[ RadSafe ] The human sex odds at birth after theatmosphericatomic bomb tests, after Chernobyl, and in the vicinity of nuclear facilities
sjd at swcp.com
Sat May 28 08:15:07 CDT 2011
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.
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  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  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 (The authors refer to unpublished data for the Nordic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
At the end of their "Short Communication" (three pages long)
 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
The Petridou et al. study (a Letter to Nature) about Greece
 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
"[M]ay be," "may have," and "perhaps." The authors are not
very decisive, are they?
In the same issue of Nature  (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. ,
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  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  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  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.
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
 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.
 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.
 Ivanov, E.; Tolochko, G.V.; Shuvaeva, L.P. Infant leukemia in
Belarus after the Chernobyl accident. Radiat. Env. Biophys 1998, 37, 53-55.
 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.
 Kaletsch, U.; Michaelis, J.; Burkart, W.; Grosche, B. Infant
leukemia after the Chernobyl Accident. Nature 1997, 387, 246.
 Busby, C.; Cato, M. Increases in leukemia in infants in Wales
and Scotland following Chernobyl Energy Environ. 2000, 11, 127-137.
 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,
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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