[ RadSafe ] Edward Radford (introduced by Busby)
sjd at swcp.com
Mon May 30 14:19:05 CDT 2011
May 30, 2011
Dr. Chris Busby has invoked Edward Radford from time to time.
Radford was Professor of Environmental Epidemiology in the Graduate
School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. He was also
the chairman of the BEIR III committee. (A lot of turmoil surrounded
BEIR III. I do not propose to discuss that. I am only talking about
According to an article about BEIR III in New Scientist:
"However, Dr. Radford said he personally felt the report justified a
ten fold reduction in the United States current occupational exposure
of 5 rem per year, at least for younger workers. (He would also
favour lower limits for women if that were politically
feasible.) Dr. Radford said he supported the Environmental
Protection Agency's current proposal that a nuclear power plant
should not expose any of the nearby population to more than 25
millirems a year." 
According to Radford's obituary in the Journal of Radiological Protection:
"He became well known in the UK as a compassionate, expert witness on
behalf of claimants against the nuclear industry and MoD [the British
Ministry of Defense]. After his 'retirement' from full time academic
work in 1983, Radford redoubled his efforts on behalf of claimants
and also spent some time in Japan as a visiting scientist at the RERF
and as a visiting professor at the University of Occupational and
Environmental Health at Kitakyushu. Even in the 1990s when he was in
his seventies Ed was seemingly tireless in litigation cases both in
the US and the UK." 
Radford's obituary in the (British) Guardian has this to say about him:
"His collision with orthodoxy began in 1979, when he was chairman of
the committee on the biological effects of ionising radiation (Beir)
at the US National Academy of Sciences. The committee had compiled
revised evaluations concerning radiation risks, which were
considerably higher than the prevailing risks used for designing
industrial safety systems, following the recommendations of the
International Committee for Radiological Protection (ICRP).
"As chairman, Radford's conclusions in the third report (Beir III),
in 1979, indicated that this meant half of 1% of Americans would
develop cancer from manufactured sources of radiation like power
plants and X-rays.
"The report, released shortly after the accident at the Three Mile
Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania, provoked sharp criticism by
some members of the group that had prepared it. The split on the
21-member committee was so bitter and public that the academy
withdrew the report, and the next year issued a revised paper
essentially halving the estimated risk.
"Radford rejected this conclusion. He argued for a model showing that
there was a risk, albeit small, even at the lowest levels of exposure
to radiation; his opponents favoured a model that found there was a
threshold below which there was no harm." 
A search of the RADSAFE archives will turn up some revealing
postings in October of 2001 from Ted Rockwell, Dean Chaney, and Mark
Sonter. Search for "Radford" and "Dory."
Edward Radford will also be found in J. Newell Stannard's
"Radioactivity and Health," (pp. 232 - 234). Begin reading at the
bottom of p. 232 under the heading "Polonium in Tobacco." In 1964,
Radford published some work on the possible role of Po-210 in causing
lung cancer, and Stannard presents an intriguing discussion of the
turmoil that swirled around Po-210 and lung cancer.
 New Scientist, May 10, 1979; p. 427.
 Journal of Radiological Protection. 22(2); June 1, 2002.
 Guardian (UK), Nov. 30, 2001.
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