Neural network analysis “unequivocally” reveals threshold dose response in atomic bomb victims

Low dose radiation suppresses cancer.

Note: Low dose in this case is defined as being below a threshold value of somewhere between 100 – 200 mSv depending on exposed organ.

That bold, conventional wisdom-challenging statement is supported by an incredibly important paper titled Cancer risk at low doses of ionizing radiation: artificial neural networks inference from atomic bomb survivors published in the Journal of Radiation Research. It first appeared in an online version in December 2013.

Somehow, I missed the dramatic headlines about this paper and its paradigm-shattering conclusions; I’m sure they must have been all over the news media.

Maybe not. Perhaps the paper’s authors (Masao S. Sasaki, Akira Tachibana, and Shunichi Takeda) neglected to hire publicists, issue press releases and appear on syndicated talk shows.

Here is a quote from the Perspectives section of the paper.

Due largely to a limited statistical power at low doses in A-bomb survivors, cancer risk is often expediently correlated linearly with dose down to zero dose without threshold and expressed on a ‘per-Sv’ basis. The application of the ANN method developed here circumvents this difficulty and unequivocally demonstrates for the first time the presence of a threshold of excess relative risk in humans exposed to ionizing radiation. However, the threshold was fundamentally different from that of the canonical definition of zero effect until the dose reached a critical point, but instead it was manifested as a reduction of background cancer rate.
(Emphasis joyously added.)

Read that again.

Not only did the statistical analysis of existing data reveal the presence of a threshold, but it showed that doses below the threshold suppressed cancer. Instead of being “conservative” by assuming that there is no such thing as a safe dose of radiation, it is far more likely that 60 years worth of regulations and effort to keep doses As Low As Reasonably Achievable based on a consensus of accepting a linear, no-threshold dose response assumption has led to an uncountable number of extra cancers.

Those cancers might have been suppressed if only scientists and regulators had earlier access to modern data and statistical tools and learned that they should be prescribing health-enhancing moderate radiation doses all along.


PS: Here is the paper’s copyright statement:

© The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Japan Radiation Research Society and Japanese Society for Radiation Oncology.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

That kind of copyright statement needs to be encouraged.

Purposely imposed fear prevents properly using radiation benefits

On October 21, 2014, I was invited to be a speaker at the Eastern Washington American Nuclear Society Meeting. That talk was recorded and produced by volunteers at the section. Perhaps as a result of jet lag or nervousness, I neglected to provide proper credit for borrowed slides. Though the words were mine, the slides […]

Read more »

National Academy of Sciences moving towards BEIR VIII

As has been reported in numerous articles here, there has been a large body of scientific research on the health effects of low level radiation published in the period since the last time the National Academy of Sciences produced a report on the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation. The BEIR VII Phase 2 report was […]

Read more »

Continuing conversation with NRC Chairman Macfarlane

On September 11, 2014, the American Nuclear Society hosted a roundtable discussion for nuclear bloggers with Allison Macfarlane, the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The meeting was broadcast as a webinar, but there were also seats available in the conference room from which Dr. Macfarlane and Margaret Harding (the ANS moderator) were running the […]

Read more »

Culture Imposed by Image Gently Carries Substantial Medical Risks

I’ve been engaged with the struggle to counter excessive fear of radiation for many years. Since I come at the battle from a perspective of the avoided benefits of nuclear energy production resulting from the imposed fear, I have been focused on that aspect of countering radiation misinformation. My associates and I have often assumed […]

Read more »

Why radiation is safe and why all nations should embrace nuclear energy

Dr. Wade Allison — retired professor of physics and medical physics at Oxford University, author of Radiation and Reason and a founding member of the international SARI group (Scientists for Accurate Radiation Information — has recently published a video titled Why radiation is safe & all nations should embrace nuclear technology – Professor Wade Allison […]

Read more »

Atomic Show #219 – Mike Rosen misused Edward Calabrese’s Earth Day column

On Atomic Show #218 – Ed Calabrese – Researching Dose Response Dr. Calabrese shared some important stories about the data manipulations he had discovered relating to the establishment of the linear, no-threshold (LNT) dose response assessment. Those stories will shake the established order. Not surprisingly, two commenters immediately added statements apparently aimed at discrediting Dr. […]

Read more »

Atomic Show #218 – Ed Calabrese – Researching Dose Response

Dr. Ed Calabrese is a professor of toxicology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA. For the past twenty years, he has focused his research on understanding the response of a variety of organisms and tissues to a variety of chemicals and radiation as doses vary from extremely low to quite high. He is […]

Read more »

SARI Comment on EPA’s ANPR for 40 CFR 190

On February 4, 2014, the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) asking for interested stakeholders to review and provide comments and information about 40 CFR 190, Environmental Standards for Uranium Fuel Cycle Facilities. The comment period, originally scheduled to last 120 days, was extended to 180 days. That […]

Read more »

Selfish motives for LNT assumption by geneticists on NAS BEAR I

Dr. Edward Calabrese has published a new paper titled The Genetics Panel of the NAS BEAR I Committee (1956): epistolary evidence suggests self‐interest may have prompted an exaggeration of radiation risks that led to the adoption of the LNT cancer risk assessment model. Abstract: This paper extends a series of historical papers which demonstrated that […]

Read more »

Opportunity to use science to establish radiation standards

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to solicit comments from the general public and affected stakeholders about 40 CFR 190, Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Nuclear Power Operations. The comment period closes on August 3, 2014. The ANPR page includes links to summary webinars provided to the […]

Read more »