited, for if he had read it he would have found --- as I did, and
as I reported here --- that there were no excess leukemias.

          Dr. Busby did not give a citation (today) for the "the paper
on the Scottish infant leukemias" [I assume that it is the letter to
the Lancet by Gibson, et al.; (1988, 2, 630).]  If my assumption is
correct, this is not a paper, it is a letter of approximately one
column.  The authors (Gibson, Eden, Barrett, Stiller, and Draper) are
not identified in the Lancet as being connected with the Oxford-based
Childhood cancer Research Group.

         End of the germane portion.  For those who would like to 
read the entire reply, the link is



[1]     Busby, Christopher. Very Low Dose Fetal Exposure to Chernobyl 
Contamination Resulted in Increases in Infant Leukemia in Europe and 
Raises Questions about Current Radiation Risk Models. Int. J. 
Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(12), 3105-3114.
[2]     Gibson, B.E.S.; Eden, O.B.; Barrett, A.; Stiller, C.A.; 
Draper, G.J. Leukemia in young children in Scotland. Lancet 1988, 2, 630.
[3]     Ivanov, E.; Tolochko, G.V.; Shuvaeva, L.P. Infant leukemia in 
Belarus after the Chernobyl accident. Radiat. Env. Biophys 1998, 37, 53-55.
[4]     Petridou, E.; Trichopoulos, N.; Dessypris, N.; Flytzani, V.; 
Haidas, S.; Kalmanti, M. Infant leukemia after in utero exposure to 
radiation from Chernobyl. Nature 1996, 382, 352-353.
[5]     Kaletsch, U.; Michaelis, J.; Burkart, W.; Grosche, B. Infant 
leukemia after the Chernobyl Accident. Nature 1997, 387, 246.
[6]     Busby, C.; Cato, M. Increases in leukemia in infants in Wales 
and Scotland following Chernobyl Energy Environ. 2000, 11, 127-137.
[7]     Busby, C.; Scott, C.M. Increases in leukemia in infants in 
Wales and Scotland following Chernobyl: Evidence for errors in 
statutory risk estimates and dose-response assumptions. Int. J. 
Radiat. Med. 2001, 23.

Busby's References 11, 12, 13, and 16 are:

11. Busby, C.; Bertell, R.; Schmitz-Feuerhake, I.; Yablokov, A. 2003 
recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk. The 
health effects of ionising radiation exposure at low doses for 
radiation protection purposes. Regulators Edition; ECRR: Brussels, 
Belgium, 2003.
12. IRSN. Les consequences sanitaires des contaminations internes 
chroniques par les radionucleides. Avis sur le rapport CERI 'Etudes 
des effets sanitaires de l'exposition aux faibles doses de radiations 
ionisantes a des fins de radioprotection. DRPH 22005/20 Institut de 
Radioprotection at de Surete Nucliare (IRSN): Fontenay aux Roses, France, 2005.
13. Busby, C.; Fucic, A. Ionizing Radiation and children's health: 
PINCHE conclusions. Acta Paediat. 2006, 453, 81-86.
16. Bramhall, R.; Busby, C.; Dorfman, P. Minority Report of the 
Committee Examining Radiation Risk from Internal Emitters; Sosiumi 
Press: Aberystwyth, UK, 2004.

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