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  #1  
Old 10-21-2004, 04:33 AM
phybre phybre is offline
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Uranium in false teeth unhealthy?

In this article, Cecil says:

Quote:
Manufacturers discussed the situation with the Atomic Energy Commission in the 1950s. The debate proceeded along the following lines. On the one hand, putting uranium in people's mouths might possibly give them cancer and kill them.
I'm afraid I must contest this. It was not until 1958 that low amounts of ionizing radiation were considered dangerous. 1958 was the year that the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) decreed, quite without any scientific evidence, that radiation creates adverse effects in humans according to a Linear, No Threshold (LNT) model.

The LNT model states:

1. The effects of low doses of ionizing radiation can be estimated by linear extrapolation from effects observed by linear extrapolation from effects observed by high doses.
2. There is not any safe dose because even very low doses of ionizing radiation produce some biological effect.

In 1959 the International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP) adopted the LNT theory.

Prior to this UN action, and indeed for the last 60 years before it, people had been voluntarily exposing themselves to low levels of ionizing radiation, because studies have always shown there to be healthful effects in doing so. Even today, anyone who cares to find the studies will see that the LNT model is bogus.

One such study was done by D. Bhattarcharjee, and this was done in the same year as Cecil's response, so I fail to see how he missed it.

Bhattarcharjee found that when he preirradiated Swiss mice for 5 days with gamma-rays at the rate of 1 cGy/day, thymic lymphoma was induced in 16% (8/50) of the animals. A high 2-Gy dose induced lymphomas in 46% (23/50) of the mice, whereas if the animals were preirradiated before exposure to the 2-Gy dose, only 16% of them developed the cancers; i.e., the preirradiation seemed to cancel the induction of thymic lymphoma by the high dose.

But I concede the possibility that Cecil didn't notice this study. After all, it was in India, which we don't really pay much attention to, being American chauvinists, right? Okay. But how did Cecil miss the UNSCEAR study entitled "Adaptive Responses to Radiation in Cells and Organisms" released in 1994, two full years before this article? It would be relevant, since it pretty much paraphrases to mean "Sorry, folks. Turns out we were COMPLETELY WRONG about that whole LNT model thing. Heh. Oh well. Win some, lose some, eh?"

There are nearly 100 years of studies (Actually, i can only find 95 years worth. Sorry.) that bear out that exposure to the amount of ionizing radiation that would have been present in these false teeth would decrease one's risk of cancer and cause one to live slightly longer than a control specimen not exposed to such radiation. I'll give you plenty of citations to look up at the end of this post.

But first, let me paste one of the more impressive passages of this 1999 Paduchah Sun article, to add emphasis:

Quote:
...during the Manhattan A-bomb Project in the mid 1940s, 26 men accidentally ingested plutonium in amounts that far exceeded the level now considered dangerous. They were closely monitored. In 1987, over forty years later, only four of the 26 workers had died. In an average group of unexposed men the same age, ten would be expected to die. Two or three cancer deaths would have been expected an average group, but only one of the plutonium workers had died from cancer.
In conclusion, I paste the second quote in Cecil's article that I have issue with, and then I'll cite a whole bunch of studies so the reader can see for themselves.

Cecil said:
Quote:
None of the research I came across mentioned a specific number of cancer deaths, but clearly this was not something you'd do for the health benefits.
WRONG! :wally


References:

Bhattarcharjee D., Role of Radio-Adaptation on Radiation-Induced Thymic Lymphoma in Mice. Mutation Research 358:231-235 (1996)

Yonezawa M., Misonoh J., Hosokawa Y., Two Types of X-Ray Induced Radioresistance in Mice, Presence of 4 Dose Ranges With Distinct Biological Effects, Mutation Research, 358:237-243 (1996)

Howe G.R., McLaughlin J., Breast Cancer Mortality Between 1950 and 1987 After Exposure to Fractionated Moderate-Dose-Rate Ionizing Radiation in the Canadian Fluoroscopy Cohort Study and a Comparison With Breast Cancer Mortality in the Atomic Bomb Survivors Study, Radiation Research 149:694-707 (1996)

Jawarowski Z., Beneficial Radiation, Nukleonika 40:3-12 (1995)

Cohen B. L., Test of the Linear No-Threshold Theory of Radiation Carcinogenesis in the Low Dose, Low Dose Rate Region, Health Physics 68:157-174 (1995)

Cardis E., et. al., Effects of Low Doses and Low Dose Rates of External Ionizing Radiation: Cancer Mortality Among Nuclear Industry Workers in Three Countries, Radiation Research 142:117-132 (1995)

