A Beneficial Dose vs Irati Wanti
The concept of a beneficial dose of ionizing radiation was promoted by Flinders University in a public paper issued July 2011. According to this public paper, entitled “Radiation response a Meltdown in Reason” : “We need radiation in our environment, just as we need vitamins and minerals. Too much is a problem, too little is a problem,” – http://blogs.flinders.edu.au/flinders-news/2011/07/14/radiation-response-a-meltdown-in-reason/ published by Flinders University Marketing and Communications. Rather, (ionizing) radiation was, according to Flinders University, like “vitamins and minerals”, necessary for health and life. Flinders University implied in this paper that anyone who disagreed was irrational.
Flinders University claimed that the people of South Australia were in a state of panic over events in Japan, and that there was a “general ignorance about radiation”.
The Flinders piece stated that “too much” (exposure to ionizing) radiation was bad for health. As was “too little”. The “Just right” right dose was not defined, nor was the means by which a citizen might assure that their specific daily allowance might stay in the allegedly “just right” zone. No mention of the Allowable Life time Dose was made nor was there mention made of the concept of the accumulation of dose.
There was no discussion in the piece as to how the contradiction between an alleged
“beneficial dose” and the accumulation of dose and the resultant proportionate increase in risk was to be resolved. Was Flinders University asking the public to deduct allegedly “good dose” from “bad dose”? What was considered “good dose” in the piece? In the context of the piece, it was that dose resultant from the activity not of medicine, but of industry. For the alleged panic and ignorance sprang from the latest reactor failure, the multiple one of March 2011 at Fukushima.
As I have stated in a recent post, the concepts of hormesis and adaptive response are two different concepts, one, hormesis, is not proven, and the other, adaptive response, is one which might in the context of controlled medical setting. This research is ongoing and Flinders University has been involved in such research since the start of the 21st century. The hope of a small additional dose as an addition to high treatment doses is hope to increase the success of the primary treatment dose and it is hoped, mitigate the long term effects of the treatment dose itself. Adaptive response is quite different. The hope that haphazard additional exposures caused by nuclear industry will result in a controlled beneficial dose, as implied by Flinders University, in the context of reactor accidents unrealistic. The piece is a response by Flinders University to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The Flinders experiments, as shown by the letter I received from that organisation in response to questions defines the type and specification of the radiation used in the experiments.
The type and vector of radiation of concern off site resultant from the Fukushima Diiachi multiple reactor failure does not conform to the specifications of the radiation being studied by Flinders University. The FU letter is reproduced in a recent post.
The article spoke of ionizing radiation, not the various types nor the types of means
by which ionizing radiation is delivered to the human body.
The concept of dose alone was given as the only “poison” to be considered. “Radiation is not the poison, the dose is,” according to Flinders University.
Even if there were only one type of ionising radiation and only one delivery vector, dose is not the only variable which determines dose response at the time of exposure and over time. Oxygen tension is another, as is age and previous exposures, the presence of synergistic agents, and so on and so on. Calling one variable among a number “the only poison” is misleading. Dose is one variable among many.
“Too little (dose) is bad” according to Flinders University. Is there a tablet one may take to correct to this alleged ailment of “radiation deficit disorder”? An equivalent of the vitamins and minerals Flinders claims ionising”radiation to be “like”? Or is one compelled to visit a clinic to undergo corrective X ray exposure for no other reason apart from a concern about “radiation exposure deficit” ? Would such a treatment be legal? At the moment, yes.
In order to ascertain an individual’s state of radiation exposure, the specialist in correcting the alleged condition of radiation deficit disorder would have to know the accumulated life time dose of the patient being treated. The past exposures, the present quanta, and all future accumulations of dose. Flinders University makes clear assumptions about occupation, shielding considerations and so on. And does not disclose these assumptions in the piece.
Achieving an additional beneficial dose, and calculating what it is, if such existed, would prove tricky for Nuclear Veterans. For various governments around the world will not release the relevant data. Where data is released, it is piece meal and inaccurate. In Australia, many technical submissions have been written to government pointing out that the official dose estimates suffered by nuclear veterans and the public are gross under estimates. Retired Major Alan Bachelor (Royal Australian Engineers, Maralinga) has spend many years of his retirement writing such submissions on behalf of Australian, New Zealand and British nuclear veterans. He has not been listened to nor has he been responded to appropriately by government.
