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"The Bell Tolls for LNT"

Franz Schoenhofer

PhD, MR iR

Habicherg. 31/7

A-1160 Vienna


phone -43-0699-1168-1319

Dear John,

This is one of the very few occasions that I do not share your opinion!

Regulations on radiation take into consideration the probability of

harmful properties of radiation. This is usually done by assuming a risk

factor, below which possible harm is regarded as neglectable and above

which countermeasures are either recommended or demanded. These risk

factors are transformed into maximum permissible doses (or

concentrations for inhalation, ingestion, incorporation, which stand

also for doses). These regulatory doses are clearly derived using the


Prsonally I am neither advocating LNT nor non-LNT from a scientific

point of view, because I am humbly enough to question my own ability to

understand enough about it. But I still welcome it as a tool to make

regulations and to have similar regulations almost all over the world.

Dropping it would result in chaos and would be a disaster. 

Finally I want to repeat what I often have written on RADSAFE: Radiation

Protection is in fact politics and not science.


> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----

> Von: John Jacobus [mailto:crispy_bird@yahoo.com]

> Gesendet: Montag, 25. Oktober 2004 14:34

> An: Maury Siskel; Franz Schvnhofer

> Cc: 'Carol Marcus'; radsafe@list.vanderbilt.edu

> Betreff: Re: AW: "The Bell Tolls for LNT"


> The LNT has never been a regulatory tool.  ALARA is a

> regulatory tool.


> The LNT is a theory to evaluate the unknown risks of

> radiation at low doses based on values observed at

> high doses.  It may be used to justify proposals for

> regulatory limits or recommendations for constraints

> as used by the ICRP, it never had the impact in

> regulations that ALARA does.  As a scientific theory,

> I have come to believe that it leaves much to be

> desired.  It was based on extrapolation of datapoints

> from known data sets to unknown areas.  That is

> reasonable to do in physics, but not biology and over

> several decades of doses.


> So, the question is if the LNT "dies," will

> regulationary restrictions change?  If no adverse

> risks have been shown to exist below 100 Sv (10 rem),

> http://hps.org/documents/radiationrisk.pdf, how come

> regulations have not been relaxed?  Can anyone cite a

> reduction of safety standards for another toxin?  (I

> am sure someone will.)



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