Hormesis and a response to it.

Hormesis is a religion. A religion pushed by nukers.

Radiation is good for you. So holds the theory of Radiation Hormesis originated to discredit the Radium dial painters of the 1920s. AEC’s Marshall Brucer pushed the concept strongly from the 1950s.

It is pushed today by contractors paid by the US Department of Energy Low Dose Radiation research project.

Here’s how the US Defence Nuclear Agency used the concept to contest claims by US servicemen who served in radiation affected areas of Japan:

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“Health Effects of Radiation Exposure

Over many decades, researchers of many nations have
carried out extensive research into the health risks caused
by ionizing radiation. This research has been so voluminous,
detailed, and intensive that more is known about radiation
and its health effects than about any other carcinogen.
Numerous eminent scientific bodies, national and
international, periodically review all known research and issue
detailed scientific reports which summarise the current view
of medical science on ionizing radiation injury…..The
consensus can be expressed as follows. It is known that
exposure to high levels of ionizing radiation (eg 100 rem)
causes adverse health effects. Although science does not
have proof that exposure to low levels of ionizing radiation
(eg a few rem) causes adverse health effects, it is assumed
that this is so and that the effects are proportional to the
dose. The only type of adverse effect believed to be caused
by low level exposures to ionizing radiation is a slight
increase in the incidence of cancers that occur normally. This
assumed increase is so small it has never yet been
measured, thus there are slight disagreements as to its
exact magnitude among the various distinguished scientific
groups mentioned above…..
A final point might be made about health risk from radiation
dose. Man has evolved through the ages in constant
exposure to ionizing radiation. Cosmic radiation from the
sun, and terrestrial radiation from naturally radioactive
elements in the earth, bathe each of us continually, every
day of our lives, in ionizing radiation. Our dose levels vary
somewhat according to location. In the US, these range from
a low of about 100 millirems per year to a high of about 400
millirem per year. The negligible health risk caused by
radiation exposures at these low levels can be seen by the
fact that researchers have never been able to detect any
increased risk of cancer in locations where the annual
radiation dose is four times greater, in spite of having a vast
data base.
….While these well-established facts appear quite conclusive,
nevertheless DNA is continuing its research into all aspects
of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki occupation.”
End quote.

My answer:

