Archive for October, 2010

Hungry Bats in the French Alps

October 30, 2010

Bats withstood a radiation dose of 15,000 roentgen – twice that required to kill many other species of mammal. This great resistance to the effects of ionizing radiation held true for bats in captivity without food. (Alexander, 1957)

The bats provided with and who consumed food in captivity died when subjected to ionising radiation of 700 roentgen.

Why should a relative abundance of nutrients halve the resistance of the fed bats to the effects ionizing radiation? Alexander points out that the metabolism of the bats without nourishment was lower than normal. It approached that of hibernation.

By late 1945 the bulk of the Japanese population was suffering from a lack of food. After the dropping of the Hiroshima bomb, Hiroshima doctors observed that those survivors who had been restingat the time the atomic bomb detonated were more likely to recover from radiation sickness. Those who were busy and exerting themselves at that time were less likely to survive.
(Hersey, “Hiroshima”, 1946.)

The effects of ionising radiation not only vary with the dose recieved. It seems the state of the cell, the processes going on within it and the rate at which those processes proceed are, apparently, also variables.

Can the extreme examples cited above yield a principle that applies at low and very low doses?

As well as beneficial substances needed by the cell, Metabolism normally produces toxins and other substances not needed by the cell. These are removed from the cell. If these substances are not removed, the cell may be damaged. Some reactive substances produced by metabolism are mutagens and carcinogens.

In the complex system of the cell, it is likely that some paradoxes will be observedT. For instance, it is commonly held that radicals are harmful. Oxides too. Oxygen may be classed as a radical, it is an oxidiser and creates oxides and radicals.

The paradox is we require Oxygen to live. We have an oxygen based metabolism which normally produces some toxic substances. In the modern world, we commonly attempt to promote health by taking supplements called “anti-oxidants”. At the same time we have a strong awareness of the need to “get some fresh air”.

“Radiation Hormesis” holds that low levels of exposure to ionising radiaiton is beneficial. Bobby Scott is one advocate of the concept.

“The French Paradox” – related to the comparative healthy results of an apparently unhealthy diet enjoyed by the French – notes both threats to health and to protectors of health present in the French diet.

One doesn’t need to take starving bats into the French Alps to realise that the effects of ionisation depend upon the cell as it functions within its environment. Some results might seem paradoxical as multiple systems interact. The ability to maintain stability by an organism in a dynamic environment is the result of Homeostasis.

(exposure to cosmic background radiation increases with altitude. An unadjusted person climbing the Alps for the first time has difficulty gaining enough oxygen.)

The radicals and other harmful substances created normally by metabolsim age the cell and contribute to the damage to the chromosome.

What variables determine the effectiveness and fidelity of the repair process?

As the human body experiences about 100 trillion cell divisions in a lifetime, the question is more than academic. Ordinary people want to know.

“cellular respiration:
The series of metabolic processes by which living cells produce energy through the oxidation of organic substances.”

Bobby Scott’s Radiation Hormesis vs Cumulative Effect

October 30, 2010

Bobby Scott’s Radiation Hormesis vs Cumulative Effect

Scott proposes that exposure to low dose radiation is protective. This confronts the observation by Muller (circa 1927 ) that the cumulative effect of a series of low level exposures produces the same negative effects as a single exposure consisting of the sum of the series of low level exposures.

The significant outcomes of this include: 1. Radiation Protection regimes, regulations and protocols based on the concept of Allowable Lifetime Dose are challenged.
2. The additional low level dose applied in order to invoke the “PAM” protective response is a medical intervention. Such interventions fall under current regulatory regimes. 3. The claimed benefits of such exposures do not the fit the current concept of the Allowable Lifetime Dose.

Currently the need to minimise radiation exposures from diagnostic imaging (the set of procedures probably most likely to be applicable, conventional treatment doses not being comparable.) is the accepted paradigm. A discussion of the cost/benefits of low dose radiation follows. This and other discussions challenge Scott et al.

It would be interesting to know who is right. Until that is established, any move to raise exposure limits will result in chaos. Instead of rational debate there will likely be riots in the street.

Biological effects of diagnostic imaging
Radiologic Technology, May-June, 2004 by Bryant Furlow;col1

The public is exposed to an average annual effective dose equivalent of 2.5 mSv, of which 15% is estimated to come from medical exposures. (2,3) However, a given patient’s lifetime cumulative dose from diagnostic radiation can only be determined if that patient’s medical records are maintained in a single location during his or her lifetime. Because individuals’ cumulative lifetime radiation exposure from medical imaging is rarely known when new imaging exams are considered, it is difficult for clinicians to calculate the additional risk represented by any given imaging exam. In the United Kingdom, a national radiation exposure registry has been proposed that would track each person’s lifetime medical radiation dose. Such registries would be useful for clinicians and epidemiologists, who could use the data to better calculate the lifetime cancer risk represented by low-level diagnostic radiation exposure. The National Dose Registry of Canada tracks occupational radiation exposures and has been used to identify significantly elevated incidences of leukemia, thyroid cancer and melanoma. (10)

Risk Models
The prevailing theory of medical radiation risk is the linear model, which assumes that there is no threshold dose below which radiation exposure is truly safe and that risk increases proportionally with higher dose levels. The risk posed by low-level radiation is therefore calculated using data extrapolated from populations subjected to high-level radiation exposures. Scientists disagree about how these extrapolations are best performed or, indeed, whether they should be calculated. In addition to assuming that the risk of cancer induction is proportional to radiation dose, the linear model presumes that repair enzyme efficiency is constant, regardless of radiation dose. (1)

Because the relationship between radiation dose and risk is believed to be linear and to have no minimum threshold, the ALARA principle prevails in diagnostic radiology: All radiation exposures should be “as low as reasonably achievable.” Most epidemiologists see the linear model as a responsibly conservative view of the risks posed by medical irradiation.
Many believe that the linear model overestimates the number of cancers induced by diagnostic radiology. A distinct minority of researchers reject the linear model altogether. They point out that epidemiological data do not definitively establish that absorbed radiation doses smaller than 200 mSv increase cancer risk, and risk estimates extrapolated from higher exposure levels may be misleading. (13) Citing these facts, along with anecdotal evidence and results from some animal studies, these authors propose that, as with many toxic chemicals, ionizing radiation does not increase risk below a certain, unknown threshold. They maintain that radiation may even have health benefits below that threshold. This controversial hypothesis, called “radiation hormesis,” has received increased attention in the scientific and popular press in recent years. The publicity surrounding the hypothesis may have led the public to discount the potential dangers of radiographic exams. Despite strong support from its advocates, radiation hormesis has yet to be defined precisely in the literature. Currently, there is little compelling evidence for a threshold below which radiation exposure is noncarcinogenic or protective against cancer. (14,15) No medical organization or authority officially recognizes the hormesis hypothesis.

Cancer Risk
Radiation is one of the most-studied and still most-controversial carcinogen. Studies of major events, such as Chernobyl and Hiroshima, clearly prove that increased cancer risk is associated with high-dose radiation exposure, but lower levels of radiation exposure have a more ambiguous role in cancer risk. The relatively low doses found in diagnostic radiology and the long latency periods between exposure and ultimate outcome often make the connection between medical imaging and cancer difficult to quantify with traditional epidemiological tools. (16) Nevertheless, some epidemiological studies indicate that even a single medical exposure to radiation may increase lifetime cancer risk. Additionally, the risk of developing leukemia, breast, thyroid and bone marrow cancers from medical exposure is higher than the risk for other cancers. (17,18)
Leukemia appears to be the cancer most often induced by medical irradiation. Prenatal exposure to x-rays is widely considered to be a risk factor for childhood leukemia, but evidence showing an association between low-level diagnostic radiation exposure and adult leukemia is inconclusive. (19,20) Frequent exposure to x-rays, however, does appear to increase the risk of developing multiple myeloma, a hematological malignancy once considered a subtype of leukemia. (20)
Age is an important factor as well. For example, among female atomic bomb survivors in Japan and female patients undergoing frequent diagnostic chest radiographs or fluoroscopic examinations, breast cancer risk is most pronounced in girls and women who were younger than 20 at time of radiation exposure. (20,21)

The estimated number of cancers directly attributable to imaging-related radiation exposure varies from nation to nation, reflecting differences in imaging procedures and the frequency with which imaging examinations are ordered. In the United States, where 962 radiologic imaging exams are ordered annually per 1000 residents, nearly 1% of the nation’s cumulative cancer risk is credited to diagnostic radiation exposures (ie, more than 2500 cancer cases each year). (22) This imaging-related cancer rate is almost twice as high as a 1981 estimate for the United States (23) and may reflect, in part, increases in the number of imaging examinations ordered by American clinicians during the 1980s and 1990s. (22) Japan, in contrast, currently has the highest medical radiation exposure rate (more than 1400 imaging exams per 1000 residents annually), representing 3.2% of that nation’s cumulative cancer risk. (22)
As the number of imaging exams increases, resulting cancer rate estimates change as well. In the United Kingdom, 0.6% of estimated cumulative cancer risk is due to diagnostic x-rays, resulting in approximately 700 cancer cases per year. (22) This figure is considerably higher than the 100 to 250 cases per year estimated just a decade ago. (4) However, it also represents the lowest annual x-ray frequency among 15 nations studied and the second lowest imaging-attributable cancer risk recorded among these nations. (22)

When annual diagnostic imaging use is compared with the amount of cancer risk attributable to diagnostic irradiation, the United States appears to have a better record than most other nations. Only Germany and Japan have a higher per capita x-ray examination rate than the United States; however, 8 developed nations have higher cancer risk rates associated with medical imaging, including Australia, which has the second lowest manual radiographic exam frequency. (22) As the number of radiographic exams per capita rises, it is likely that the percentage of cancers attributable to diagnostic radiology will increase as well, making it important that radiologic technologists minimize radiation exposure whenever possible.

