[ RadSafe ] The Demon Metal or The Gospel According to Chris Busby
PHILIP.KARAM at nypd.org
Fri Jan 3 12:04:01 CST 2014
A good reference on the health effects of uranium is a (relatively) recent report by the National Academies of Sciences (Review of the Toxicologic and Radiologic Risks to Military Personnel from Exposures to Depleted Uranium During and After Combat). You can download a PDF copy from the National Academies Press (http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11979) at no charge.
The short version is that uranium is chemically toxic - especially to the kidneys, but it is only very weakly radioactive. I have no idea what Busby might mean with his comments about damage multiplication - maybe he is positing some sort of synergistic combination of chemical toxicity plus radiological damage, but that's only a guess.
Anyhow - this book should help to answer your questions - happy reading!
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Richard L. Hess
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2014 12:31 PM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] The Demon Metal or The Gospel According to Chris Busby
Happy New Year, all!
As an old and recently re-subscribed member of this list, I would again
ask for a bit more information. I went to Hawaii this fall and didn't
even bring my Geiger counter <smile>. I have learned a good deal in the
past from many good folks on this list about hormesis and background
radiation which have assuaged most of my fears about radiation.
Please note my radiation links on my web site:
www.richardhess.com/be (scroll down to the trefoil radiation symbol).
In this, I include a link to Ed Hiserodt's book "Underexposed: What if
Radiation is Actually GOOD For You?"
I do not know much about Busby, and Dan's post illustrates the sloppy
and colloquial communication style of Busby which is the opposite of
what I would expect from a professional, but beyond that, I did read the
There have been suspicions over the years that depleted uranium has been
injurious. Now, I understand that it is depleted and it is not a risk
from a radiological perspective, however, it is considered highly toxic
independent of the radiological issues:
> Uranium and its compounds are highly toxic, both from a chemical and
> radiological standpoint. Finely divided uranium metal, being
> pyrophoric, presents a fire hazard. In nature, U(VI) forms highly
> soluble carbonate complexes at alkaline pH. This leads to an increase
> in mobility and availability of uranium to groundwater and soil from
> nuclear waste repositories which leads to health hazards. Working with
> uranium requires the knowledge of the maximum allowable concentrations
> that may be inhaled or ingested. Recently, the natural presence of
> uranium in many soils has become of concern to homeowners because of
> the generation of radioactive radon gas and its daughters particularly
> in confined spaces with low circulation such as basements.
Busby postulates that there is a gamma ray concentration effect with
higher molecular weight elements contributing more to it -- or at least
that is how I understand his statement as described in the section
"Uranium in tissues acts as a gamma ray damage multiplier" in the
article cited below.
Has this line of research ever been followed up by more reputable
researchers rather than just dismissed out of hand?
While I do not anticipate a large exposure to uranium, it would be good
to know if there was another mechanism surrounding uranium that made it
more hazardous--for non-radiological reasons--than previously thought?
As I read Busby's hypothesis, the damage is radiological, but not from
the inherent radioactivity of the uranium, but from the suspicion that
being a good absorber of gamma rays turns these gamma rays into
something that is perhaps more damaging as it absorbs them.
He uses the word "photons," but seems to ascribe more of the damaging
effects of alpha particles than photons, so this leaves me confused.
I think what I'm asking for here are references that would aid me to
understand the flaws in his reasoning. I am more cautious with lead,
mercury, and asbestos now than I was as a youth--but what I did in my
youth apparently wasn't too bad as I'm still around in my early 60s.
Please forgive me if this was beaten to death in my absence of eight
years on this list.
Thanks in advance!
On 2014-01-02 2:29 AM, Dan McCarn wrote:
> More fearmongering from Chris Busby.
> The first words in the article are, "I am going to ramble about a bit here..
> Dan ii
> Dan W McCarn, Geologist
> 108 Sherwood Blvd
> Los Alamos, NM 87544-3425
Richard L. Hess email: richard at richardhess.com
Aurora, Ontario, Canada http://www.richardhess.com/
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.
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