1. @JohnGalt

    I’m not sure I understand your comment, but want to point out that the following statement is made in the document you linked to well before it gets to the point of listing outside references.

    Medical imaging offers tremendous benefits in the care of patients. While there is arguably some potential risk from radiation, this risk–if it exists–is so small that it is difficult to prove.

    (Emphasis added.)

    I still have no understanding of people who get worked up about risks that are so small they are “difficult to prove,” when there are so many visible risks that could be avoided for less cost. Who cares how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

    1. @JohnGalt

      The use of LNT as a conservative guideline and as a way of making sensible decisions that recognize that it’s often not worth making much effort to avoid tiny risks that have disappeared into the grass does not bother me.

      Using LNT to declare that there is “no safe dose of radiation,” or that extraordinary measures are justified in order to avoid doses that are on approximately the same level as variations in natural background is the problem that makes me adamant about showing that LNT is based on a fraud and a number of lies.

      1. @JohnGalt

        Thank you for the list. Please read it again carefully. The only procedures on the list that earn the term “moderate” under “additional lifetime risk of cancer” give acute doses of 20 and 25 mSv.

        In Japan, people have been forced to leave their homes in areas where the projected ANNUAL dose from small quantities of Cs-137 deposited in the area is greater than 20 mSv.

        Logically, that means medical professionals agree that there is probably sufficient benefit from a single CT scan or PET/CT scan to outweigh the lifetime additional cancer risk of slamming a person with the same total dose in a 30-45 minute period as they might receive spread out over an entire year from areas that have been evacuated.

        You might disagree, but I am quite certain that the benefits of living in my home for a whole year are far greater than any potential benefit from a single CT scan.

      2. @JohnGalt

        Radiation is radiation. If 20 mSv delivered quickly represents just a moderate risk, the risk is substantially lower when that same amount of radiation is accumulated over a year.

        Many CT scans are not given to people who are known to be sick. They are given to people who might have been injured, people who have unusual symptoms that might indicate illness, etc. They are often given in multiples.

        I was not paid extra as a nuclear professional because I was voluntarily accepting additional health risk. Rickover would have none of that. I was paid extra because I had valuable skills that were in high demand. My nuclear pay was designed to retain my services, not provide a bigger inheritance for my dependents after I died early or had to retire due to poor health.

      3. @JohnGalt

        My immediate family includes all of the following “women, pregnant women, and children.” I am none of the above, so my only impact on their decision making processes is to provide the best advice I can and to allow them to make their own decisions. I am not a protective parent or a paternalistic government official.

        There is no way that I would allow my government to force me or my family to leave our homes to avoid a projected dose rate of 20 mSv/year. In fact, I would probably engage in civil disobedience for any order to evacuate to avoid doses less than 500 mSv/year for my family or 1200 mSv/year for myself.

      4. The faster the grow rate (=cell division rate), the more sensitive we are because at cell division no DNA repair possible.

        So for the children of Fukushima, this WHO expert report estimates already 7% increase in cancer, despite the speedy evacuation.

        Fetuses have even a much higher cell rate. So in Berlin research found increaseddamage rates at new born after Chernobyl, despite being 1100miles miles away.

        Adults with their low grow rate are less vulnerable. Still their DNA is hampered as shown for these Sellafield workers who got increased levels of dead babies.

        All those results are in line with many other scientific study results.

        1. @Sanne

          All those results are in line with many other scientific study results.

          Of course your linked report is in line with previous assumptions and models because they are what it uses to produce its predictions.

          They assume a straight line through 0,0 and then use that assumption to predict the future. Of course their numbers match the assumption, after all, it’s not hard to solve a y=mx equation when m is assumed to be a certain value.

      5. @Sanne
        Stress can cause birth defects.
        So maybe it would be a good idea to stop scaring people out of their minds over small amounts of radiation.

        Pregnant woman get on airlines where they are exposed to high radiation levels all the time.

        Friedberg W, Copeland K, Duke FE, O’Brien K 3rd, Darden EB Jr. Radiation exposure during air travel: Guidance provided by the FAA for air carrier crews. Health Phys 79(5):591–595; 2000.