139
The Role of Background Radiation in Human Evolution
The evolution of life progressed against a backdrop of
decreasing natural radiation. The first life on earth arose
in an oxygen-less, hydrogen rich atmosphere, through which
cosmic radiation flooded. At that time, the mineral
composition of the earth was approaching a radiological
stasis: the radioactive elements of shorter half life had
decayed so that in general, uranium and its progeny
radioactive elements – the “uranium series” which includes
radium, thorium and radon – were the only source of
terrestrial ionizing radiation. The fact of this decline over
time in the amount of terrestrially sourced ionizing
radiation is the large lead ore bodies located around the
world. All the lead on earth was once Uranium.
Further, the earliest life was water or mud borne (the
“primordial slime”) and utilized anerobic metabolism which
did not utilse oxygen.
In fact these first life forms excreted oxygen as a waste
product – oxygen is highly toxic to such organisms.
The modern atmosphere has oxygen in it precisely because
of the millions of years these single celled organisms
The Role of Background Radiation in Human Evolution
The evolution of life progressed against a backdrop of
decreasing natural radiation. The first life on earth arose
in an oxygen-less, hydrogen rich atmosphere, through which
cosmic radiation flooded. At that time, the mineral
composition of the earth was approaching a radiological
stasis: the radioactive elements of shorter half life had
decayed so that in general, uranium and its progeny
radioactive elements – the “uranium series” which includes
radium, thorium and radon – were the only source of
terrestrial ionizing radiation. The fact of this decline over
time in the amount of terrestrially sourced ionizing
radiation is the large lead ore bodies located around the
world. All the lead on earth was once Uranium.
Further, the earliest life was water or mud borne (the
“primordial slime”) and utilized anerobic metabolism which
did not utilse oxygen.
In fact these first life forms excreted oxygen as a waste
product – oxygen is highly toxic to such organisms.
The modern atmosphere has oxygen in it precisely because
of the millions of years these single celled organisms
excreted oxygen. The earth’s atmosphere has gradually
140
grown denser and oxygen rich precisely at the time more
complex life forms arose.
Complex life forms developed in unison with a
decreasing rate of background radiation.
The creatures most sensitive to the harmful effects of
ionizing radiation are the mammals. Even though all
mammals are constructed so that our most radiosensitive
tissue (the bone marrow) enjoys the greatest shielding from
external radiation (as the majority of background radiation
is), there are limits to the degree of protection the
construction of the physical mammalian body can provide.
At the cellular level, the repair mechanisms which cope with
damage after chemical and radiological insult diminish with
age. In addition, the fetus, the suckling and the mother are
at particular risk.
Background radiation is not harmless. The start point for
the ill effects of artificially created ionizing radiation is not
100 millirem or 400 millrem, it is in fact background plus
the artificially created dose. In other words, the total dose
received. The troops cited by the DNA above received far
more than .01 millirem during their service in radiation
affected areas of Japan. They received more like 100
millirem added to their individual actual dose from the
bombs. Outcome is proportionate to total dose received, the
type of dose received, and the destination tissue of ingested
radionuclides. This, coupled with the individual vulnerability
of the person as an individual are, I believe parts of the low
dose puzzle which epidemiology fails to spot because it is
focused on groups rather than individuals.
Regardless of the accuracy of the surveys of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki – and many competent authorities disagree
strongly with the conclusions of the ABCC and the US
141
Government in this regard – there are factors which have
been ignored thus far in the low dose debate.
The evolution of mammals has resulted in our most radio-
sensitive tissue – bone marrow – being at the very core of
our tissues, wrapped completely in our densest and least
radiation sensitive (in adults) tissue – bone. Here, this critical
and sensitive tissue is particularly vulnerable to those radio-
contaminants designated as “bone seekers” and “calcium
analogs”. As we shall see later, the “calcium analogs” are a
particular risk to women and their babies.
The Defence Nuclear Agency’s citation of background
radiation exposure dose in comparison to fallout exposure
dose is very misleading. Such a comparison asks the reader
to subtract one dose from the other in order to value the
difference. In fact, it is the total dose which needs to be
considered first, that is, the two doses must be added.
Further, the nature of background radiation doses need to
be considered. Finally, it must be appreciated that all
exposures to ionizing radiation accumulate and produce
harm. It is wrong to assume that the additional dose
received by virtue of living or serving in radiation affected
areas of Japan can be isolated from all previous and
subsequent exposures. The risks of harm befalling an
individual add up as the exposures accumulate and as the
body ages.
So it is that veterans and the populations of radiation
affected areas feel cheated when radiogenic illness strikes.
It is rational to feel that the illness afflicting such an
individual may have occurred later in life or not at all but for
the additional dose inflicted by the bombs.
No expert can prove them wrong!
142
We didn’t evolve in order to withstand the radiological
effects of atomic bombs. We evolved precisely when the
physical environment had radically changed from high
radiation exposure to low external radiation exposure.
Complex species such as mammals did not exist when there
was no oxygen in the air.
Mammals did not arrive until the background radiation had
reduced radically. Ionising radiation is harmful to oxygen
breathing higher life forms. The more oxygen a species
needs, the higher its vulnerability to ionizing radiation may
be.
Higher levels of ionizing radiation in an oxygen depleted
atmosphere may have been required for the rapid
diversification via mutation of the first simple life forms.
To assume therefore that complex species dependent upon
oxygen metabolism are prepared by evolution for the effects
of increased dose rates is folly. At our stage of evolution,
mutations are likely to be damaging, not beneficial.
Such an appreciation of the origins of life on earth leads
many to conclude that if the use of atomic weapons wipes
out the higher life forms, such species may never arise again.
Anywhere. Viruses and cockroaches will rule the universe.
(Sources: Pauling “No More War”, 1957, Sagan, Carl,
“Radiation and the Origin of the Gene”. Evolution, 1957, p.
53. Sagan, Carl, and Bishun, Khare. “Long Wavelength UV
Photoproduction of Amino Acids on the Primitive Earth.”
Science, July 30, 1971, p. 417)
One would have hoped that the Defence Nuclear Agency had
got it right when introducing the role of background
radiation in human evolution. That they did not indicates
that the organization is still caught in thinking as Edward
Teller told them to, rather than thinking for themselves on
the basis of the evidence.

I’ll repost the findings of INCREASED cancer in areas of high natural background areas of Iran and Brazil shortly. These areas have been cited as cited as proof of the health benefits of high background radiation by nuclear industry world wide, in Australia particularly by Toros Energy and Flinders University. However multinational cancer and geological surveys have shown conclusively the opposite.

The former US DNA had no scientific basis for making its claims regarding the role of radiation in human health.

Niether does J Gov and Tepco via Iranian Nuclear Agency employed staffers at the University of Kyoto.

One point of all these posts related to history is to make plain that the nuclear industry song remains the same. They come out with the same crap meltdown after meltdown, which Toshiba Corp estimate will occur every 30 years.

Wonder how much the Fuk reactor vessels eroded tonight? Tepco don’t know.

But the Nuke industry reckons it’s never wrong and employes the world’s worst journos to prove its case.

2 Responses to “Hormesis and a response to it.”

  1. Reference lists for exposing radiation hormesis and quack radiation “science” « nuclear-news Says:

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  2. Reference list on ‘radiation hormesis’ and ‘adaptive radiation’ « nuclear-news.info Says:

    […] https://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/hormesis-and-a-response-to-it/ […]

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