[ RadSafe ] New study re: birth defects in Iraq

Lantzelot Mattias.Lantz at physics.uu.se
Mon Oct 29 15:25:47 CDT 2012

To me this study is as strange as the earlier ones on the same theme by 
Busby, if not worse. Take a look at the error bars. I am not an expert 
in statistics, but when the statistical errors are as large as (or 
larger than...) the values themselves, then it is difficult to 
understand how it is possible to draw any conclusions the way that they do.

Furthermore, it would be nice if anybody with knowledge about 
folate-deficiency related health effects can take a close look at that 
part and give a comment. It seems to be squeezed into the article rather 
bluntly, and is more of an opinion than a firm conclusion based on any 
of the data or the references.

As a side note, the article by Wang et al that is referred to regarding 
the issue with folate-deficiency is not very convincing, they fit lines 
to a set of data points that are all over the place.

It is also noteworthy that the article authors spend 1.5 pages on very 
precise details with the experimental measurement method (ICPMS) but are 
much less careful with how they handle the selected families for the 
study. For an epidemiological case control study it may not be an error 
to have a control group that is much smaller than the group of cases. 
But considering the rest it raises serious doubts, at least with me.

My five cents...

Mattias Lantz

Mattias Lantz - Researcher
ランツ マティアス
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Division of Applied Nuclear Physics
Uppsala University, Box 516
SE - 751 20, Uppsala, Sweden
email:  mattias.lantz at physics.uu.se

On 10/29/2012 08:07 PM, Harrison, Tony wrote:
> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3464374/pdf/128_2012_Article_817.pdf
> This appears to be a pretty well designed study.  It's a real problem, but
> it's not the depleted uranium, it's the lead.
> Maybe.

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