[ RadSafe ] Natural gamma rays supposedly linked to childhood leukemia

Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Fri Jun 29 19:20:59 CDT 2012

June 29

         Here is a link to the abstract of the 
study being discussed.  I have not followed this 
thread until today, so if this link has been 
posted before please accept my apology for being repetitious.


         By doing a Google search I found that G. 
M. Kendall co-authored a study in 2009 titled 
"Cancer in the offspring of female radiation 
workers: a record linkage study."  It was 
published in the British Journal of Cancer, Vol 100, pp. 213-218, 2009.

         The link is:


Steven Dapra

At 02:55 AM 6/29/2012, you wrote:
>Thank you, Bobby.  You have led the authors ad absurdum!  I believe, that
>the paper would not have been accepted for print if it would not serve the
>radiation phobia universe. Does Kendall's paper also suffer from a lack of
>paying attention to confounding factors that may differ regionally?  Was the
>background radiation level the only variable in their regional analyses?
>Unfortunately, I have not been able to get the full paper.  Best, Ludwig
>-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
>Von: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
>[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] Im Auftrag von Scott, Bobby
>Gesendet: Donnerstag, 28. Juni 2012 23:21
>An: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
>Cc: Dan McCarn; Brennan, Mike (DOH); Andy Howard; Dixon, John E.
>Betreff: [ RadSafe ] Natural gamma rays supposedly linked to childhood
>Hi All,
>I have taken a look at the new paper by G. M. Kendall et al. in the Leukemia
>Journal claiming a link between natural background gamma rays and childhood
>leukemia. The paper is titled "A record-based case-control study of natural
>background radiation and the incidence of childhood leukaemia [leukemia] and
>other cancers in Great Britain during 1980-2006." Because of the additional
>radiation-phobia-related casualties in Japan that could be promoted by this
>article, I thought it to be important to take a close look at the modeling
>approach used by the researchers.  Of special interest was the mathematical
>form used for relative risk (RR) evaluation and what values of RR would be
>expected based on the RR function used when radiation doses are
>significantly greater than those from natural background.  The authors used
>an exponential form for relative risk , i.e., RR = exp(alpha*dose) for the
>natural background radiation effect. The authors claim that their calculated
>12% excess relative risk (ERR) of childhood leukemia per mGy of cumulative
>red-bone-marrow dose from natural-background-related gamma rays supports the
>extrapolation of high-dose-rate risk models (e.g., based on A-bomb
>survivors) to low-rate exposure.  A 12% excess relative risk per mGy after
>low-dose, low-rate exposure implies a value of 0.12 per mGy for the
>parameter alpha.  With this value, RR for childhood leukemia at 100 mGy
>(similar to the annual dose from natural background radiation for the Kerala
>coast, India) would be calculated to be RR =
>exp(12) = 162,755. For a 200 mGy (20 rad) dose (similar to the annual dose
>from natural background radiation in Ramsar, Iran), RR would be calculated
>to be 26,489,122,130. As I think others may agree, such a derived
>dose-response function for leukemia RR for children raises serious questions
>about the validity of the results of the study of Kendall et al.
>Best wishes,
>B. R. Scott
>Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute
>2425 Ridgecrest Drive SE
>Albuquerque, NM 87108, USA

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