United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, Sources and Effects of Ionizing Radiation; Report to the General Assembly, with Scientific Annexes, Annex B: Adaptive Responses to Radiation in Cells and Organisms, 185-272, New York, NY (1994)

Mifune M., Sobue T., Arimoto H., Komoto Y., Kondo S., Tanooka H., Cancer Mortality Survey in a Spa Area With a High Radon Background, Japanese Journal of Cancer Research, Vol. 83, No. 1 (1992)

Matanoski G. M., Health Effects of Low-Level Radiation in Shipyard Workers, Final Report. Report No. DOE DE-AC02-79 EV10095. Washington: US Department of Energy (1991)

Mine M., Okumura Y., Ichimaru M., Nakamura T., Kondo S., Apparently Beneficial Effect of Low to Intermediate Doses of A-bomb Radiation on Human Lifespan, International Journal of Radiation Biology 58:1035-1043 (1990)

Miller A. B., Howe G. R., Sherman G. J., Lindsay J. P., Yaffe M. J., Dinner P. J., Risch H. A., Preston D. L., Mortality from Breast Cancer After Irradiation During Fluoroscopic Examination in Patients Being Treated for Tuberculosis, New England Journal of Medicine 321:1285 (1989)

Nambi K. S. V., Soman S. D., Environmental Radiation and Cancer in India, Health Physics 52:653-657 (1987)

Abbat J. D., Hamilton T. R., Weeks J. L., Epidemiological Studies in Three Corporations Covering the Canadian Nuclear Fuel Cycle, Biological Effects of Low-Level Radiation, IAEA, Vienna, 351 (1983)

Luckey T. D., Physiological Benefits from Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation, Health Physics 43:771-789 (1982)

Kumatori T., Ishihara T., Hirshima K., Sugiyama H., Ishii S., Miyoshi K., Follow-up Studies Over a 25 Year Period on the Japanese Fishermen Exposed to Radioactive Fallout in 1954, pp. 35-54, in Hubner K. F., and Fry, A. A., eds., The Medical Basis for Radiation Preparedness, Elsevier, New York (1980)

Frigerio N. A., Stowe R. S., Carcinogenic and Genetic Hazard From Background Radiation, Biological and Environmental Effects of Low-Level Radiation, IAEA, Vienna, Vol. II, pp. 385-393 (1976)

Muller H. J., Artificial Transmutations of the Gene, Science 66:84-87 (1928)

Russ V. K., Consensus of the Effect of X-Rays on Bacteria, Hygie 56:341-344 (1909)

PS - The phenomenon is known as hormesis.
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2004, 07:20 AM
bonzer bonzer is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phybre
I'm afraid I must contest this. It was not until 1958 that low amounts of ionizing radiation were considered dangerous.
Historical nonsense. For example, from this short history of the NRC:


Quote:
As a result of the drastically altered circumstances, scientific authorities reassessed their recommendations on radiation protection. They modified their philosophy of radiological safety by abandoning the concept of "tolerance dose," which assumed that exposure to radiation below the specified limits was generally harmless. Experiments in genetics indicated that reproductive cells were highly susceptible to damage from even small amounts of radiation. By the early 1940s, most scientists had rejected the idea that exposure to radiation below a certain threshold was inconsequential, at least for genetic effects. The American committee of radiation experts, named the National Committee on Radiation Protection (NCRP) in 1946, took action that reflected the consensus of opinion by replacing the terminology of "tolerance dose" with "maximum permissible dose," which it thought better conveyed the principle that no quantity of radiation was certifiably safe. It defined the permissible dose as that which "in the light of present knowledge, is not expected to cause appreciable bodily injury to a person at any time during his lifetime." While acknowledging the possibility of suffering harmful effects from radiation in amounts below the allowable limits, the NCRP emphasized that the permissible dose was based on the belief that "the probability of the occurrence of such injuries must be so low that the risk should be readily acceptable to the average individual."
Regardless of whether their recommendations were justified or not, UNSCEAR's actions in 1958 were the result of a pre-existing debate. In that light, Cecil's desciption of what happened with the AEC in the 1950s seems entirely plausible.
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2004, 07:28 AM
phybre phybre is offline
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Speaking of historical nonsense

That "short history" is a secondary source, at best. And it's a retrospective history. And the NRC has a vested interest in saying that, since their livelihood depends largely on radiophobia.

Unless you have an actual source to cite that there was any such "preexisting debate", I'm afraid you aren't showing one.

Fact is, Cecil didn't do anything resembling a rigorous check on his facts.

Quote:
Experiments in genetics indicated that reproductive cells were highly susceptible to damage from even small amounts of radiation.
Blatant lie. Any of the eighteeen primary sources I cited can trivially refute that. I only stopped because I saw no need to continuing. Would you like eighteen more?
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  #4  
Old 10-21-2004, 07:40 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Would you care to explain THIS, phybre.