(1.) Cohen BL. Radiation standards and hazards. IEEE Trans Educ. 1991;34:261-265.
(2.) Wootton R. The POPUMET regulations: careless radiology costs lives. Br J Hosp Med. 1991;45:133.
(3.) Quinn AD, Taylor CG, Sabharwal T, et al. Radiation protection awareness in non-radiologists. Brit J Radiol. 1997;70:102-106.
(4.) Shiralkar S, Rennie A, Snow M, et al. Doctors’ knowledge of radiation exposure: questionnaire study. BMJ. 2003;327:371-372.
(5.) Lo S. Doctors need to be aware of possible radiation injury from fluoroscopy. BMJ. 2003;327:1167.
(6.) Haaga JR. Radiation dose management: weighing risk versus benefit. A JR Am J Roentgenol. 2001 ; 177:289-291.
(7.)Berlin L. Should whole-body CT screening be performed with contrast media? AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2003;180:323-325.
(8.) Maitino AJ, Levin DC, Parker L, et at. Nationwide trends in rates of utilization of noninvasive diagnostic imaging among the Medicare population between 1993 and 1999. Radiology. 2003;227:113-117.
(9.) Pierce DA, Sharp GB, Mabuchi K. Joint effects of radiation and smoking on lung cancer risk among atomic bomb survivors. Radiat Res. 2003;159:511-520.
(10.) Sont WN, Zielinski JM, Ashmore JP, et al. First analysis of cancer incidence and occupational radiation exposure based on the National Dose Registry of Canada. Am J Epid. 2001 ; 153:319-322.
(11.) Bozkurt G, Yuksel M, Karabogaz G, et at. Sister chromatid exchanges in lymphocytes of nuclear medicine physicians. Mut Res Genet Tox Envir Mutagen. 2003;535:205-213.
(12.) Garaj-Vrhovac V, Kopjar N. The alkaline comet assay as biomarker in assessment of DNA damage in medical personnel occupationally exposed to ionizing radiation. Mutagenesis. 2003;18:265-271.
(13.) Johansson L. Hormesis, an update of the present position. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2003;30:921-933.
(14.) Upton AC. The state of the art in the 1990s: NCRP report number 136 and the scientific bases for linearity in the dose-response relationship for ionizing radiation. Health Phys. 2003;85:15-22.
(15.) Mossman K. Deconstructing radiation hormesis. Health Phys. 2001;80:263-269.
(16.) Ron E. Cancer risks from medical radiation. Health Phys. 2003;85:47-59.
(17.) Boice JD. Cancer following medical irradiation. Cancer. 1981;47:1081-1090.
(18.) Benke KK. Biological effects of low level radiation and diagnostic medical x-rays. J Austr Col Nutr Envir Med. 1995;14:17-20.
(19.) Naumburg E, Bellocco R, Cnattingius S, et al. Intrauterine exposure to diagnostic x-rays and risk of childhood leukemia subtypes. Radiat Res. 2001;156:718-723.
(20.) Boice JD, Preston D, Davis FG, et al. Frequent chest x-ray fluoroscopy and breast cancer incidence among tuberculosis patients in Massachusetts. Radiat Res. 1991;125:214-222.
(21.) Thompson DE, Mabuchi K, Ron E, et al. Cancer incidence in atomic bomb survivors: solid tumors, 1958-1987. Radiat Res. 1994:137:S17-S67.
(22.) Gonzalez AB, Darby S. Risk of cancer from diagnostic x-rays: estimates for the UK and 14 other countries. Lancet. 2004;363:345-351.
(Source: Biological effects of diagnostic imaging
Radiologic Technology, May-June, 2004 by Bryant Furlow;col1 )

If the treatment dose required to invoke the “PAM” response is less than background (if it is – I do not know) why is background exposure insufficient to invoke it?

If background is sufficient to invoke the response, why impose the treatment dose? The treatment dose, no matter how small, is an addition to both 1. Background dose and 2. Cumulative Dose.

Go figure.

Reflections on the work of Bobby Scott

October 29, 2010

Previously I posted the radioactivity of the strontium isotopes in curies. I compared those rates of radioactivity to that of radium. The curie is handy if one is comparing radionuclides to radium. 1 gram of radium has a radioactivity of 1 curie.

A closer look at the curie:

“The curie is the unit of radioactivity. It is defined as the quantity of radioactive material in which 37,000,000,000 atomic nuclei disintegrate per second. 1 gram of radium has the activity of 1 curie.” Linus Pauling, “No More War”, pp 45-46.

The curie is sometimes still used today. It has largely been replaced by the Becquerel.

Earlier I stated that damage to chromosomes via direct insult only occurs when the energy possessed by the radiation acting on the chromosome exceeds a certain threshold.

Time to look at that more closely.

“…Douglas Lea analysed the data existing up to the time of his death in 1947 and concluded that an ionizing particle can only break a chromosome if in the part of the track which crosses it 700 electron volts of energy are deposited (this is believed to be equivalent to 20 ionizations). In other wordsa chromosome is only broken if the ionzing particle which crosses it loses 700 eV in the process”

“When it was found that a chromosome abnormality was produced in some cells every time after the passage of only a single alpha particle through the nucleus, the theory had to be modified, since every particle passing through the nucleus would not be expected to traverse a chromosome. A break was said to be produced every time a particle passed close to as well as through the chromosome. The purely mechanical interpretation had to be strained even more when experiments showed that different pre-treatments, such as growth of the cell in medium deficient in certain mineral salts or exposure of the cell to infrared radiation, increased its sensitivity so that smaller radiation doses produced the same chromosome damage. A further blow came to the theory was the discovery that the number of chromosomes broken by given dose of x or gamma rays depended upon the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere in which the cells were irradiated. In the complete absence of oxygen only about one third of the breaks are found as if the same irradiation is given in air. Breaks produced by densely ionizing radiation depend much less on the amount of oxygen present. Almost all the biological changes produced by radiation, ranging from such isolated events as chromosome breaks to the dose needed to kill an animal, are decreased in the in absence of oxygen…On the purely mechanical interpretation , that the breaks follow the passage of a particle through the chromosome, it is difficult to understand why the concentration of oxygen should be important.

The oxygen effect could be understood much more easily if the action of the radiation involved an inhibition of synthesis, since oxygen can enhance the so-called indirect effect action of radiation which may play an important part in the destruction of the system responsible for synthesis. Chemical processes in the cell such as the breaking down of ingested food into smaller molecules and the building up (synthesis) of the materials required by the cell (for example chromosome material) are brought about by the action of enzymes. …..George von Hevesy (observed) that the enzyme responsible for the synthesis of the important constituent of chromosomes, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is one of the most sensitive in the cell to radiation. Doses sufficient to produce only a temporary stop in mitosis usually stop DNA synthesis as well as interfering with the working of any of the other cellular enzymes. It would be quite logical for interference with DNA synthesis to produce defects in the chromosomes, which become apparent at metaphase as breaks. However, there is a considerable amount of evidence which is completely inconsistent with the interpretation. …perhaps the most compelling is the fact that the period at which the cell is most sensitive to radiation (ie when the number of chromosome breaks produced is greatest for a given dose) does not coincide with the period at which the cell is most active in the manufacture of DNA.

At the present stage of knowledge the most adequate summary is probably that given by P.C. Koller, one of the most foremost experts in the fiel, which has come to be known as cytogenetics: “ The chromosomes are dynamic entities within the cell and it is becoming increasingly evident, indeed, that the chromosomes are not static units with genes lined up like cars in a railroad train. Their structure is not permanent; it is continuously rebuilt from the material of the surrounding medium. The mutagens not only attack the chromosomes already visible but they also interfere with the process of chromosome synthesis. By considering these aspects the phenomenon of chromosome breakage takes up a greater significance; it becomes an essential part of the general biochemical mechanism which underlies cell reaction, adaption and selection, i.e. evolution.

“……small doses of radiation produces premature ageing…Animals in hiberation are remarkably resistant, and doses of many thousands of roentgens are necessary to kill marmots or squirrels while they are dormant. On warming, the animals will behave as if they had been irradiated in the non-hibernating state. The bat appeared to be the one remarkable exception amongst mammals in that the lethal dose observed was of the order of 15,000 r, i.e. it was twenty to fifty times more resistant than other mammals. …these bats did not eat in captivity and this lowered their metabolic rate equivalent to that of hibernation and was responsible for the apparent radiation resistance. Bats which were eating succumbed at 700 r.” Alexander, Peter, “Atomic Radiation and Life”, Pelican Books, 1957, Chester Beatty Research Institute, Institute of Cancer Research, Royal Cancer Hospital, London, England.

The cell relies upon a great variety of chemical processes. These processes may in part depend upon the reactivity of the various chemicals. The nutrients etc supplied to the cell are thus used to sustain the cell and provide the components with which it maintains itself.

As Oxygen drives our respiration it is no surprise that our oxygen based metabolism provides a means by which radiation modifies the operation of the cell.

Oxygen is reactive and ordinary metabolism produces radicals. The cell and the processes within it maintain both stability and responsiveness in the setting of this complex orchestra of processes.

It is not surprising a decrease in oxygen damps the effect of radiation, for the oxygen based processes, with which radiation interacts and modifies, are damped. From a low base of activity in an oxygen depeleted cell, the effects of radiation require high doses in order to appear to the same extent as they would in the presence of normal levels of oxygen.

Similarly, the apparent resistance of hibernating animals to radiation is not surprising. Metabolism is at a very low ebb. Nor is it strange that such animals should sicken and die on rousing from that hibernation. The chemical processes, now operating fully, process cell contents which have been changed by the radiation.

Ionisation changes the reactivity of the components of the cell, it changes the components resulting from those processes, it changes the raw material used to replicate and maintain the genetic material.

If these processes are now understood sufficiently to enable interventions shown to reduce the effects of higher doses of energetic radiation, such a technique is a benefit.
It must be established that the effect is valid.

The concept of the accumulating dose, the down sides of cumulative effects – as discussed by Alexander above – and many other factors (not least individual vulnerability) may have to be considered.

The concepts discussed by Bobby Scott are extremely difficult for me, a lay person, to assess. There is no scientific debate aimed enlightening the wider community that I am aware of. A large number of papers have appeared, written from the perspectives presented by Bobby Scott. That is fine, I have seen debate though. In the absence of impartial assessment, the wider community may well feel excluded.

