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Re: Genetic effects in humans

I think the former soviets have been taking lessons from Green Peace.  How
many fear inducing words or phrases can be packed into a single sentence?

Bill, there's a possiblity that these statements are generated using the
kind of logic that the no-nucs seem to use when trying to scare everyone to
death - and they can actually support it with facts.  It's what is NOT said
that invokes the fear.  Try this on:

(1)  In HP we use the term "genetic" to describe effects we internally
agree to mean "heritable" defects.  It can be factually stated that effects
such as cancer are caused by genetic mutations.  If you open the definition
up this way, then most any stochastic effect is "genetic".
(2)  Since we can use the 'scientifically accepted' LNT to predict the
occurence of stochastic effects in a population, then a population that has
ANY dose above background (background radiation is unavoidable, and doesn't
cause cancer) has a calculable "genetic" risk - people are going to die
from it (it's deadly).
(3)  For a situation that might involve long-term doses to a surrounding
population (nuclear test site, fuel processing plant, etc), you can
calculate how much dose the population will get each year.  If it's above
zero, bingo, you have genetic mutations in the human population.
(4)  Arbitrarilly pick a nuclide, and either (a) state it's half life, or
better yet, (b) project it to 7 or 8 half lives and that is the timeframe
over which you are causing the mutations.

There you have it.

In the U.S., the word "cancer" seems to be more effective (scarier) than
"genetic", I think because Americans no longer believe in sci-fi mutants,
and everyone has had personal experience with the tragedy of someone close
to them dying of cancer.  So the people who generate the hype play to the
emotions of the audience.  Maybe in Russia and elsewhere, the societal
differences make for more effective use of "genetic mutations".  It is a
frightening idea.

Can anyone substantiate the use of my 'fuzzy' logic in the anti world?

Keith Welch
Jefferson Lab, Newport News, VA
>Soviet-era nuclear tests in  Kazakhstan
>will affect the health of the local
>population for centuries and
>international aid is needed to ease the
>results of the deadly experiments,
>Kazakh scientists said on Friday.
>  ``It would take 300 to 350 years to
>get rid of genetic
>mutations caused by decades of nuclear
>tests,'' Aitkhazha
>Bigaliyev, director of the Kazakh
>Institute of Ecological
>Problems, told an international
>I thought there was no evidence of
>radiation induced genetic mutations in
>humans.   I'd appreciate some learned
>comment.  Thanks.
>Bill Stephany
>Assistant RSO
>Medical College of Georgia
>Augusta, GA 30912-7520
>(706) 721-9832