        Seattle to Portland: 0.03 mSv per 100 block hours
        New York to Chicago: 0.39 mSv per 100 block hours
        Los Angeles to Honolulu: 0.26 mSv per 100 block hours
        London to New York: 0.51 mSv per 100 block hours
        Athens to New York: 0.63 mSv per 100 block hours
        Tokyo to New York: 0.55 mSv per 100 block hours


        As you can see doses get as high as 6.3 µSv/h, but I’ve never hear about an anti nuclear activists trying to stop pregnant woman and children from flying.

      6. Evan,
        Just talk to good physician if your spouse is pregnant.
        He will advice against long and frequent flights.

        One long intercontinental flight delivers <0.05mSv, which is ~2% of annual background.

      7. @Rod,
        You are free to assume that main stream radiation science is wrong during the past 60years. But usually main stream science is right.

        Especially here, since:
        – so many research results by so many scientists from so many different countries support the theory that the damage of radiation increases linear with the level of radiation;

        – the theory that one radiation particle hitting DNA at the wrong place and wrong moment (when single stranded); or the DNA support structure
        is enough to create major illnesses, etc. is confirmed by lab scientists as well as computational biology scientists.

        1. @Sanne

          I’ll issue the same challenge to you that I have issued to others who have made similar statements:

          Point to a single paper with valid experimental data indicating measured health effects of doses of less than 100 mSv.

          Even the “consensus” BEIR reports describes the uncertainty at low doses and says that just about any assumption will fit the sparse data in the region less than 100 mSv.

          With regard to the multiple scientists and the international nature of the conventional wisdom, there is a fascinating tale to be told.

          PS: Bas (aka Sanne) – I just realized that I have probably issued this challenge to you already when you were using a different identity. Please depart the pattern again; your continued assertions of untruths are not welcome here.

      8. @Sanne

        With LNT it doesn’t matter if it’s one pregnant woman receiving 6.3 µSv/h for a whole year (a 55 mSv dose) or 1,752 pregnant woman receiving µSv/h for 5 hours. The results are the same.

        I recently estimates using LNT that commercial aviation results in 155 to 275 extra cases of cancer each year.

        I wonder how much that number would change if you took age into account. Especially considering that some people are likely conceived on airliners.

  2. full, lots of information but in the item “patient safety” measure risks according to the LNT model

  3. Of course, it measures risks according to the LNT model, that’s the scientific consensus!

    Here’s an interesting comparison, continuing from yesterday on comparing health physics, climatology and I’ll add physics (general relativity):


    1. A molecule causes a wee disturbance in space-time. We commonly call that gravity.
    2. The more molecules, the more gravity.

    Those are straightforward statements. You don’t find many books, blogs, or videos arguing it. Why? Because there is no industry that is regulated based on its emissions of gravity. If there were, there would be people trying to get you to doubt 2. They’d say things like, “gravity is natural” (true but irrelevant) or “I fell six feet yesterday and I was find” (might be true, but doesn’t everyone will have the same outcome).


    3. A single CO2 molecule traps a wee amount of infra-red radiation in its bonds. We commonly call that heat.
    4. The more CO2 molecules the more heating.

    Those are straightforward statements, but some people doubt 4. You can easily find books, blogs, videos trying to confuse people about it. Why? Because there is an industry that is regulated based on its emissions of CO2. So some people makes claims like, “CO2 is natural”, (true but irrelevant) or “the Earth is cooling” (a lie).

    Health Physics

    5. A single photon/particle of ionizing radiation can cause wee damage in DNA. We commonly call that an increase in cancer risk.
    6. The more ionizing radiation, the more the cancer risk.

    More straightforward statements, but some people doubt 6. You can easily find books, blogs, videos encouraging people to doubt 6. Why? Because there is an industry that is regulated based on radioactivity emissions. So some people make claims like “radiation is natural” (true, but irrelevant) or “radiation is good for you” (a lie).

    Scientific consensus bodies work for all of us, so we don’t have to be experts in every subject matter. Stick to the conclusions of scientific consensus bodies, and if someone tries to convince you otherwise, tell them to publish their findings in the peer reviewed literature, and when the scientific consensus body changes its conclusions, so will you.

    Science is a methodology of not fooling oneself…don’t willfully fool yourself.

      1. Lookup the “fallacy of surpressed evidence or cherry-picking”.

        A single study is the input side of science, not the output side.

