[ RadSafe ] Edward Radford (introduced by Busby)

Steven Dapra 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 
Edward Radford.)

	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."  [1]

	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."  [2]

	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."  [3]

	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.

Steven Dapra


[1]	New Scientist, May 10, 1979; p. 427.
[2]	Journal of Radiological Protection.  22(2); June 1, 2002.
	Link: http://iopscience.iop.org/0952-4746/22/2/601
[3]	Guardian (UK), Nov. 30, 2001.
	Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2001/nov/30/guardianobituaries.research

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