Current radiation protection regimes are the result of legislation enacted by elected representives. Ordinary people must be allowed to participate in any political considerations regarding Scott’s “New Paradigm of Radiation Hormesis”.

As I live in Australia, it is useless to write to my government in relation to what seems to amount to pressure for change which originates in a foreign land. Not withstanding that US DOE funded a university local to me to undertake some research. And not withstanding the offices and influence held by relevant personnel.

Are the many publications of Bobby Scott legitimate or are they aimed at changed standards for wider purposes?

I conclude by noting that the processes harnessed by the “PAM” technique perhaps involve the concept of “shaping” modified cell chemistry. The second low dose event seems to add a boost to the level of reactivity and adds to the time it takes for this cellular chemical activity to damp down.

This apparently assures death of the transformed cell. The possibility of downsides and harms – No lay person can predict what these might be – apart from general ones. These may or may not apply.

I await published articles written with the wider community in mind and which discusses the basis of Scott et al.

As for the proof of Hormesis provided by the work – I do not see it yet. I see a delay in the return of the cell to its normal level of activity and normal type of activity.

The concept involves finishing off a damaged cell by extended heightened reactivity.

Can it, for example, be guaranteed that a cost of this will not be the imposition of similar damage to another cell or cells? Such would require another round of “PAM” – another low dose and so on. If the damaged cells could be identifed.

I am a layman and wouldn’t know. These are just my thoughts. Death by a thousand “PAMS” ?

On Radiation Hormesis

October 28, 2010

On Radiation Hormesis.

Abercrombie’s best known publication is “The Anatomy of Judgement: An Investigation into the Processes of Perception and Reasoning”, (London: Hutchinson). The book was first published in 1960. It was re-issued in 1989.

Wikipedia gives a selection of quotes from Abercrombie:

“…what is being perceived depends not only on what is being looked at but on the state of the perceiver. (Abercrombie, 1960:27)
We tend to think of ourselves as passively receiving information from the outside world, but this is far from the case; in the process of receiving information we interpret and judge, (ibid.: 29)
Free group discussion is to thinking (ideas and abstractions) as handling things is to perception. (Abercrombie, 1960)
Our methods of formal education are still governed by a notion that children’s little heads are empty, or at least emptier than they should be, whereas the truth is that it is because they are too full of what we do not understand that they are difficult to teach. (Abercrombie, 1960)
When the thing we look at is sufficiently like the thing we expect to see, and easily fits our scheme, our experience helps us to see. It is only when what we expect to see is not there that our schemata lead us astray, (ibid.: 33)
How to tell students what to look for without telling them what to see is the dilemma of teaching. (Abercrombie, 1960)
We never come to an act of perception with an entirely blank mind, but are always in a state of preparedness or expectancy, because of our past experience, (ibid.: 63)”

A moment of illuminating insight may turn us into evangelists. Evangelism is resistant to change.

Fresh insights do break through. Rejected initially by the inertia of our perceptions, these challenge us into another round of reflection, learning and change. Needs determine what one sees. Bias is present within the hierarchy of the organisations we inhabit. Bias is a form of inertia. It delays insight and adaption.

Many organisations use specific insights as the basis for dogma and inculcation. In the end, these organisations collide with the plate glass window of reality. It happens so often, you’d think we would have learnt by now. Powerful organisations often respond to a collision with reality by recording the event and storing it in a secret file. I will give examples.

Are we really in a “new paradigm that acknowledges Hormesis”, or has the spirit of Marshall Brucer simply found some new disciples?

The prolific work of Bobby Scott contains language that oscillates between that which is only easily and fully understood by the specialist and that which is written in everyday terms.

Bobby Scott generally conveys findings in language that is confined to his specialty. He generally conveys his conclusions and judgements in common language. He does not convey his findings to the lay person as easily as he does his conclusions and judgements. His cohort however receive equal access to all sections of his work.

Scientists in the modern world have a responsibility to speak plainly of their findings.

Language is one means of controlling information. Specialist terminology is hermetic.

Bobby Scott may be right, he may be wrong. He may, like the rest of us, be both. I haven’t very much of an idea. I can define my terms though.

The age of the Radiation Hormesis concept is confirmed by Marshall Brucer’s 1988 article “RADIATION HORMESIS AFTER 85 YEARS – Background Radiation is Good for You”. (

In Brucer’s view the concept predates 1927.

In Muller 1927 observed, for the first time, the genetic mutations in fruit fly in response to exposure to X rays. Muller quickly noted that the cancer X rays sometimes caused might be related to the mutations it causes. Muller received a Noble prize in 1946 for his work. Edward Lewis and others continued work related to Muller’s.

Political and social factors intervened and directed the scientific debate about the effects of ionising radiation, and particularly, the effects of low levels of exposure to ionising radiation. It is my view that from 1945 onward science was used as a means by which to influence the opinions and beliefs of the general public. This held true in any country that engaged in the development, construction and use of nuclear technology.

The debate well and truly broke surface in the public mind in 1954 in response to the Castle Bravo Hydrogen bomb disaster.

Pro nukers and anti nukers used the findings of science to justify their different positions.

Pro nukers included those governments and governmental organisations engaged in nuclear testing.

The debate took place in a setting of controlled information.

In that era official organs of State had some qualified competition in the form of various organisations formed by suitably qualified scientists who opposed the use of various forms of nuclear technology. A number of scientists facilitated and informed citizens’ groups.

Some of these scientists opposed the detonation of nuclear bombs. Of those, some also opposed nuclear power reactors. Some of these scientists were veterans of the Manhattan Project.

One of Australia’s veterans of the Manhattan Project (many Allied nations share in the responsibility for the first nuclear weapons), the late Sir Mark Oliphant, was banned from any official role in monitoring the safety of the nuclear weapons test conducted in Australia. The British saw him as a “security risk”.

The University of South Australia records the following in relation to Sir Mark Oliphant: “His wartime work would have earned him a Congressional Medal of Freedom with Gold Palm, but the Australian government vetoed the honour.” ; “I, right from the beginning, have been terribly worried by the existence of nuclear weapons and very much against their use.” – Oliphant. (

Letters exchanged between Oliphant and his friend Hedley Marston reveal that Oliphant was far less worried about the science than he was about what military and political institutions would do with that science. (See Fallout : Hedley Marston and the British bomb tests in Australia / Roger Cross, Kent Town, S. Aust. : Wakefield Press, c2001. xii, 226 p. : ill., ports., maps ; 21 cm. ISBN 1862545235 : 1862545235 (pbk.) 1862545235 : 1862545235 )

At what distance from the hypo-centre does the gamma and neutron burst of a detonating nuclear weapon become “beneficial” ? Oliphant would have seen that as at least as much a sociological and ethical question as one related to the science of Hormesis. Whether the premise of the question is correct or not, Oliphant would have, in my opinion, asked “Was there a benefit to the species in the act of exploding the weapon in the first place?” What was the benefit of the 12 bombs detonated in Australia? What were the harms?

Any harm or benefit from the use of any technology results from the political decision that enables its use. I do not accept that anyone lived longer as a result of the 12 bombs detonated in Australia. I hold that lives were shortened because of those bombs. This marks me as opposed to radiation hormesis as applied.

In a democracy therefore, citizens must be included in debates about technology.

The deceit of the Australian government, enabled by government scientists, resulted in harms and premature deaths, some of these being immediate deaths following the detonation of nuclear weapons.

In this “old paradigm” of deceit, the Australian government continues to deny specific victims were harmed. One Minister, Wooldridge, has stated that nuclear testing “harmed people”. He stated this in response to disclosures that Australian authorities secretly removed human bones from deceased Australians of diverse ages.

Though this, by the early 21 century, was old news, it was new to many still. Wooldrige was coping with outrage from members of SANDS Australia ( Mothers who suffered miscarriage in the 1950s, 1960s and later and who were not allowed to properly mourn their loss.

At what level of grief does emotional Hormesis set in? Or is that really called Clinical Depression? What is the Half Life of Trauma?

The debate does not take long to move from science to other areas of knowledge.

“I don’t know how to snatch bodies. In the original study on the Sunshine (project) at Rand [the Rand Corporation] in the summer of 1953, we hired an expensive law firm to look up the law of body snatching. This compendium is available to you. It is not very encouraging. It shows you how very difficult it is going to be to do it legally.” Libby, AEC. (TR 12, January 18, 1955 “Biophysics Conference” contained in: MEMORANDUM TO: Members of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments FROM: Advisory Committee Staff DATE: June 9, 1995 RE: Documentary Update on Project Sunshine “Body Snatching”, January 18, 1955 ” held at National Security Archives, George Washington University,

Old hat, but a proven modus operandi all the same. Public Statements by the Weaponeers were half baked, the full story was witheld – not to conceal it, from the enemy, but from the citizens of the land.

The official business of nuclear authorities is very wide ranging.

A conversation with Australian nuclear veterans held in the recent past might turn, randomly, from topic to topic. “If you post me anything Paul, send it registered post”. “Why is that” “Mail to me often goes missing for some weeks, until the government has finished with it.” (Paraphrase of conversation with a nuclear veteran in 2007).

The pursuit of science should never again be used as an excuse by which scientists, especially those from the centres of power, escape scrutiny and spread deceit. No person is immune from the processes that determine the “Anatomy of their Judgement”. 1 person. 1 vote.

