[ RadSafe ] Is this the beginning of the end of the debate on low-dose radiation effects?

Miller, Mark L mmiller at sandia.gov
Wed Jul 9 13:59:48 CDT 2014

Another unintended consequence of the unscientific LNT that our profession has lived with for 60 years.  :-(     It should never have been this way.  A great article, FYI.
Mark Miller

-----Original Message-----
From: Joseph Shonka [mailto:jjshonka at shonka.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2014 11:32 AM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Is this the beginning of the end of the debate on low-dose radiation effects?

The low dose issue has another dimension in the US.  The Energy Employee Occupational Illness Compensation Policy Act (EEOICPA) has awarded approximately 28% of the 40,000 claims that were made and evaluated under the act.  (Additional claims were not evaluated and were called Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) cases).  The SEC cases occurred when information was insufficient to evaluate the exposure.  The existence of (one of 22) cancers was proof that it was caused by the worker's occupational exposure.

By this law, the evaluations of the 40,000 non-SEC cases were made such that there was less than a 1% chance of improperly denying benefits to a worker.  Obviously two workers with identical exposure histories might have dosimetry results that were just above and just below the criteria, unfairly denying benefits to the worker with the lower dosimetry result.
This required evaluation at the 99th percentile.  Many of the claims were evaluated using the Interactive RadioEpidemiological Program (IREP) program.  Because of the time dependent nature of cancer induction, IREP does not reduce the uncertainty in the results by utilizing the standard deviation of the mean of multiple measurements, resulting in larger uncertainties than a worker's total lifetime dose than would be estimated using SDOM.

So my question is this.  Has this set a legal precedent for US radiation workers who come down with a cancer later in life?  Does this precedent make the issue of low dose radiation effects irrelevant for US radiation workers?  It seems to me that such a worker could go through a workman's compensation process and assert that this method was developed by the US National Institutes of Health and implemented by NIOSH and applied to more than 40,000 cases.  He would ask why the method should not apply to his case.

I would be interested in other opinions.

Joe Shonka

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