        The output side of science are the conclusions of scientific consensus bodies, who examine a large number of studies. They don’t cherry-pick a single study to reach the conclusion they know they want to reach (confirmation bias, motivated reasoning).

        1. But if you cared to read what those bodies actually say, they clearly state that below 100 mSv there’s no clear scientific evidence about what happens, so it’s as a precautionary principle, certainly *not* as demonstrated science, we’d consider it’s linear.

          And if you read what they say after Fukushima, you’ll see much reference to the fact that it seems this intended precautionary principle actually hurts more than it helps so probably should be withdrawn. It’s a long time since they have stated than the uncertainty means that it has no meaning and *should not be done* to multiply a large number of people by a very small amount of radiation to obtain virtual deaths.

    1. @Bob Applebaum

      Actually many scientists doubt the veracity of the second sentence in number 5. It ignores what happens after the wee bit of damage to DNA, especially since there are many influences, including metabolism and temperature that cause exactly the same kinds of repairable damage.

      1. It doesn’t matter that there are “many scientists who doubt the veracity” of anything. Scientific consensus bodies consist of the best experts in the field who are elected by other experts. Not all scientists are equally technically capable nor equally objective.

        There are many influences on climate, like solar output and planet wobble. That doesn’t change 3 or 4.

        There are many influences on DNA damage like heredity and diet. That doesn’t change 5 or 6.

        Here is a list of scientists who doubt the veracity of biological evolution:

        Those scientists are wrong and unethical (they can always publish studies in the peer reviewed literature, but by using their names to fool people about the science is coaxing the public to fall for the fallacy from authority. Highly unethical.)

        1. @Bob Applebaum

          Can you remind us all why you think you have the authority or standing to declare others to be unethical? Who taught you that scientific truth is given from on high by politically appointed “consensus” bodies and not by experimental evidence derived as a result of applying the scientific method?

          1. You don’t understand the philosophy of science. Science is the objective process of not fooling oneself. The way to ensure that is to document what you think you’ve found out, and letting OTHERS judge your work. Everyone in science knows that the burden of proof lies on convincing other experts, not in convincing the general public.

            If one short-cuts the scientific method (which is to allow other experts to reach conclusions and living with those conclusions), and tries to fool the general public, that is unethical.

            That is not my authority or standing, that is what most scientific organizations include in their code of ethics.

            We don’t individually choose what is scientifically true, that’s what religion is.

            Scientific consensus bodies determine what is scientifically true.

          2. @ Rod “Who taught you that scientific truth is given from on high by politically appointed “consensus” bodies and not by experimental evidence derived as a result of applying the scientific method?”
            Why does that apply to LNT and not AGW????? – As you know LNT was designed to scare people away from nuclear activities. It was used because the detectors available at the time were essentially worthless and thus it kept people “safe.”.97% of the “consensus” on AGW is from politicians and non-scientists and those that will make money from the SCAM. Is this not the definition of “politically appointed “consensus” bodies.”
            The AGW models are a disaster, and every day I read another study as to why the el nino/la nina is caused by underwater volcanoes (MIT), the ice melting in the Antarctic is caused by underwater volcanoes (MIT), the SO2 released by volcanoes has more of an effect than CO2, even that the majority of the CO2 in the atmosphere, as detected from satellites, is above these recently discovered underwater volcanoes, etc, etc, all from leading universities, e.g. MIT. There is even a report that the activitie of these volcanoes is affected by the positions of the planets and solar magnetic forces.
            And as far as the liberal “do no harm” mantra from the liberal elites, More will die from cold than heat, CO2 is actually plant food and studies show that forests are expanding due to the increased CO2 levels, More impoverished people will die from the lack of affordable energy, etc. etc.
            As an “engineer” I don’t think the “Proof” has not been provided, YET the AGW propones greatest effort is toward shutting down any discussion and demeaning anyone that does not agree with them, another tactic of the loser. Reread the three “R”s of climate change. That is not proof, it is dogma. All of this for a quantity of gas that, in LNT terms, the amount in the atmosphere generated by man is “not detectable.” Try reading some non-AGW endorsed WebPages and articles.
            In the last twenty five years we have going from laughing at those that talked about black holes to proving that black holes exist and each year we add to that body of proof. However, for AGW the scales are still not tilting toward “proven” as there as many reports that disprove, add questions, create doubts and even the observations do not agree with the models as the regurgitation of the same mantra over and over again on the AGW side of the scale.