Extract from
Low-Dose/Dose-Rate Low-LET Radiation Protects Us from Cancer, Bobby R. Scott, Ph.D. and
Jennifer Di Palma
Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute
2425 Ridgecrest Drive SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108
Low Dose Investigator’s Workshop, Washington, D.C.
July 31-August 2, 2006

Low Doses and Dose-Rates of Low-LET
Radiation Protect Us From Harm:
Adapted Protection
• Protect against cell killing by alpha particles (Satin Sawant’s
• Protect against chromosomal damage (Ed Azzam’s group)
• Protect against mutation induction (Pam Sykes’ group), even
when the low dose follows a large dose (Tanya Day’s work).
• Protect against neoplastic transformation (Les Redpath’s group).
• Protect against cancer occurrence (epidemiological and animal
• Suppress metastasis of existing cancer (Kiyohiko Sakamoto’s
• Extend tumor latent period (Ron Mitchel’s group).
• Protect against diseases other than cancer (Kazuo Sakai’s
The indicated results implicate hormetic dose-response curves that
relate to induced adapted protection (i.e., adaptive response).
(pp. 4)

How Adapted Protection is Inappropriately
Discounted by Ecological/Epidemiological
• All radiation assumed harmful including doses from diagnostic low-
LET radiation (e.g., routine chest X-rays, CT scans, nuclear medicine
diagnostic procedures).
• Persons receiving low doses included with controls when evaluating
the shape of the dose-response curve.
• Low-dose data are excluded, ignored, or assigned low statistical
• Evidence for nonlinearity is ignored.
• Ecological data showing hormesis are discounted based on poor
• DNA repair, protective apoptosis, and induced immunity are ignored.
• Lifespan prolongation is not considered.
• Hormetic effects missed due to assuming a healthy worker effect.
• Years of radiation dose accumulation are simply thrown away (called
dose lagging) changing threshold-like dose responses into what
appears to not have a threshold.

(pp 23)

• The LNT hypothesis is not supported by cancer
frequency data for low-dose, low dose-rate low-LET
irradiation. The data are more consistent with the HRR
• Low doses and dose-rates of low-LET radiation
(including natural background radiation) protect from cancer and other diseases.
• The level of protection against cancer increases with age and appears to be quite small for children if at all.
• Repeated exposures (or chronic low rate exposure)
over a prolonged period to small doses of low-LET
radiation in combination with antiangiogenic therapy
and tumor sensitization therapy (e.g., application of
resveratrol) might greatly increase the frequency of
cancer cures while limiting harm to patients from their treatment.
(pp. 24)

Page 8 consists of a graphic displaying the “PAM PROCESS IN FRIBROBLAST:
Protective Intercellular Signalling”

My explanation of the diagram:

Two cells are depicted. One is Labelled “Transformed Cell”. This presumably is a damaged cell. It is coloured red/pink. The other cell is labelled “normal” and coloured green.

The damaged cell is shown releasing modified “O” and “TGF –Beta”.

The normal cell is shown receiving the TGF-Beta in a signal mediation. (As if the transformed cell signalled its presence, which it has). The normal cell releases “Peroxide”, “CL-” and “NO” , apparently in response to receiving the TGF-Beta.

The normal cell is shown receiving the TGF-Beta in a signal mediation. The normal cell releases “Peroxide”, “CL-” and “NO” , apparently in response to receiving the TGF-Beta.

The modified “O” (from the transformed cell) is depicted forming H2O2. Probably means a radical of oxygen combines with radicals of H and O radicals to form H2O2, hydrogen peroxide, a highly reactive oxidiser.

The diagram depicts the CL ion combining with this H2O2. This combining is aided by the enzyme action of the Peroxidase (issued by the healthy cell). The formation of HOCL results.

The HOCL reacts with a free Oxygen radical (indicated as coming from the transformed cell in the diagram) . The result of this reaction is the breakdown of the HOCL into the separate entities of OH, O2 and CL.

The NO issued by the healthy cell is shown combining with the modified oxygen to form “ONOO – ”

The diagram shows two labels which both read “Induction of Apoptosis”. These labels indicate that the OH + O2 + CL- and the ONOO act upon the transformed cell, causing the death of that cell.

The diagram is credited to: Bauer G. Histol. Histopathol. 11:237-255, 1996.

The chemicals depicted and terms used in the diagram are (from Wikipedia):

Hypochlorous acid is a weak acid. HClO.

Hydroxide is the bonding of one Oxygen atom and one Hydrogen atom.

Hydroxide can form when molecules breakdown.

TGF-Beta is Transforming Growth Factor – Beta. This is a protein that controls proliferation, cellular differentiation, and other functions in most cells. Some cells secrete it, including cancerous cells. There are several types of TGF-Beta.

Peroxidase is an enzyme which can catalyse chemical reactions.
Peroxidase may contain forms of cystiene.

NO is Nitric Oxide, an important signalling molecule in mammals, including humans. Appropriate levels are important for the protection of various tissues. Too much is a detrimental as is too little. Chronic expression of Nitric Oxide is associated with various inflammatory disease and cancers.

ONOO – is Peroxynitrite, an extremely reactive substance.

Apopotosis is the programmed death of cells. This occurs in multi-cellular animals.

End notes from Wikipedia.

It is interesting to find a reference to cysteine in this diagram. L-cysteine was one of the first radio-protective chemicals used experimentally in the 1950. (Atomic Radiation and Life, Peter Alexander, Pelican Books, 1957).

My Comment on the diagram.

From the Title of the diagram, I understand that the process depicted by the diagram is facilitating the death of a transformed cell by way of low dose, low Linear Energy Transfar (LET) external x ray as described by Sykes, Pam, et. al., Flinders University of South Australia.

I have some difficulties with this.

In my military training relating to the effects of radiation (circa 1970) I became familiar with the concept that ionizing radiation causes ionization of the components of the cell (at the atomic and molecular scale) .

I was taught that this ionization results in the formation of a variety of ions within the cell. These ions are detrimental to the cell. An example taught to me was the formation of Hydrogen Peroxide within the cell due to the ionisation of oxygen and hydrogen. Water, and free oxygen upon ionization transform, over a series of steps to form Hydrogen Peroxide. The Hydrogen Peroxide and other resultant reactive chemicals are generally highly reactive and engage in abnormal chemical reactions in the cell.

The abnormal cellular chemistry results in abnormal chemicals called metabolites. Often, they are carcinogenic. The formation of these chemicals may take time.

The nucleus of the living cell contains the chromosomes. One of the functions of the cell is to protect and nourish the nucleus.

When the cell nucleus is fed certain chemicals, including those which result, after a series of steps, from exposure of the cell and its contents to ionising radiation, the normal building and repair of the chromosome may be interfered with.

The sensitivity of the repair mechanisms and the vulnerability of the chromosome within the nucleus of the cell depends upon the phase of cell division the nucleus is participating in the time of insult.

The damage to a cell from a given exposure to ionising radiation is dependent upon other variables. One of these variables being the amount of oxygen available in the cell, (roughly). This is termed the “oxygen tension” of the cell.

If the oxygen within the cell has been taken up by the formation of highly reactive chemicals induced by an earlier high dose, I wonder at the action of the later, lower dose. It will result perhaps in the scenario as shown: O radicals from the transformed cell reacting with and causing the large reactive molecules to break apart, releasing the the agents shown. This leads to the death of the abnormal cell.

It is not clear if the transformed cell existed prior to the first exposure of the session or whether this matters or not. Scott talks of various terrorist and accident situations. He may be implying a proposed cancer treatment. It is commonly known that cancer cells are more vulnerable to the effects of radiation than normal cells. Though normal cells may, after a period, often a long period, after exposure or accumulation of exposures, become cancer cells.

The second lower dose of radiation as proposed would interact with a cell in which abnormal chemisty was already progressing. The effect of the second dose might perhaps agitate the oxiders, increasing reactivity. Perhaps even by breaking large reactive molecules into their constituent radicals, perhaps, again, increasing the rate of oxidation.

The diagram seems to show the release of all of the listed substances into the inter-cellular fluid.

How it is that these harmful substances are not seen as a challenge to the mechanisms of cellular cleansing and indeed adjacent cells is not known to me. The lymph system is one system being asked to remove the the still reactive soup. The organs of excretion also play a role.

Scott raises the use of a chemical protectant.

I note that:
The Oxygen effect has been one of the known variables which informed the search for chemicals which might protect people from the effects of radiation.

One of the problems has been the requirement to administer many such protective chemicals prior to exposure. Not useful in the emergency/unexpected exposure scenarios Scott discusses. The search for such protectors has been a long one.

Scott’s solution is problematic, as discussed below.

I do not see hormesis as such in the “PAM” process. I see a technique that is a creative means of manipulating a long known variable – oxygen. That is what I see. That it is beneficial in vitro – I cannot dispute that. Is it a treatment without risk? – the concept involves giving additional dose to victims of unplanned and unpredicted radiation exposures.

Traditionally such doses are seen as cumulative. For the method to be approved, traditional ways of considering radiation exposures and planned radiation exposures may have to be overturned.

Would such a step be appropriate?

Any change to laws governing the exposure of people to ionising radiation may involve intense lobbying by people who are convinced that adding a second, lower dose, of radiation to an initial larger dose of radiation is beneficial. It is presented as a medical intevention. New treatments require apporval. This presents further need for application and perhaps further lobbying.

If increase in exposure limits is seen as being sought, such lobbying may seek to confront the basis for current exposure limits.

Abnormal chemistry induced by ionising radiation is not the only means by which ionisation harms the chromosome. The contents of the cell after ionisation is a challenge to the chromosome if admitted to the nucleus. These chemicals are quite effective at creating damage to the chromosome, they act in a way similar to chemicals such as 2,4,5,T,

Of course, poisoning with such chemicals is a more efficient means of invoking the harm. Radiation sickness was called Radiation Poisoning in early part of the 20th century for good reason.

As is explained by Scott et al, if radiation possesses sufficient ability to be called “ high LET” (linear energy transfer) it is able to cause damage by transferring energy to the chromosome. Defined forms of damage result of this “collision”. The energy transferred must be above a threshold level. (This is not the same as “dose”).

If this damage occurs and is not repaired, disease may result. This may take many years to appear.

My view is that abnormal metabolites following ionisation of the cell are capable of damaging the chromosome. The damage is usually repaired.

And: direct damage to the chromosome may also occur when a track of ionising radiation “strikes” the chromosome. Such direct damage only occurs only occurs if the radiation possesses sufficient energy.
The correct name for such an event is Linear Energy Transfer.

Abnormal chemistry in the cell induced by ionisaton.
Linear Energy Transfer.

These are the two means by which ionising radiation
acts upon the cell. When ionising radiation passes through tissue there is alway ionisation. When a track collides with the chromosome damage results when the “impact” is of sufficient “force”. Collisions below a specific energy level produce no damage. Collisions above that value do. The chances of collision are related to the radiation type in question.