One awaits the day Flinders University has made the breakthrough which would enable the use of additional radiation dose, no matter how small and feeble, to overcome the risks and diseases caused by past exposures suffered by nuclear veterans. In 2001 the Flinders researchers were invited to speak at the AGM of the Atomic ExServicmen’s Association, held in Adelaide that year, but the invitation was not responded to and no one from the University research team showed up. So the Association felt that the research was not, as claimed in its PR blurb at the time, aimed at finding who was most vulnerable to exposures and why. For the response to dose is individual within a range. At any dose.
In the case of Australian Aboriginal people, as recently as 2006 the Australian government admitted it did not know which individuals were affected by the radiological “vitamins and minerals” dispersed over encampments, food and game in the 1950s. Nor, the dose inflicted. On this basis Australian Aboriginal people were excluded from the 2006 Health Survey into the Effects of the British Atomic Bomb Tests in Australia. This was the third exclusion of Aboriginal people from such deliberations and examinations. Though authorities claim that the compulsory infliction of dose upon Aboriginal people was harmless, one Australian court found on the basis of the medical evidence that harm was indeed caused. This court proceeding and its findings and judgement remain secret and is suppressed from the legal record. (Source: Collett) It thus cannot be used as a precedent. In all cases the Australian government states that any radiation exposure it inflicted was “low dose” and harmless. So far, in public, the government has not been as extreme as Flinders University. It has not claimed its low dose to be a beneficial dose. The claim by the Australian authorities that no more than 35 cancer cases were caused by the bomb tests is a matter of dispute and is clearly an admission that harm was done.
Low dose is not a benefit. In 2001 this was actually admitted by the Australian Federal government. More on that later.
In the USA, the American Centres for Disease Control stated that it was extremely difficult to reconstruct the dose of ionizing radiation received by Native Americans living in fallout affected areas of that country. A compounding feature in this case was the unique lifestyle and diet of the Native Americans. The diet of that traditional lifestyle included particularly the consumption of thyroid glands of small game. This diet was supplemented by fresh goat’s milk. No authority has claimed that the higher risk of disease suffered by Native Americans in this matter would be mitigated by an additional “beneficial” dose.
I submit that there are many unknowns in any individual’s exposure life.
The concept of the Allowable Lifetime Dose is one which acknowledges the observed effect that past exposures plus present exposures are cumulative and contribute to an increasing and proportionate risk of disease as the accumulated dose increases.
There is no question that nuclear medicine has relieved suffering and extended lives. Nuclear medicine uses treatments in which deploy both external and internal radiation dose delivery.
The means of delivery of internal radiation dose is via the radioactive substances.
Flinders University is proposing that a beneficial dose exists for all people, regardless of whether they were sick or well. And that such a dose can be delivered in a controlled way via the destructive degradation of containment integrity of multiple nuclear reactors by an act of design in the face of nature. Via this proposal, the additional dose imposed by government and industry is presented as a case which allows the inflicted dose to be treated as a dose deduction. For it is a claimed “beneficial dose”. The act of inflicting a dose is an addition, not a subtraction. No matter how small the additional dose is. The addition of dose in the context of experimental medicine – where a primary high dose is needed to treat disease and, it is proposed, a TIMED small additional dose MIGHT mitigate some of the adverse effects of the high dose and increase treatment efficiency – is completely different from the context of additional exposures resultant from a reactor accident. For a start, one presumes human participants in medical human radiation experiments have 1. medical need 2. Expectation of benefit from treatment 3. The ability to say no or the ability to give fully informed consent.
None of these aspects apply to the Fukushima Diiachi nuclear reactor disaster.
Shortly after the Flinders University piece appeared on its website, Toro Energy stated that there was medical indications that “some radiation is good” for health. Toro is a uranium mining company. It’s motivation is clear.
The manufacturing of consent based upon the opinion of medicos in fact funded by US Department of Energy, a US agency chartered to promote, among other things, nuclear energy and nuclear activity. Circular thinking aimed at manufactured consent. Further, if an Australian disagrees with either Flinders University or Toro Energy in the matter, one is afflicted with the socio-political disease of “radio-phobia” or plain panic due to ignorance in the view of Flinders University. The cheapest technical fix for the problems which beset nuclear industry are found within the realm of social engineering rather that in the realm of nuclear engineering. Successive nuclear authorities have called for nuclear engineering “fixes”, to quote a former AEC Commissioner, since the late 1969. Which is why the Fukushima Diiachi disaster came as no surprise to many informed people. People of course raised their voices in March 2011 and whom Flinders University in its July 2011 piece considers panic merchants and ignorant. The people involved include Japanese experts in earth quakes and GE reactor designers. They include Japanese nuclear engineers and technologists and they include the members of the US NRC. They include scientists employed within private foundations and they include lay people around the world. To inject hormesis in this debate and justify it under the cover adaptive response experiments in a controlled laboratory setting is to completely misrepresent the facts of exposure in an uncontrolled situation.