          3. I’d settle for an honest description of Bob’s financial stake in propping up LNT. Obviously, his ox is being gored here. All one ever needs to do in understanding the vitriolic defense of an increasingly untenable position is “follow the money.”

            1. @Dan Williamson

              Bob’s financial interest in the radiation protection industry has been discussed several times here. For example, this comment describes, with links, Applebaum’s sale of a radioactive waste handler named RACE to Studsvik. He was the cofounder of the company. The sales price was about $36 million including the assumption of existing debt.


          4. “Who taught you that scientific truth is given from on high by politically appointed “consensus” bodies”

            This works for IPCC, too.

            1. @simple-touriste

              I may be mistaken, but I don’t think I’ve ever appealed to the IPCC. I’ve described how I don’t think its a good idea to dump 30 billion tons of CO2 into atmosphere every year with plans to keep increasing that number.

          5. @JohnGalt

            Didn’t say crisis re: CO2. In fact, I recently explained why a crisis response motivated by fear is exactly wrong. Also never said all radiation doses are safe, especially those given by materials whose concentration builds up over time.

            Steam plant operators understand how tiny concentrations of salt in condensate/feed water can be harmful to boilers/steam generators because of the way the salt concentration builds up.

        2. @Bob Applebaum

          “Scientific consensus bodies determine what is scientifically true.”

          Says who?

          How does a ‘scientific consensus’ on any scientific issue ever get overturned if according to you, the only people allowed to ‘ethically’ challenge the prevailing view is by those who are the members of this ‘consensus body?’ Would there not be a reluctance by these individuals to overturn their own scientific pronouncements?

          You religiously and faithfully adhere to LNT and Global Warming, trusting in these ‘consensus bodies’ to tell you what to believe on these issues. They may or may not be correct, but you are none-the-less utterly closed minded and prejudiced against any evidence, studies, documentation, etc. that conflict with the orthodoxy you have accepted as truth.

          “Those scientists are wrong and unethical (they can always publish studies in the peer reviewed literature…”

          They cannot publish in peer reviewed literature if the editors of these publications refuse them access.

    2. @ Bob Applebaum,

      You realize, of course, that equating LNT, where the optimum level of ionizing radiation is *ZERO* according to that clearly debunked model, to Anthropological Global warming serves the agenda of those whom would hold Anthropological global warming as bunk too.

      You’re not serving truth by being so unthinkingly stuck on what you deem as a good standard model (LNT).

  4. Even if LNT is true medical imaging has benefits that outweigh the risks. The same is true for nuclear power. I support nuclear power whether or not LNT is true because renewable energy has horrible power density, intermittent and scalability issues. Fossil fuel has horrible pollution problems and it is getting harder and harder to extract. We need to switch to nuclear energy now so that future generation can enjoy the same benefits we enjoy. I’m not that convinced that LNT is true. The people who defend it seem to completely ignores that living things have evolved adaptive responses, but fighting over LNT just seems like a distraction to me. The important thing is to insure things for future generations, and to try and do something for the the people in the world living in poverty.

    By the way, I’m not sure how much of a consensus LNT is. Do you have any figures to back that up?

    In a worldwide poll conducted by the principal on-line discussion group of radiation protection professionals (RADSAFE), the vote was 118 to 12 against LNT.


    1. Consensus isn’t done by polling. Consensus is achieved by authorized scientific bodies who send out calls for papers or input. They will also usually send out a draft of their conclusions for review to other experts before making publicly available. So the scientific consensus body gathers lots of information. Individual scientists don’t go through that process.

      @Evan: How can something evolve an adaptive process, if evolution is impossible? For evolution to be possible, DNA must be able to mutate. Since DNA is able to mutate (caused by photons, ions, etc.) we know evolution is true. That’s also how we know LNT is true (because DNA mutates).