I can see nothing in the single paper I have tried to study here which shows how the suggested intevention might reverse this damage.

Page 24 raises questions. In part:
“Repeated exposures (or chronic low rate exposure)
over a prolonged period to small doses of low-LET
radiation in combination with antiangiogenic therapy
and tumor sensitization therapy (e.g., application of
resveratrol) might greatly increase the frequency of
cancer cures while limiting harm to patients from their treatment.” (Scott)

Let’s see.

“It is not known whether high intakes of resveratrol can help prevent cancer in humans. Clinical trials are currently underway to address this question and to also determine whether resveratrol might be beneficial in cancer treatment (85). Studies on human metabolism of resveratrol suggest that even very high dietary intakes of resveratrol may not result in tissue levels that are high enough to realize most of the protective effects demonstrated in cell culture studies (7, 12).”

(85) Baur JA, Sinclair DA. Therapeutic potential of resveratrol: the in vivo evidence. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2006;5(6):493-506. (PubMed)

(7) Walle T, Hsieh F, Delegge MH, Oatis JE, Jr., Walle UK. High absorption but very low bioavailability of oral resveratrol in humans. Drug Metab Dispos. 2004;32(12):1377-1382. (PubMed)

(12) Gescher AJ, Steward WP. Relationship between mechanisms, bioavailibility, and preclinical chemopreventive efficacy of resveratrol: a conundrum. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2003;12(10):953-957. (PubMed)

Source: Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Centre.

Also, google resveratrol. See who sells it and how it is promoted. Its an antioxidant.
Lastly Scott states:
“Point of reference: More than 100,000 radiation phobia driven abortions occurred in Western Europe shortly after the Chernobyl Accident.” (Scott, as above, page 5)

I note the following:

“A temporary decline in the live birth rate had already begun before 1986, with no clear relationship to the level of fallout.”

“A statistically significant increase in spontaneous abortions (that is, miscarriage) with dose of radiation was observed. No marked changes in induced abortions or stillbirths were observed.” From:
Chernobyl fallout and outcome of pregnancy in Finland.
A Auvinen, M Vahteristo, H Arvela, M Suomela, T Rahola, M Hakama, and T Rytömaa
Environ Health Perspect. 2001 February; 109(2): 179–185.
PMCID: PMC1240640

“Possible effects of Chernobyl fallout on outcome of pregnancy in Finland were evaluated in a nationwide follow-up study.”

This contradicts Bobby Scott’s statement that fear drove the people of Europe. In Finland at least, it did not.

The whole planet felt fear when Chernobyl went up.

Bobby Scott’s CV is here:
1 CURRICULUM VITAE Bobby R. Scott, PhD Lovelace Respiratory …
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
CURRICULUM VITAE. Bobby R. Scott, PhD. Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute. 2425 Ridgecrest Dr. SE. Albuquerque, NM 87108.


1 CURRICULUM VITAE Raymond A. Guilmette, PhD Lovelace Respiratory …
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
Raymond A. Guilmette, PhD. Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute. 2425 Ridgecrest Dr. SE. Albuquerque, NM 87108.

The Presetation is available here:
Microsoft PowerPoint – BRS_talk_draft8
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
by BR Scott – 2006 – Related articles
Low-Dose/Dose-Rate Low-LET. Radiation Protects Us from. Cancer. Bobby R. Scott, Ph.D. and Jennifer Di Palma. Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute …

I’ll keep working on this. Which means of course, I’ll keep working on my perceptions of it.

Right now though, I’m off to watch “Men who stare at Goats”

Dr John Gofman – wiki entry

October 27, 2010

John William Gofman (September 21, 1918 – August 15, 2007) was an American scientist and advocate.

He was Professor Emeritus of Molecular and Cell Biology at University of California at Berkeley.

Some of his early work was on the Manhattan Project, and he shares patents on the fissionability of uranium-233 as well as on early processes for separating plutonium from fission products.

Dr. Gofman later worked in medicine and led the team that discovered and characterized lipoproteins in the causation of heart disease.

In 1963, he established the Biomedical Research Division for the Livermore National Laboratory, where he was on the cutting edge of research into the connection between chromosomal abnormalities and cancer.

Later in life, he took on a role as an advocate warning of dangers involved with nuclear power (see Nuclear power debate). From 1971 onward, he was the Chairman of the Committee for Nuclear Responsibility. He also described himself a libertarian and spoke at several events sponsored by the Students for a Libertarian Society in 1979 and 1980. He was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for his work on the effects of the Chernobyl disaster’s low-level radiation exposure on the population.[1] John Gofman died of heart failure on August 15, 2007 in his home in San Francisco.

One would expect Dr Gofman to have known what he was talking about. I believe he did.

Unlike some who attend the needs of stake holding government orgs that seek the services of private consultants.

Anyway it’ll be clearer next post. Im trying to figure out how to keep it plain. I have no qualifications in genetics.

The AEC used to dominate the creation and publication of papers within its field of interest. It was protected in that by the information control provisions of the Atomic Energy Act. When Linus Pauling tried to speak and write on the same subjects as the AEC, the USA took away his passport.

I’ll leave it like that for now.

The mothers of St Louis, Barry Commoner. The Florida Baby Tooth Project vs. the NRC. (or vice versa.)

October 26, 2010

The Citizens
“Louise Zibold was born in New York in 1920. Originally an art major, she switched to the study of science during the war and entered the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, where she received her medical degree in 1945. During an internship and residency at the Philadelphia General Hospital, she married another doctor, Eric Reiss, and together they moved to San Antonio, Texas. Louise and Eric Reiss relocated to St. Louis in 1954 when Eric Reiss accepted a position at the Washington University Medical School. Louise Reiss worked as an internist and with the local Health Department, and both became active in the Greater St. Louis Citizen’s Committee for Nuclear Information (CNI). The radioactive fallout from nuclear testing was a major concern at the time as evidenced in the increasing levels of Strontium-90 in milk. A study was proposed in which Strontium-90, which is absorbed in bones and teeth, would be monitored by testing of deciduous (non-permanent or baby) teeth. Under the sponsorship of the Greater St. Louis Citizen’s Committee for Nuclear Information and the dental schools of Washington and St. Louis Universities, and with the cooperation of local dentists, schools, churches, YMCA’s and YWCA’s, and the local media, over 50,000 baby teeth were collected. At the urging of Barry Commoner, Louise Reiss became involved in the Baby Tooth Survey at its outset and served as vice president and director of the project from 1959-1961. Louise Reiss published the results from the Baby Tooth Survey in the November 24, 1961 issue of Science.”

During the late 1950s, Commoner became a well-known protester against nuclear testing. He went on to write several books about the negative ecological effects of above-ground nuclear testing. In 1970 he received the International Humanist Award from the International Humanist and Ethical Union. His 1971 book, The Closing Circle, suggested a left-wing, eco-socialist response to the limits to growth thesis, postulating that capitalist technologies were chiefly responsible for environmental degradation, as opposed to population pressures.

One of Commoner’s lasting legacies is his four laws of ecology, as written in The Closing Circle in 1971. The four laws are:
1. Everything is Connected to Everything Else. There is one ecosphere for all living organisms and what affects one, affects all.
2. Everything Must Go Somewhere. There is no “waste” in nature and there is no “away” to which things can be thrown.
3. Nature Knows Best. Humankind has fashioned technology to improve upon nature, but such change in a natural system is, says Commoner, “likely to be detrimental to that system.”
4. There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch. Exploitation of nature will inevitably involve the conversion of resources from useful to useless forms.
(From Wikipedia)

“Historical Note
The Committee for Nuclear Information (CNI) was formed in the spring of 1958. After its formation, CNI resolved to collect and distribute information to the public about nuclear technology. Once the public had an informed opinion about this issue, CNI would then consult with public officials. The Committee for Environmental Information (CEI) was founded for a similar purpose: to increase public knowledge about modern science. “…/nuclear-environmental-files.pdf

The Radiation and Public Health Project, Florida. Present Day.
Mission: Research, Education, Public Awareness.
“RPHP was established as a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization in 1995, after many years of work by its founders–Jay Gould and Ernest Sternglass–as part of other nonprofit environmental and public policy organizations.

Given RPHP’s threefold mission in the areas of research, education and public awareness, the history of RPHP can best be traced through its books and articles on radiation and nuclear issues–by Jay Gould, Ernest Sternglass, Joseph Mangano, Bill McDonnell, Janette Sherman and Jerry Brown.
During the first half century of the Nuclear Age a growing body of medical and scientific evidence has emerged to demonstrate a probable causal link between low-level internal radiation from the ingestion of man-made fission products and world-wide increases in immune deficiency diseases, especially cancer and those affecting the newborn. RPHP has assembled much of the epidemiological evidence documenting these links.