Is there in fact a beneficial dose and can nuclear activity such as uranium mining provide it?
Is it appropriate that a person either visit a clinic for x ray dose for no other reason apart from fear of “not enough radiation?” If a person lived in a remote area, or if a person could not afford the bus fare or the radiology fees, would it be appropriate for a person to buy bottles of radium, Strontium 89, Iodine 131, Phosphorous 32 etc and self administer the “beneficial dose”? How many milligrams would that be? Or perhaps a condiment shaker of uranium salt on the dinner table would fix the problem, and assure good health.
As Flinders University well knows, it is illegal for any medico to administer any radiation dose at all unless there is a clear medical need and informed consent on the part of the patient. Nor is it ethical for medicos to induce people to do it themselves. Or to allow any other organization or individual to do it for them. Including Toro Energy.
The use of ionizing radiation, either as a diagnostic tool or in treatment doses, is covered by law. For instance, the use of any radio-chemical is covered by regulations which limit the use of the various substances to the treatment of specific diseases which must be firmly diagnosed prior to administration. This is not the setting in which nuclear accidents and contamination events occur.
The national secretary of the Australian Atomic ExServicemen’s Association has informed me that his doctor has advised him that additional radiation exposure to him is an unacceptable risk. As a result, the doctor seeks out MRI scans when this nuclear veteran requires diagnostic exploration. The Flinders research team was invited to the meeting this man chaired in 2001 and it chose to attend the meeting. That is Flinders’ loss. The Flinders PR blurb at the time included a statement regarding FU’s interest in finding people who might be vulnerable to radiation.
The person’s response to dose depends very much on who they are, where they work, what doses they were and are exposed to. Who can say what the radiological events for an individual are to be in the unknown future. If the radiological events which occurred from 1945 until 2011 are repeated over a future period, are we to be reassured by the concept of hormesis which allows the adepts and followers of the cult to deduct the dose inflicted? The concept of the alleged beneficial dose occurs in the instant and ignores the past and the future. It is in other words, an attempt at a legal out for those who unleash the dose.
In 1945 no one had Sr90 in their bones. Not a soul, not one life form on the planet. Today there is not a person or a life form without it.
Too little, Too much, Just Right.
The Goldilocks Theory of Dose Response.
It is called the theory of Hormesis. The idea that government and industry can cook up just the right dose for all people in all times, places and situations. All perfectly safe and beneficial. And should one disagree, well they have words for that. Ignorant radio phobe.
You can always tell the hormesis adept as decontamination expert. He/she is the one that draws the smallest circle on a contamination map and is the one who stops work first after a spill or disaster.
The actual motivation is not medical, it is economic.
It enables the extremist statement of claimed benefit when in fact the outcome is one of increased risk. It is corporations and governments abdicating their responsibility via the privatizing risk.
Cronkite of the AEC reported in March 1954 that Strontium 89 in the urine of the Marshall Islanders in the wake of the Castle Bravo Disaster had reached “tolerance level”. That is not a beneficial dose, and not even Marshall Brucer, an AEC employee at the time, suggested the cure might be an additional beneficial dose. Brucer was the originator of the concept of radiation hormesis.
Yes, dose is important. Very important. If I need a dose, I’ll go get it myself in a medical setting where there is a proven medical need established by a doctor I trust.
I don’t expect it to be compulsory dose upon government or funded academic edict at the behest of nuclear industry where no medical need nor informed consent exists.
After decades of nuclear activity, the radio-chemical composition of the human body is today very different to that of humans who lived before the advent of the nuclear age. Mainly due to the presence of St90 in our bones. But that is not the only substance of concern.
The pro-hormesis mob claim that the background radiation levels of the earth are dangerously low, and that our health depends upon the medical intervention of General Atomics, Bechtel, BHP, Toro, TEPCO, Flinders University, GE, Westinghouse, Toshiba, Hitachi and others. If Los Alamos stood by its proclamations, it would market fizzy drink laced with radium. Back to the Future 3. To do so would be against US Law as it stands at the moment. Though they are working on changing it.
