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Ann Coulter says "a little radiation is good for you

 
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Bandidoz
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:47 pm    Post subject: Ann Coulter says "a little radiation is good for you Reply with quote

Have a laugh at this:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1367698/Radiation-good-says-Ann-Coulter-weighs-Japans-nuclear-crisis.html
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Tawney



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She’s a publicity seeking monster; at home on Fox.
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We should send her over to Fukushima to help, then Twisted Evil
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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should have a look at the Linear No Threshold Theory of radiation exposure risk. This article is quite good:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_no-threshold_model

Quote:
A linear model has long been used in health physics to set maximum acceptable radiation exposures. It was accepted for pragmatic reasons--- it is simple, plausible and predictive. . . .LNT concept can be a useful pragmatic tool for assessing rules in radioprotection for doses above 10 mSv. . . .The United States based National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), a body commissioned by the United States Congress, recently released a report written by the national experts in the field which states that, radiation's effects should be considered to be proportional to the dose an individual receives, regardless of how small the dose is. . . .The radiation hormesis model predicts the least risk by assuming that radiation is beneficial in very low doses, while still recognizing that it is harmful in large doses. Because the current data is inconclusive, scientists disagree on which method should be used.


A little while back the BBC Horizon programme discussed the LNT model wrt Chernobyl, and the evidence that at low radiation exposures the linear model is apparently too pessimistic in predicting the ill effects of exposure.

That said, I haven't looked at what was said in this case, and at this stage, in Japan, it remains appropriate to stick with LNT.
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there is a threshold (and I'm not discounting it: cells come equipped with a mechanism which can "repair" DNA, at a certain rate), then that threshold must be very low. For example, life expectancy in Cornwall is lower, all other things being considered, than in parts of the UK which do not stand on (slightly radioactive) granite.

Thus, as you say, for "artificial" levels of exposure, which we haven't evolved to cope with, we have to assume Linear.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, life expectancy in the SW of England is amongst the highest taken by region:
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp?vlnk=8841

LNT was used in the UK nuclear industry for many years (it may still be) assuming linearity down to 50 mSv (firm data only existed down to 500 mSv from the Japanese nuclear bombs). The LNT model was applied for the Chernobyl accident to predict the number of expected cancers. LNT was used because it was the only model then available. It has clearly failed at Chernobyl because the predicted cancers for low doses have failed to materialise - and it's now too long a time since the accident to expect any late linkage back to the accident. This firmly suggests that the dependency must be sub linear at low doses; in the early twentieth century it was even considered that low doses were beneficial to health (i.e. the relationship fell below the x axis): at that time you could buy devices to irradiate your drinking water, and the like!

The life expectancy figures for the UK are interesting because, I think, Cornwall is one of the highest radon regions of the UK (granite again) and radon is the second highest cause of lung cancer in the UK. But this isn't coming out of the statistics so must be a small effect.

For an accident scenario like the present (and with our current knowledge) it is simpler and safer to work with LNT and then reconsider likely real effects later.
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Bandidoz
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a difference between "the safety margin of current radiation exposure limits might be on the high side" to "you should irradiate yourself a little"...
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