[ RadSafe ] Radiation risks Request response
parthasarathy k s
ksparth at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Dec 29 04:06:50 CST 2013
Let me at the very outset wish all of you a happy, healthy and productive New Year.
I thought it is time to discuss some of the developments in radiation risk assessment.
A review titled
"Evidence for beneficial low level
radiation effects and
hormesis"by Dr L E
FEINENDEGEN published in the British
Medical Journal concluded :
linear-no-threshold (LNT) hypothesis for cancer risk is scientifically
unfounded and appears to be invalid in favour of a threshold or hormesis. This
is consistent with data both from animal studies and human epidemiological
observations on low-dose induced cancer. The LNT hypothesis should be abandoned
and be replaced by a hypothesis that is scientifically justified and causes
less unreasonable fear and unnecessary expenditure". (BJR , 78 (2005), 3–7)
Shortly thereafter, The French
Academy of Sciences chaired by Prof. Tubiana came to similar conclusions. Several
papers appeared since then. Many of them concluded that LNT theory is not supported by scientific evidence.
The French report concluded that
on the basis of our present knowledge, it is not possible to define the
threshold level (between 5 and 50 mSv?) or to provide evidence for it.
A draft summary of the DOE funded Low Dose Radiation Research
Programme over 10 years from
"To date, these data have
had major impact on understanding the biological processes triggered by low
doses of radiation but require additional research, development of methods of
using the data, and communication before such data can impact radiation
The quest for a scientifically
supported model continues. Every one fervently hopes that the model may provide
evidence for a quantitative value for a threshold dose.
What is the way forward.? Fukushima has added another
dimension to the discourse. Evacuation caused over 1000 deaths
In his article titled "Commentary on Fukushima and Beneficial
Effects of Low Radiation" Dr Jerry Cuttler made a persuasive and
thought provoking statement and a recommendation
. "The ICRP’s concept of
radiation risk is wrong. It should revert to its 1934 concept, which was a
tolerance dose of 0.2 roentgen (r) per day based on more than 35 years of
request RADSAFERS to please respond to the following:
1) How many radsafers are willing to accept Dr Cuttler's
2) My take is to keep the current
ICRP recommendations in tact. Fear of radiation arises from the improper and
incorrect use of concepts. ICRP earlier
and UNSCEAR now has cleared the air. A
well focused public information
programme must be tried to allay radiation phobia.
We should unambiguously state
"There is substantial and convincing evidence for health risks
following high dose exposures. However, below 5–10 rem (which includes
occupational and environmental exposures), risks of health effects are either
too small to be observed or are nonexistent." (Part of the position
statement by the US Health Physics Society)
Do you agree with this proposal?
3) Dose levels at which any emergency
has to be handled should be decided in advance; all stake-holders must participate in that
Is that acceptable?
With warm regards
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