Since 1945, the radioactivity of the average human body, which forms part of the background we are exposed to, has gone up, not down. I cite Libby of the AEC, 1954. I urge Flinders University to inform itself of the participation of South Australian Hospitals in the secret collection of human bones under Project Sunshine which formed part of the data set the AEC drew its conclusions from. This program ended in Australia in 1978. I refer to the directives of the Federal Minister Michael Wooldridge, issued in relation to an ethics review of these matters.
This fallout was determined to be “low dose”. The ethics of the compulsory dose is one of the major considerations in the matter, though not the only one. Because of the harm detected, nuclear authorities credited the program for ending the era of nuclear testing earlier than it would have otherwise been. The people who took the credit for ending the era worked for the same institutions which started it. During the test period those people who disagreed with these organisations were ignored and subjected to police actions in the streets of many nations. Yet the nuclear authorities congratulate themselves on ending that period of compulsory dose. Many of the same people who protested compulsory dose in that period protest the compulsory doses government and industry provide today. In the earlier period, it was also claimed that radiation delivered by way of government and industry was “good” radiation.
Hormesis predates the establishment of Flinders University. History shows that the abuse of medicine has repeatedly been used as a trojan horse. Protest against the bomb tests, and one was against medical progress. Protest against multiple failed reactors and be labelled panicked and ignorant. Protest the failure to introduce technical fixes and more advanced technologies, and be labelled anti progress.
They never did return the ashes of the stolen human bones for proper burial. The ethics of Australian medicos were severely called into question in 2001. Pathologists in Australian public hospitals were paid for their secret services to the nuclear programs of the United States, England and Australia. Source: Minister for Health and Aged Care, M. Wooldridge, M.P., Ministerial Press Statement
MW82/01, Canberra, 5 September 2001. (Full Text below.)
Irati Wanti. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kupa_Piti_Kungka_Tjuta
National LIbrary of Australia catalogue entry
Irati wanti : the poison leave it. [electronic resource] :
Coober Pedy, S. Aust. : Irati Wanti Campaign, – PANDORA electronic collection
Archived website; Periodical; Journal, magazine..
Manufactured consent is not informed consent. Irati Wanti.
Disagreement in a democracy is not a disease.
Dr Michael Wooldridge
Minister for Health and Aged Care
5 September 2001
ARPANSA REPORT ON STRONTIUM 90 TESTING PROGRAMThe Federal Government has today referred a report by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) into Australia’s participation in a global nuclear monitoring program to the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC).
Between 1957 and 1978 Australia had a program for measuring strontium-90 (a radioisotope associated with nuclear testing) contamination in the environment.
“While this important research program was public knowledge at the time, I share the concerns of many Australians today about the ethics of not seeking the informed consent of next of kin for the use of human bone samples in the monitoring program,” Dr Wooldridge said on releasing the ARPANSA Report.
“It must be remembered that these events occurred in a different era when it was not common practice to seek the consent of family members for these kind of studies and that is why I asked ARPANSA to examine the records regarding the monitoring program.
“I am informed that the former Australian Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee, which coordinated this program, kept records, which included in many cases, the identity of the human samples used. ARPANSA is currently completing the process of collating these records.
“I am now referring the issue of how to best make this information publicly available to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Health Ethics Committee. AHEC is expected to provide advice by the end of the year on establishing proper ethical protocols so that family members can gain more detailed information about the program,” Dr Wooldridge said.
The Report shows that Commonwealth officials requested hospital pathologists to participate in the fallout monitoring program. Most pathologists in hospitals in mainland Australia and the Northern Territory who were asked were willingly involved as a public service.
The CEO of ARPANSA, Dr Loy, has written to the States involved and the NT providing them with the report and with the names of the laboratories involved for whatever further action they may wish to take.
The Report shows that for the first few years of the program, ashed human samples were sent to laboratories overseas (USA and the UK) for measurement as Australia did not have suitable equipment for measuring strontium-90. However, during the 1960s this capability became available and subsequent samples were analysed in Australia.
The results of the global research effort showed that humans were being adversely affected by radioactive fallout from atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons and the monitoring program contributed to the eventual banning of atmospheric testing throughout the world.
For a copy of the ARPANSA Report call 1800 022 333 or visit http://www.arpansa.gov.au.
Craig Simonetto, Office of Dr Wooldridge 03 9822 1388
Kay McNiece, Department of Health & Aged Care 0412 132 585
This media release has since been removed from the net, the contact details are no longer valid. ARPANSA may still have the complete document set as a souvenir. The findings still stand. The Ethics Committee of Flinders University needs to re read it.