Five books published by RPHP research associates summarize hundreds of articles in peer-reviewed journals dealing with these impacts of ingested, low-level fission products–products which did not exist in nature prior to the Nuclear Age. In addition to the effects upon the immune response of all age groups, the very young have been especially affected. RPHP has repeatedly pointed out the radiation-induced damage apparent in official vital statistics, tracing changes in infant mortality rates and underweight live births in the postwar period, especially during the aboveground nuclear test years of the 1950s and the 1960s.
RPHP has also been able to track the radiation-induced damage done to the hormonal and immune systems of the 80 million baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965 in each of the post war decades, revealing the various epidemiological anomalies: In the 1950s, children born after the enormous initial exposure to nuclear fission products began to experience epidemic increases in childhood cancer in the ages 5 to 9. “
“Why study baby teeth?
Since their inception, nuclear power plants and bomb facilities have been emitting fission products through accidental releases and through regular allowable emissions that the government classifies as below regulatory concern.
Radioactive Strontium-90 (Sr-90) is one of these elements, and one of the deadliest. The chemical structure of Sr-90 is so similar to that of calcium that the body gets fooled and deposits Sr-90 in the bones and teeth where it remains, continually emitting cancer-causing radiation.
Most of the strontium in the baby teeth is transferred to the fetus by the mother during pregnancy. Because we know when and where the baby was born, and where the mother lived while carrying, we can accurately determine when and where radioactivity was absorbed from the environment.
The Federal Government no longer measures strontium intake in baby teeth. Yet RPHP believes it is important to know what the facts of our radioactive exposure actually are. Thus, RPHP has launched its own national study of the levels of radioactivity in American baby teeth.
What will RPHP’s study do?
This study will gather the necessary clinical evidence to determine whether nuclear weapons fallout and power reactors are affecting our public health and contributing to America’s cancer epidemic–impacting the health and mortality of newborn children and damaging future generations.
Once RPHP has sufficient teeth, and is able to conduct statistical analysis of the data, it will become clear whether or not strontium is entering our bodies from nuclear power and bomb facilities. Should it prove that this is in fact the case, RPHP will then disseminate the results of its research to the public, to Congress, and to the media.
The fundamental importance of RPHP’s current Baby Teeth Study is that it will, for the first time since the 1960s, provide clinical evidence on the impact of low-level radiation on public health. That study may find:
• That strontium-90 levels in children today are at levels that merited such great concern in the past.
• That strontium-90 levels are significantly higher in nuclear counties (counties located within 100 miles of nuclear reactors) than in non-nuclear counties, thereby coinciding with increased breast and prostate cancer mortality rates.
• That a Chernobyl Effect is detectable in U.S. baby teeth during the 1980s.
• That strontium-90 levels in U.S. baby teeth show a temporal increase, year after year, throughout the 1980s and 1990s, reflecting the impact of low-level radiation emissions from commercial nuclear reactors.
If the current Baby Teeth Study finds compelling clinical evidence of increasing radioactive contamination of the American population, such findings may have the breakthrough policy impact of the first US baby teeth study conducted from 1958 – 1963.

The results of the first study were instrumental in the signing of an atmospheric test ban treaty by the US and the former-USSR. Today, such evidence would provide the scientific basis for initiating a national dialogue and public policy debate on the low-level radiation/public health issue.

Our current teeth study is directed by Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass, Professor Emeritus of Radiological Physics at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School and Senior Associate of the RPHP. This study replicates a similar study first conducted 40 years ago.
In 1958 dental associations in St. Louis, organized by Dr. Barry Commoner, concerned about increasing fallout from aboveground nuclear tests, independently began collecting baby teeth to ascertain strontium-90 levels since the bomb tests began in 1945. It was soon clear that there had been statistically-significant, geometric increases since 1951. More than 60,000 teeth were collected and, by 1965, peak levels of about 5 picoCuries/gram Calcium, were reached, indicating a fifty-fold increase since 1951.

The St. Louis findings were supported by UN measurements of the strontium-90 levels found in the bone in autopsies of New York City adults who died each year from 1955 to 1970. By the 1960s, at least two dozen nations began their own measurements of strontium-90 levels in the teeth of children, which are better than autopsies performed on adult cadavers, because birthdates provide a better indication of when one’s major burden of Sr-90 was acquired.

All published studies tell a similar story; peak levels were reached in the mid-1960s, when the huge amounts of Sr-90 released in the final massive US/USSR hydrogen bomb tests of 1962 finally rained out by 1964 and 1965.

In the 1970s, Sr-90 levels in baby teeth dropped back down to about 1 pCi/grCa, about the same level reached in the US by 1958. Studies published by Denmark and Japan were continued until the early 1980s, suggesting that sometime in the mid-1970s the strontium-90 levels in teeth leveled out, followed by a slight upturn.

However, a current study of some 6,000 German baby teeth collected since 1992 by the German Section of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War–winner of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize Award–found the trend has changed.
The German Section of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War found a tenfold increase in the teeth of German children born in the period following the arrival of Chernobyl fallout in May of 1986, as compared with children born in 1983.

RPHP has translated and published the first IPPNW report: Ten Years After Chernobyl: The Rise of Strontium-90 in Baby Teeth .

Our own study replicates the IPPNW protocols, in securing for each tooth analyzed the birthdate and place of birth of each child. As of April 2003, we have collected 4000 teeth. ….”
End quote.

“The Government”

1955 April 15


“Dr. LIBBY. “I think it might be interesting to add—I
am sure Dr. Bugher did not mean to omit it—
that the strontium 90 has no genetic effect.”
Dr. BUGHER. “That is right. Dr. LIBBY. It goes
to the bones, you see, which have no genetic
significance. I thought maybe the record might
be clearer if that statement were in there.””

End quote.

See previous post.
As strontium Is a calcium analogue, it is found in the body wherever calcium is needed.
Thus, during pregnancy and lactation strontium is found to be released from bone and travels to the sites in the body which have a high biological demand for calcium. These are 1. The fetus. 2. The mammary glands.

This was written into the scientific record by Dr Charles of the University of California Berkeley in 1940 and 1941. Dr Libby assisted Dr Charles Pecher. Pecher established the facts of strontium movement. Dr Libby worked in the same location (UCLA Lawrence radiation laboratory, Crocker Lab, from 1939. It was Libby who loaned Pecher a radiation monitor (Libby’s Wall Counter)

From 1942 until their deaths, a group of scientists who first worked together under Lawrence prior to 1940 pretended not to know Pecher. But they all did. They include Hamilton, Stone, the Lawrence brothers Libby and others. They all knew in from 1941 at the latest that Strontium in pregnant and nursing mothers does not just “go to the bones.”

1957 June 10

Letter from Libby to Dr. Herman M. Kalckar
National Institutes of Health
Department of Health, Education and Welfare Bethesda
14, Maryland

“Dear Dr. Kalckar: I think your idea of using
children’s milk teeth for strontium 90
measurement is a good one. However, I would not
encourage publicity in connection with the program. We
have found that in collecting human samples publicity is
not particularly helpful.”
cc: Dr. C.L. Dunham
Director of Biology and Medicine, AEC

There are at least two forms of censorship. 1. Restriction of information (restricting knowledge) 2. Official “guidance”. (Propaganda, inculcation, social control). Information which is pervasive and which serves the ends of government to the detriment of the governed, whether issued in a democracy or not.

Both of these are evident in the relationship between what and how people think about the health impacts of fission technology. Even today.

Backgrounder on Radiation Protection and the “Tooth Fairy” Issue

“The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the federal agency responsible for protecting public health and safety with regard to the use of nuclear materials in commercial nuclear power plants that generate electricity. Its regulations are based on sound science to make determinations that adequate protection of the public and the environment is maintained…. Strontium-90 does not occur naturally. It comes from three sources:
1) fallout from above-ground explosions of nuclear weapons testing worldwide from 1963 to 1980;
2) radioactive releases from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in the Ukraine; and
3) radioactive releases from nuclear power plants into the environment.
By far, the largest source of Sr-90 in the environment (~99%) is from weapons testing fallout. Approximately 16.8 million curies of strontium-90 were produced and globally dispersed in atmospheric nuclear weapons testing until 1980 (UNSCEAR 2001) – 2 …. As a result of the Chernobyl accident, approximately 216,000 curies of Sr-90 were released into the atmosphere. An increase in the incidence of childhood thyroid cancer in the area directly affected by the accident has been attributable to radioiodine ingestion. No other increase in overall cancer incidence or mortality has been observed that can be attributed to radiation from the accident (UNSCEAR 2000)4….. The total annual release of strontium-90 into the atmosphere from all 103 commercial nuclear power plants operating in the United States is typically 1/1000th of a curie. (NUREG/CR-2907, Vol. 12)5. At an individual nuclear power plant, the amount of Sr-90 is so low that it is usually at or below the minimum detectable activity of sensitive detection equipment. Radiation doses from Sr-90 to individuals living within 30 miles of a nuclear power plant would be a tiny fraction of less than one millirem. As indicated above, nuclear power plant emissions of Sr-90 are inconsequential compared with other man-made sources and, thus, it is reasonable to conclude that the vast majority of Sr-90 that can be detected in, for example, baby teeth would be attributable to fallout from nuclear weapons testing or, possibly, the Chernobyl accident….. There are a number of questions about the Health Project studies with regard to methodology, assumptions, and conclusions. Generally, these studies have not followed good scientific principles. Frequently, they have
• not established control populations for study;
• not examined the impacts of other risk factors;
• used very small sample sizes to draw general conclusions;
• not performed environmental sampling and analysis;
• selectively chosen to ignore data in certain geographic locations or during certain periods of time because they did not “fit”;
• not subjected their data to the independent peer review of the scientific community as a whole; and
• used an incorrect half-life for Sr-90 which gives a false impression that strontium levels in the environment are decaying more rapidly than in baby teeth.
The evaluation of health effects from exposure to radiation is an ongoing activity of the NRC’s involving public, private and international institutions.
The Radiation Public Health Project (RPHP) has conducted a number of studies claiming radioactive strontium-90 (Sr-90) in the environment is responsible for increases in cancers.
One of the RPHP’s studies, sometimes referred to as the “Tooth Fairy Project,” reported that Sr-90 concentrations in baby teeth are higher in areas around nuclear power plants than in other areas.
Numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies do not support the RPHP’s claims. NRC finds there is little or no credibility in the RPHP’s studies.
Approximately 99% of Sr-90 in the environment came from atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. The second largest source of Sr-90 in the environment was the Chernobyl accident.
The amount of Sr-90 from all commercial nuclear power plants is a tiny fraction of the amount from Chernobyl.”
End quote. The NRC is a bit more polite than its predecessor was.