      1. Bob I like to use my mind, and not just rely on other people to decide things for me. After reviewing various things I’ve decided that climate change is a real problem. The reason why I believe climate change is a real problem isn’t just because a lot of scientists believe it (although that helped), but also because I can understand the mechanism by which it works (greenhouse gases trapping infrared light). The reason why I believe evolution is there are mountains of evidence for it that I can access through the Internet any time I want (also it being a scientific consensuses, and my understand how it works helps a lot).

        LNT is different. One I’m not sure it’s a scientific consensus. Even if most large organizations utilize it there seem to be a good number of individuals who work in the field who doubt it. That isn’t enough to make me doubt it though. The main reason I doubt it is that it doesn’t make sense to me.

        Living things evolved in an environment filled with radiation. Because of it they developed defense mechanism. Defense mechanisms aren’t usually on all the time because using them too much wastes energy. These thing taken together tell me that a strait line for radiation/cancer risk doesn’t make sense. It’s like saying sun tans in no way protect you from the sun. If they don’t then why do they exist? Evolution can take many paths, but creatures that waste energy is rarely one of them.

        You keep pointing out that radiation can cause mutations. So what. The issue is whether radiation versus damage go in a straight line. Since defense mechanisms exist and can be turned on and off when needed I highly doubt the line is straight. I’m not sure what curves the line has, but strait seems really unlikely to me. Like most things human I’m guessing it’s complicated and maybe varies in different situations and for different people.

  5. Rod : In this case remains to be confirmed whether the damage to DNA metabolism, temperature, physical exercise, etc, is of the same quality as DNA damage by radiation

    1. No it doesn’t remain to be confirmed. We know that most chemical bonds can be broken at around 10 eV or less. Chemical reactions (from exercise, metabolism, etc.) occur at these sorts of energy levels. Ionizing radiation is typically defined as 1,000 eV or more.

      Hint: 1,000+ >> 10-

      1. conclucion, damage produced by metabolism, exercise, etc can not be compared with the damage induced by radiation?

      2. It would be interesting to investigate if athletes suffer higher cancer rates over less active people due to the higher amounts of exercise and metabolism.

      3. Sylvain Costes words in atomicinsights.com/radiation-biology-funding-disappearing/ “Indeed, what we Observed That is so far from mere exercise damages: such as running (oxidative stress) can be higher than damages from significant doses of ionizing radiation (10 mGy) “therefore DNA damage produced by exercise is comparable to the damage induced by radiation

        1. @jhon;

          Thank you for the reference. Going by LNT’s purported risks and Bob Applebaum’s dogmatic belief in the infallibility of the “scientific consensus”, it’s amazing human beings exist at all past the age of 30.

          @Bob Applebaum;

          Your use of the “consensus” is nothing but appeal to authority and so holds no water when compared to evidence based views. On a political level, the consensus is nothing more than what people *think* is right, not what is actually righ.. Of course, you already know that. Your Zrefusal to question LNT is nothing short of religious and, as Rod has revealed, most probably tied to your radiation protection company. Your one of the people who stands to lose when the consensus is changes.

      4. @Bob Applebaum

        Do you know how gamma radiation gets attenuated as it passes through various substances? What makes you think it deposits all of its energy in one part of a cell?

  6. One concern some men have about radiation is that excessive doses can cause infertility. My sister is a dental hygienist and she does dental x-rays and some guys have brought this up. Rod, you love people and probably like kids so would you want men being irradiated so that they then cannot have any? I think this could be a means of population control but I don’t like people and you love them.

    1. @BobinPgh

      The doses needed to cause sterility are many orders of magnitude above acceptable limits, even those that were in effect in 1950.

      However, the genetics committee of the 1956 National Academy of Sciences Biological Effects of Atomic Radiation emphasized that as one of the known effects of radiation. They just did not bother to mention that it was only a concern at very high doses.

  7. I think Bob is refieree this:
          Part 4 * The Unique Power of Ionizing Radiation

              * The Difference between the 4th free-radical damage from
          routine metabolism and from ionizing radiation Almost Surely lies
          in repairability. If DNA damage is perfectly repaired by a cell,
          Such damage has no health Consequences. It is inconsequential. The
          Consequences only Arise from Which injuries are non-repairable or

              4b * The demonstration in Part 3 Supports other evidence
          (and vice versa) That ionizing radiation can induce the special
          kinds of complex DNA damage CAN NOT BE PERFECTLY Which REPAIRED. A
          leading figure in esta research is John F. Ward; see Reference

              4c * The power of ionizing radiation to induce the
          complex injuries is not in dispute. Billen himself appears to
          acknowledge it, but then a to ignore it (Billen 1991, p.388).

