[ RadSafe ] More on the indefensible attack on dead scientists - Gofman et al
sjd at swcp.com
Mon May 20 21:21:43 CDT 2013
Gofman claimed a human exposure of 100,000
man-rems from the Three Mile Island accident, and
then claimed one death per 300 man-rems. Since
no one was exposed to enough radiation to cause a
fatality, how can Gofman claim any deaths from
exposure? Andy took care of this nonsensical
argument with his analogy about one million rocks
each weighing one gram. Gofmans claim about
deaths at Three Mile Island are worthless.
No one is saying or suggesting that since a
number of deaths is only this much instead of a
much larger amount that the smaller number of
deaths is acceptable. Louis Ricciuti is being
immoral in the way he twists around my line of
reasoning. (I am speaking only for myself, not
Andy Karam.) As far as any inbred trait in the
nuclear industry is concerned, I have personally
heard an anti-nuker publicly drag out the immorality argument.
With respect to medical degrees, how does Louis
Ricciuti know whether or not I hold a medical
degree? Permit me to inform him that John Gofman
was not a health physicist, nor was he an
epidemiologist. So now who lacks the
(presumably) necessary credentials to draw
conclusions? Furthermore, Gofman had a much
larger following that I do, and had far more
influence. Perhaps he should have been held to a higher standard.
John Gofman published a book in 1999 claiming
that X-rays caused ischemic heart disease. In
his review of Gofmans book, Stephen Musolino
(2000), points out a number of its
shortcomings. One of Musolinos points is this:
According to the American Heart Association, the
age-adjusted death rate per 100,000 from coronary
heart disease [as shown in Gofmans book] has
dropped over 50% from the mid-sixties to the year
1992. Given that the collective medical x-ray
dose to the population increased over the same
period this is a contradiction within [Gofmans] book itself.
Gofman enjoys the status of being a secular
saint to the anti-nuclear faithful. I doubt that
much can be done about this unfortunate state of affairs.
Like Andy Karam, I am not interested in
discussing Gofman any further. I am also telling
Louis Ricciuti, publicly, DO NOT send me e-mails
at my private e-mail address.
Radiation From Medical Procedures in the
Pathogenesis of Cancer and Ischemic Heart
Disease: Does-Response Studies with Physicians
per 100,000 Population, by John Gofman
(1999). Book review in Health Physics, 79(2): 207-208; Aug. 2000.
[earlier posting today from Andy Karam follows]
Actually, you misunderstand the point that was
being made. I doubt that anybody considers deaths
to be acceptable. The point of this was that Dr.
Gofman made a simple math mistake that inflated
his risk calculations. You should also look at
the number of lives lost in coal mines, in oil
and gas fields, and in communities affected by
the waste from mining and petroleum recovery
you will certainly find that even Gofmans
inflated numbers are far lower than the death
toll from fossil fuels and that doesnt even
get into the possible impact of climate change.
If our goal truly is to minimize the loss of life
from energy production then we have to consider
ALL of the lives that are affected not just the
ones that help us to make our point.
The bottom line is that the availability of
relatively cheap energy is the most important
factor globally in helping people to have
healthier, longer, and better lives. We can
continue burning fuels as we have for tens of
thousands of years and pumping greenhouse gases
into the atmosphere. We can continue holding out
for alternative sources of energy none of
which are environmentally benign while millions
are deprived of the energy that they need. Or we
can use nuclear energy to help fill the gap
between the fossil fuels (that are polluting and
that are running out) and whatever comes next.
Incidentally, Im not sure what points youre
trying to score by pointing out that neither
Steve Dapra nor I are medical doctors unless
you are being uncharacteristically modest in your
e-mail signature, neither are you. But holding
(or not) a medical degree has no impact on the
ability to multiply two numbers (as Gofman did)
and arrive at the correct result (as he did not).
But I suspect that whatever I say will make no
dent on your utter certainty, and I will not
discuss this matter with you further.
Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but
certainty is a ridiculous one. (Voltaire)
From: NiagaraNet at aol.com [mailto:NiagaraNet at aol.com]
Sent: Monday, May 20, 2013 1:09 AM
To: sjd at swcp.com; KARAM, PHILIP
Cc: niagaranet at aol.com
Subject: More on the indefensible attack on dead scientists - Gofman et al
Dear Mr. Dapra and Mr. Karam:
So, you both will argue that John W. Gofman,
M.D., was "wrong" but yet you both expound
instead on "it's only 50 to 150 DEATHS." Just a
simple math equation to you both, eh? Sorry guys
but in "anyone's world" that's just immoral. It
seems that's an inbred trait throughout your
industry - that immorality thing! As long as you
can make a paycheck, 50 to 150 deaths is "OK" in
the nuclear industry for the general public? You
wonder why the general public thinks so lowly of this business?
Wonder no more.
And, to boot, neither of you hold a medical degree!
Niagara Falls _ Lewiston - Porter, NY
"Los Alamos East"
[ RadSafe ] Gofman on TMI and Chernobyl deaths
Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Mon May 13 19:13:25 CDT 2013
Previous message: [ RadSafe ] Gofman on TMI and Chernobyl deaths
Next message: [ RadSafe ] Fwd: Carbon dioxide peaks to 400 ppm now
Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]
Plus, it's my understanding that 300 rems is LD50, which
reduces the death toll to about 150. Whatever the case, Gofman was
talking nonsense --- as he was wont to do.
Thank you, Andy, for your analysis.
At 07:58 AM 5/13/2013, you wrote:
>Boy, even if you accept his numbers for population dose and accept LNT
>at any level of exposure the math still doesn't work out. Using a risk
>coefficient of 5% per Sv a dose of 300 rem (3 Sv) gives a 15% chance of
>fatal cancer. So (if I remember how to do this, which might not be a
>good assumption), instead of 333 cancers we'd have 333 x 15% = 50 fatal
>But even this is likely an over-estimate since virtually all off-site
>dose to exposed individuals was so low, and since his population dose
>figure is so high. It brings to mind the ICRP statement that, if the
>dose to the most-exposed individual is trivial then the dose to all
>individuals must be considered trivial and it's inappropriate to assume
>that the collective dose will somehow have an impact. Or to use an
>analogy I posted earlier, we can't throw a million one-gram rocks at
>everyone in Cleveland and assume that, because the cumulative weight is
>a ton, a few people will be crushed.
>From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
>[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Steven Dapra
>Sent: Friday, May 10, 2013 11:22 PM
>To: radsafe at agni.phys.iit.edu
>Subject: [ RadSafe ] Gofman on TMI and Chernobyl deaths
>Gofman claimed a human exposure of
>100,000 man-rems from the Three Mile Island
>accident. He then claimed one death per 300
>man-rems. Dividing 100,000 by 300 gives 333
>deaths from Three Mile Island --- at least in Gofman's world.
>He made this claim in the Foreword to
>the 1979 printing of his book "Poisoned
>Power." The Foreword will be found at this link:
>To find his specific claim about the
>number of deaths, scroll down the page about
>two-thirds of the way to the paragraph beginning
>"Now we are ready to solve our equation."
>For Gofman's claims of deaths resulting
>from the Chernobyl accident, see a 1994 interview
>with Gofman in "Synapse," the student newspaper
>published by the University of California in San
>Francisco. In the interview, Gofman said:
>"After Chernobyl, I estimated that there were
>going to be 475,000 fatal cancers throughout
>Europe - with another 475,000 cancers that are
>not fatal. That estimate was based on the dose
>released on the various countries of fallout from Cesium-137."
>The link is:
>The quote is near the beginning of the interview.
More information about the RadSafe