All of the quotations in this post are selected and condensed. See original source sites and documents. (AEC Project Sunshine documents quoted above are available from US Department of Energy’s
Who do you believe? The official agencies of government past and present or those organisations originated by the citizens?
A note about the scientific credentials of Drs Sternglass, Gofman and Commoner:
“In the early 1960s Professor Sternglass became aware of the work of Dr. Alice Stewart. Stewart was head of the Department of Preventive Medicine of Oxford University, responsible for a pioneering study on the effects of low-level radiation in England. Stewart had discovered that a small amount of radiation to an unborn child could double the child’s chances for leukemia and cancer.
In the 1960s, Sternglass studied the effect of nuclear fallout on infants and children. He found not only an increase in leukemia and cancer, but a significant increase in infant mortality. In 1963 he published the paper “Cancer: Relation of Prenatal Radiation to Development of the Disease in Childhood” in the journal Science.[2]
In 1963, Professor Sternglass testified before the congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy regarding the level of strontium-90 in baby teeth. The result of bomb-test fallout, strontium-90 was associated with increased childhood leukemia. His studies played a role in the Partial Test Ban Treaty signed by President John F. Kennedy.[citation needed]
In 1969, Sternglass reached the conclusion that 400,000 infants had died because of medical problems caused by fallout—chiefly lowered resistance to disease and reductions in birth weight.[3]
In April 1979, Sternglass was invited to testify to Congressional hearings on the Three Mile Island accident. Two days later, when the hearings were moved from the House to the Senate, he was told his testimony was no longer desired. Sternglass believed that an effort was being made to suppress any evidence about possible deaths as a result of the accident.[4] A major study by Sternglass showed that the 1979 accident led to a minimum of 430 infant deaths.
From 1952 to 1967 Sternglass worked at the Westinghouse Research Laboratory. All his work there involved nuclear instrumentation. At first he studied fluoroscopy, which “exposes an individual to a considerable dose of radiation.” Then he worked on a new kind of television tube for satellites. Eventually he was put in charge of the Lunar Station program at Westinghouse.
Sternglass is Emeritus Professor of Radiological Physics in the Department of Radiology, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Sternglass is Director, Cofounder, and Chief Technical Officer of the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP).” Wikipedia.
I have given a brief account of Dr Gofman’s battles and achievements in an earlier post.
Dr Commoner has contributed to the RPHP.

Time for a closer look at what current officially approved low level radiation research reveals.

where has all the strontium gone,

October 26, 2010

long time passing.
“1960: Mother testing son’s milk for Sr-90. Nuclear weapon testing involved Sr-90 radioactivity”
And the rest.
(Measuring beta through glass? The reading would be way less than actual.)

It was not only in bone. Strontium was in milk. We are mammals. Pregnancy and nursing the infant are events that vector radio strontium from the bones of the mother (Pecher, 1940) to the tissues involved in human reproduction and nuturing. It then affects the child.

The “strontium affects bone only” thing is wrong.


(Source: “Report, AWTSC No. 2, Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee, “Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 in the Australian Environment During 1969 and some results for 1970” “. May 1971, Commonwealth of Australia.)

The first line of the table above shows the following:

In 1969 authorities had collected the bones of 108 deceased babies. The ages of these babies at time of death ranged from stillbirth to 1 month old.

None of these babies had spent very much time living outside of the womb. All these suffered radio strontium in their bones.

In the case of those babies who were pronounced “stillbirths”, no time at all had been spent living outside the womb.

The whole idea of Australian authorities collecting such bones in secret and without the parents’ permission in their time of grief is a grim one. The bone robbing pathologists in Australia’s hospitals were paid for their “work” and sworn to secrecy. These facts of ethical criminality at the heart of Western government sponsored science have been well canvassed.

There is something else as well. The data in the table above facilitates nuclear industry. This facilitation is based on a lie.

If strontium is confined to bone, how did it get from the mother to the baby? What route did it take through the mother? What did the mother’s body do with that proportion of radio strontium which was rejected by her breast and other tissues? (a rejection ratio of about 4:1 where dietary calcium was rich. See previous post re Sr** in human milk.)

The official line is that:

“Any effect of Strontium 90 on individuals in the population results from the radiation doses it delivers to bone tissue, after ingestion in foodstuffs.”
(Source: Professor Sir Ernest Titterton et al. (ibid.)

This line is universally held to be true by authorities throughout the world.

Adult Bone tissue is one of the least radio-sensitive tissue.

However, noone has asked the following question:

“How did the Strontium 90 get to the bones of babies who did not survive delivery?”

From the mother.

A fetus does not eat food. The digestive tract is by-passed during fetal development.

The stealing of the bones of babies by authorities is one deception.

The false and sexist biochemical and medical conclusions drawn from the excersize called Project Sunshine is another. Criminal ethics does not faciliate good science.

One is easy is to comprehend. The other is a bit more difficult.

Men don’t have babies.

Nuclear authorities modelled the effects of fission products on the human body by way of a theorectical construct the AEC called “The Standard Man”. (Libby)

In the study of that bio-chemically active fission product called Strontium 90, authorities excluded from public awareness two exceptions to the dictum : “Strontium is a bone seeker”.

The mother and the baby.

In the case of the mother, the strontium in her body is mobilised. The strontium leaves her bones, and travels, as if it were calcium, to sites of high calcium demand. Her infant. Via her placenta and breasts. (Pecher’s 1940 findings in relation to other mammalian species).

Strontium is a calcium-demand seeker.
It goes to whatever tissue demands calcium. In the case of the pregnant mother, it moves toward the baby. In the case of the nursing mother, it moves toward the mammary tissue. Project Sunshine only studied bone. It did not release any study of involved female soft tissue.

Yet, Pecher in 1941 studied the secrection from the bovine mammary gland, and, from several mammalian species, bone . The AEC copied his animal bone study and applied it to humans. In the public domain, it said nothing relating to soft tissue findings observed during pregnancy and lactation.Of any species, even though it held and consulted the Pecher data from 1940-41.

The soft tissues involved are much more vulnerable to radiation than adult bone. (See post script re marrow).

The complications of the internal biochemisty involved in this internal movement of strontium from mother’s bone to baby via the mother’s soft tissue are described by Pecher, 1940 -1941. He used pregnant and nursing rats, not people in his studies.

Pecher said “The infants become more radioactive than the mother”. From strontium present in the mother.

What relevance has this to the modern world? There is very little strontium 90 left in the Australian environment. It will be around until next century in smaller and smaller amounts. (If things stay the same).

The Project Sunshine (AEC) Beagle, rodent and monkey studies, indeed the human bone studies, led to official pronouncements that fallout from nuclear testing caused harm to noone. (Minister Wooldridge being the odd man in the context of Australian government).

The table above lists the harm. The presence of radiostrontium in human bones is of itself a negative outcome of nuclear testing. It is an imposition, an insult (in the technical sense as well as the ethical sense.)

Further, as we have seen, strontium 90 is only one of several radioactive fission isotopes of strontium.

Strontium 89 was present for about 3 years after each nuclear detonation.

There are at least 5 fission product of strontium, but only one was reported to public.

It was reported that Sr90 was safe at the doses recieved.

The closer in time to each detonation one goes, the greater diversity of radio strontium isotope insult there is. The closer to the time of detonation one goes the greater damage there was. The decision to define Sunshine as a “Long range study” is inadequate and deceptive.

Nuclear industry builds on the concepts established by Project Sunshine.

The US NRC reports the release of Strontium 89 and Strontium 90 from nuclear power reactions occurs.

The US NRC reports this release is safe.

Is it?

Post Script.
In this explanation I have not included the discussion related to bone marrow insult. Sunshine ignored bone marrow irradiation. The bone marrow went up in smoke during the process of incineration needed to reduce human bone to a form (ash) required for analysis.

The insult to marrow by strontium’s beta rays is attenuated by the shielding of bone. Strontium tends to crystalise on the outer layers of bone in a looser lattice than does calcium. Insult to marrow did occur. The extent of this insult is blurred in the medical literature. In his human treatment of bone cancer, Pecher stated that Sr89 in bone damaged marrow less than did Phosphorous 32. Thus it can be shown that Sr** in bone insults the marrow.

A decade after Pecher’s death, John Lawrence disputed Pecher’s findings, concluding that P32 was less damaging to marrow than Sr89. This, again, confirms Sr89 beta insults marrow. (The “argument” was about the relative harms. It is therefore a given that abosultely, both harmed bone marrow. Lawrence is shown to be wrong by modern papers.)
Sr90 beta can reach the marrow.

There is no evidence that this exposure to marrow – and indeed to any other tissue – had or has any benefit.

To the contrary, harms occurred. The deliberate release of radioactivity, advocated by some today, (B. Scott) on the basis of DOE funded research at Flinders University, South Australia relies on the position that one can apply experimental studies of Low LET external x rays to the much higher LET of internal exposures from internal emitters (alpha, beta). As the experiment in question dictates “Low LET”, and as internal emitters emit higher energy LET, the position is inadmissible. Scott ends up proclaiming the health benefit of radon exposure whereas US cancer authorities, including US government agencies, state radon exposure is a leading cause of radiation induced disease.

Next: The mothers of St Louis, Barry Commoner.
The Florida Baby Tooth Project vs. the NRC. (or vice versa.)

Creation & Decay of 2 Strontium fission products – Australia

October 25, 2010












Rate of Radioactivity in curies per gram of 5 Strontium Fission Products

October 25, 2010


1 Curie = the radioactivity of 1 gram of radium.
(consider the higher LET and ionising efficiency of alpha)

See posts relating to the Radium Dial Painters of the 1920s and 1930s for a comparative health study.

Consider that the first book referenced by the Manhattan Project in its considerations of the effects of radiation was Robley Evans work on Radium.

Hamilton was then contracted to study the biochemically active fission internal emitters such as the strontium isotopes.

Next : Creation and decay slopes of the strontium 90 and strontium 89 released by the British Nuclear Tests in Australia.

1963: Radio Strontium Levels in Human Breast Milk

October 25, 2010

JARVIS AND OTHERS: STRONTIUM-89 AND STONTIUM-90 LEVELS Canadian Medical Association Journal. Jan. 19, 1963, vol 88

Strontium-89 and Strontium-90 Levels in Breast Milk and in Mineral-Supplement Preparations

Note: S.U. = Sunshine Unit.

….. In a previous investigation we reported that
human milk, collected from subjects living in
the Toronto area, had a lower ratio of strontium-
90 uuc./g. Ca (S.U.90) than that found in cows’
milk, obtained during the same period. This study
was carried out at a time when the strontium-90
levels were generally low.