              4d * The power of ionizing radiation to induce
          particularly complex and is unrepairable genetic injuries Surely
          related to a UNIQUE PROPERTY de este agent. Ionizing radiation
          Instantly unloads biologically abnormal Amounts of energy at
          cell in an irradiated random. Biochemical reactions in a cell
          Generally Involve energy-net transfers in the ballpark of 10
          electron-volts and below. By contrast, reports Ward (1988, p.103)
          That the average energy-deposit from low-LET ionizing radiation is
          thought to be acerca 60 electron-volts, All Within an area Reviews having a
          diameter of only 4 nanometers. (The diameter of the DNA
          double-helix is 2 nanometers). In other words, ionizing radiation
          produces energy-violent transfers of a type simply absent in a
          Natural cell’s biochemistry.

              4e * Because of Its unique property, ionizing radiation
          is a unique menace to our DNA and chromosomes. This fact needs
          wide recognition, as mankind learns That Far more health problems
          are mutation-based Could anyone prove than 15 years ago.


    1. @jhon

      Bob is most likely a John Gofman fan and thinking about his paper that you quoted above. What about you?

      By the way, though Gofman had a distinguished early career, sometime around 1960 he dramatically changed his mind and proceeded to alienate many, if not most of his former colleagues. This paper by Bernard Cohen is one of many that address the weaknesses in Gofman’s assertions.


      1. Rod thanks for the reference material, I want to know is, damage to DNA metabolism, exercise, etc, is the same DNA damage induced by radiation?
        They are comparable damage? It is a very important point to see if we can compare the damage that is caused by the daily damage regarding radiation-induced damage

        1. @jhon

          Both radiation and other influences (metabolism, exercise, heat, free radicals, etc) that have the potential of causing some damage to DNA work through ions. In the case of metabolism the ions are often reactive oxygen species that can then react with other chemicals. As radiation passes through tissues, it attenuates in the same way as it does in any matter.

          If it’s x-ray or gamma radiation, the attenuation is through pair production, Compton Scattering and the photoelectric effect. In most cases, gammas do not deposit concentrated energy it takes several energy reducing interactions before they no longer exist.


          Radiation stimulates repair mechanisms and acts as an antioxidant.

          1. However radiation does create proportionally more Double Strand Break which are harder to repair. And they are claims that even for the same number of DSBs, they tend to be more closely localized with radiations.
            Radiations in effect act as oxydants, which will stimulate anti-oxydation mechanisms, the end effect is left to be determined depending on dose and rate.

  8. The Fukushima incident – according to LNT – might kill as many as 750 people, according to the WHO.

    (750 = 1% additional cancer risk projected by WHO * 300.000 Japanese affected * 50% average cancer death probability * 50% ratio typical actual/projected radiation exposure)

    In Germany, 750 people die every three months due to coal fired air pollution.

    So if there was a Fukushima incident in Japan every three months, it could kill the same amount of people as coal is currently doing routinely in Germany.

    So why did the Germans shut down their nukes and build more coal plants?

    Because of fear. The radiation protection industry is not selling safety: It is selling fear. This fear is killing people today. And tomorrow – as we fail to solve the greenhouse gas emissions problem – this fear is going to kill millions if not billions of people.

    And for what? So a tiny few people who own radiation protection companies can be rich. (and – of course – so that the fossil fuel industry doesn’t have to worry about the only technology which could ever credibly compete with them)

    1. @Joris van Dorp

      So why did the Germans shut down their nukes and build more coal plants?

      Because of fear.

      Perhaps they did it because powerful, influential people wanted to sell more coal and/or natural gas? What if fear was just used as cover and as a way to control the people who would not benefit as a result of the additional coal sales, coal/lignite-related village destruction, and coal pollution?

      I live in the world of real people who go about their daily lives and don’t have much time to question the messages they are being given by the media or the people who support commercial media through advertisements. Most of those people are not fearful about invisible “dangers” unless they have been told over and over again that they should “be afraid, be very afraid.”

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