Following the resumption
of nuclear testing it was of interest to ascertain
whether human milk will continue to have lower
strontium-90 and S.U.90 levels than cows’ milk and
to study the time-lag between the appearance of
radiostrontium in cows’ milk and human milk.

As well as significant amounts of strontium-
90, fresh fallout contains a considerable quantity
of strontium-89, which fortunately has a relatively
short half-life (54 days as compared with 28 years
for strontium-90). (Paul’s note: this is the old half life for Sr89, which was found
to be incorrect in 1941. A future post will compare all the fission product strontium isotopes. There are at least 5 of them. When disclosing Project Sunshine in, from memory, 1954, Libby of the AEC spoke only in terms of Sr90 to the public.)

It is also, like strontium-90, a Beta-emitting,
bone-seeking radionuclide, but owing to
its relatively short half-life, it is present only in
fresh fission products, where its concentration may
be 100-150 times that of strontium-90.

Strontium-89 may be initially the more hazardous material,
Because in addition to its greater fission abundance
it has a greater specific activity.

Shorter-lived isotopes have a greater specific activity than long lived
isotopes because they emit particles at a
faster rate and therefore produce a higher intensity
of radiation, other things being equal.

The chemical and metabolic similarities between
calcium and strontium have stimulated prophylactic
and therapeutic attempts to decrease the retention
of strontium by incorporating stable calcium in the
diet of experimental animals and man. Spencer et al
have reported decreased retention of radiostrontium
following the injection of calcium gluconate
intravenously into human subjects.

Wasserman and Comar and Wasserman, Comar and
Papadopoulau have also shown that in the growing
rat the skeletal retention of radiostrontium could
be lessened by the increase of stable calcium in
the diet. They also showed that elevated calcium
levels would almost proportionally decrease the
total body burden of strontium in immature rats.

It is a widespread custom to administer to
pregnant and lactating women, mineral-supplements
high in calcium, with or without vitamins.

Strontium isotopes, if present in these preparations,
will ultimately be transferred to the fetus and to
the breast-fed infant. In view of this it was thought
to be expedient to examine the calcium, strontium-
89 and strontium-90 content of several commercially
available calcium compounds used in the
manufacture of prenatal and lactational mineral supplement

Strontium-90, strontium-89 and S.U. values
were determined in human milk before and
after the resumption of atmospheric nuclear
testings in 1961, and the levels were compared
to cows’ milk values reported during
the same time. S.U.90 levels in human milk
were approximately one-fifth of those found
in cows’ milk. Assuming an average dietary
intake of 11-13 S.U.90 during the period
tested, the mean strontium/calcium ratio of
1.78 found in human milk represents an
Observed Ratio milk-diet of approximately

Although strontium-89 was present
in cows’ milk already in September
1961, it did not appear in human milk until
November 1961. It seems, therefore, that
there was a two-month lag period between
the appearance of fresh fallout in cows’
milk and human milk.

Calcium-supplement mineral preparations used
by pregnant and lactating women were
tested to find their strontium-89, strontium-90 and S.U. levels,
because strontium isotopes, if present in
these products, will be transferred to the
fetus and to breast-fed infants. The compounds
tested had S.U.90 levels of 0.13-
2.62; in none of the preparations was Sr89

End quote.

The time lag of 2 months between the appearance of Sr89 in human breast milk compared to its earlier appearance in bovine milk highlights that the survey took place in an urban environment. The human milk was obtained from 6 Toronto hospitals, and it is reasonable to assume the bovine milk was obtained at a retail outlet.

As a result it had been screened by the Canadian Radiological Safety system (every Western nation had such a system) and any milk destined for retail outlets which was considered by these authorities to be “too contaminated” with fallout fission particles (as determined by the radiation readings) was dumped at the dairy processing plants.

The situation is even murkier for rural and indigenous communities. By and large, families living a rural and or indigenous lifestyle tended to keep dairy cows or goats as source of milk.

It is very likely that these people consumed very fresh milk – from udder to straight to table. It is also very likely that goat’s milk was routinely consumed by rural and Indigenous people.
Goats are cheaper and easier to keep than cows. Sadly though the goat passes more strontium through to its milk than does the cow.

(See earlier post showing Pecher’s 1941 measured strontium passage to milk following strontium 89 injection in two cows. The selective barriers presented by the gut and udder are relatively efficient due to the presence of lactose in bovine milk. This is absent from goat’s milk, which passes a greater proportion of the Sr** through to it milk. Wasserman, Cornell Conference on the Transport of Strontium and Calcium across Biological Membranes, 1962, Academic Press. )

I believe that lack of radiation monitoring of individual remote milk supplies, the immediate consumption of the milk – soon after milking – and the species used as a dairy source, led to very much higher exposures to Iodine 131 and Strontium 89 and 90 in Native American and rural communities.

Aboriginal Native American and rural populations did consume dairy milk which was officially “excessively” radioactive. It is certain that urban populations were protected from such milk by the radiation monitoring of the milk supply large cities enjoyed.

However, the entire population of the planet was forced to consume contaminated foodstuffs during the atmospheric nuclear test era. I will show in a later post that those populations with the least calcium in their diets were worse off than those who consumed milk. Radio Strontium did not simply contaminate milk. It contaminated everything. As a calcium analogue, strontium can be expected to be more abundant in the food stuffs which are calcium rich. Although all foodstuffs were contaminated, including milk, the calcium boost available from milk provided a relative health advantage as less of the radio strontium was absorbed at the human gut. Jarvis et al show that human milk contains about a fifth of the strontium ratio to calcium shown by bovine milk. The primary source of calcium for the Anglo-American diet is bovine dairy (Comar, 1962).

Charles Pecher (1941) further shows that even when the bovine gut is by passed and radio strontium is directly injected into two cows, about 7% and 11% respectively of the injected radio strontium is expressed into the milk. That is, about 90% is not. An Aboriginal hunter gatherer without access to bovine dairy eating vegetation and small game in a fallout field is far worse off than Jarvis et al’s subjects. The only biological membranes protecting the hunter gatherer from the absorption of radio strontium in food are their own. The body demands calcium and will use strontium if it has to.

Mammal biology discriminates against strontium in favour of calcium where calcium is present in the gut. A diet deficient in calcium results in a far greater uptake of strontium. The body can use this in place of calcium to a degree. Fallout in Australia reached a peak in 1957. It was a drought year. Aboriginal Australians traversing a contaminated inland suffered malnutrition. West Australia asked for Commonwealth with which to establish a vegetable garden at Warburton on the Aboriginal Reserve. Request denied. See graphs, next post. The Australian Government is unable to tell me how much it spent on the nuclear tests.

The complicating factor is the failure of atomic test authorities to inform the public. It would have been far better to issue purified and decontaminated calcium supplements, rather than to pretend that the food supply was pure. It patently was not. Even human milk was contaminated by fission products from bombs. Aside from Sr** there are more than 200 other fission products.

I guess authorities 1. Wanted to keep exploding bombs in the air 2. Didn’t want to frighten the public. 3. Enforced ignorance by the control of information.

The US Centres for Disease Control acknowledges that Native Americans who, during the atmospheric test era, consumed very fresh milk and who hunted and consumed small game, (particularly near the primary test site) suffer a markedly increased vulnerability to disease. Especially thyroid cancer. (I131)

Cancer Center at Mayo Clinic

Outreach to American Indians and Alaska Natives
(Native Programs)
American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations have very high incidence rates for specific cancers and poor survival rates for most cancers. This AI/AN Leadership Initiative on Cancer addresses comprehensive tribal cancer control through partnerships with The Network for Cancer Control Research among AI/AN populations, tribes, multiple cancer centers, Cancer Information Services (CIS), and the American Cancer Society (ACS). This initiative will assist tribes to:
• Increase community awareness and understanding of cancer
• Provide training in cancer control research for AI/AN researchers
• Improve native community channels to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) so that research can be specifically focused on issues that affect native people

See also…/Appendix_I-7_Communications_Campaign.doc…/Appendix_I-1_Outline_Communications_Plan.doc
Risk Anal. 2000 Feb;20(1):101-11.
The assessment of radiation exposures in Native American communities from nuclear weapons testing in Nevada.
Frohmberg E, Goble R, Sanchez V, Quigley D.
Clark University, Center for Technology, Environment, George Perkins Marsh Institute, Worcester, MA 01610, USA.
Native Americans residing in a broad region downwind from the Nevada Test Site during the 1950s and 1960s received significant radiation exposures from nuclear weapons testing. Because of differences in diet, activities, and housing, their radiation exposures are only very imperfectly represented in the Department of Energy dose reconstructions. There are important missing pathways, including exposures to radioactive iodine from eating small game. The dose reconstruction model assumptions about cattle feeding practices across a year are unlikely to apply to the native communities as are other model assumptions about diet. Thus exposures from drinking milk and eating vegetables have not yet been properly estimated for these communities. Through consultations with members of the affected communities, these deficiencies could be corrected and the dose reconstruction extended to Native Americans. An illustration of the feasibility of extending the dose reconstruction is provided by a sample calculation to estimate radiation exposures to the thyroid from eating radio-iodine-contaminated rabbit thyroids after the Sedan test. The illustration is continued with a discussion of how the calculation results may be used to make estimates for other tests and other locations.
PMID: 10795343 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] end quote.

The Australian government does not accept any of this evidence in relation to the Aboriginal people of Australia. The risk factors suffered by Native Americans and the Australian Aboriginal population are a very close match. (Conclusion due in part to Fromberg, above.). The organisations in Australia with similar functions to AEC/DOE are AWTSC and ARPANSA.

I find no evidence for the theory of radiation hormesis as proclaimed by B.Scott (for Los Alamos National Labs), citing the DOE funded research of Sykes et al, Adelaide South Australia. That research was confined by DOE to low LET external x ray, not high LET and other energies of LET from internalised emitters. Sr89 does not emit low energy LET. The energy of that specific beta approaches that alpha.

The higher vulnerability of Native Americans is not addressed by B. Scott in his celebration of the benefits of exposure to ionising radiation.

He needs to examine internalised radio-nuclides.
If he manages to walk to the correct repository, he may find it to be “A Walk to Remember.”