BTW--cute name, very cute.
Pronounced "fibre".
Health food fan, are we?

Hope you're not leading up to a pitch for a radioactive dietary suppliment, 'cause the Mods here frown on spamming.

If your links are correct, why does every single industrial nation strictly regulate exposure levels?
Why did the old Warsaw Pact countries strictly regulate exposure levels?
Is everybody brainwashed?
Except you?
And, are the teachings of a pro-radiation guru looming on the horizon?
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2004, 07:55 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Administrator hat on: Bosca, please be careful. Personal insults are not permitted in this forum. I'm going to read your comments as light-hearted joking in tone, rather than insults, and so you don't get kicked in the shins. But that's just because I'm feeling very kindly this morning.

phybre, welcome to the Straight Dope Message Boards. I know, it will be tempting to read some (well, at least one) of Bosca's comments as insulting and to respond in kind. Please don't succumb. Rise above it. In this forum, we do our best to maintain a tone of civil discussion on the topics: no insults, no flaming. Thanks!
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  #6  
Old 10-21-2004, 08:32 AM
phybre phybre is offline
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Does this satisfy?

Quote:
Health food fan, are we?
No.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, from the column you linked:

Quote:
The cause? No one can say for sure, but many attribute the cancers to radioactive fallout from U.S. atom bomb tests in nearby Nevada
I was not aware of this column, but I'm glad you pointed it out. It shows me that Cecil really doesn't know anything about nuclear physics. Cecil is claiming that nuclear detonations that occurred 2 years previously in another state gave these people cancer? Let me explain several problems with that:

1. While groundbursting causes the most fallout of any detonation type, there just isn't a whole lot of fallout when you detonate in the desert. That's kind of why they did it there.

2. 99% of radioactive fallout isn't radioactive for more than a fortnight. Iodine-131 has a half life of 8 days, and would be among the most dangerous elements in fallout. Xenon-133 has a half life of 5.2 days.

3. The farther it travels, the less concentrated it is, further minimizing exposure risks. So even if the bulk of the fallout were comprised of cobalt-60, it's bonded to fine desert dust, and it's dispersed across (assuming the wind was blowing east the whole time) a great deal of Nevada, Utah, and Arizona.

Obviously these people did get sick, and I'm even willing to believe radiation was involved. But the odds of it being a result of nuclear testing are slim to nil. I would put more money on the guess that the government was illegally dumping nuclear waste nearby. Even though I have no reason to suspect it, and no way to prove it, even on those terms it's more likely than nuclear fallout being the culprit. I'd also sooner bet that they coincidentally were filming on an undiscovered uranium vein. A particularly potent one.

Quote:
If your links are correct, why does every single industrial nation strictly regulate exposure levels?
Radioactive materials are dangerous, in general. Especially at the levels at which one would find them in nuclear waste. But low doses (say near 0.05 Sv) of ionizing radiation have been consistently shown to have the opposite effect as exposure to high levels of radiation. That is the definition of hormesis. Drastically different dose, opposite effect.

Quote:
Is everybody brainwashed?
More or less, yeah. If by "everybody" you mean the general public that's never been educated even slightly about nuclear physics. Which isn't everybody. But I suspect you mean "everybody" as in "people in my age group, of my race, gender, and socio-economic background". In which case the answer seems to be "probably". I'm sure that the facts about plutonium, specifically, would shock you. In fact, I'm willing to eat 1mg of plutonium for every 1mg of pure caffeine you're willing to consume, in one sitting. We'll see which of us has more health problems down the road. Plutonium is only really dangerous when you have a critical mass of it.

Quote:
Except you?
Yeah, and the other thousands of people who have done the research. Do you think I wrote the 18 primary sources I cited? If I had, they wouldn't be primary sources...
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2004, 09:09 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phybre

1. While groundbursting causes the most fallout of any detonation type, there just isn't a whole lot of fallout when you detonate in the desert. That's kind of why they did it there.
False--they did it there to minimize risk from flying debris. By putting it out in a remote desert region, civilians wouldn't get killed by flying objects. Also, for security reasons.

Quote:
2. 99% of radioactive fallout isn't radioactive for more than a fortnight. Iodine-131 has a half life of 8 days, and would be among the most dangerous elements in fallout. Xenon-133 has a half life of 5.2 days.
Irrelevant. Strontium 90, & radioactive Iodine & Cobalt isotopes are the most dangerous fallout materials. Their half-life periods are enourmous.

Quote:
3. The farther it travels, the less concentrated it is, further minimizing exposure risks. So even if the bulk of the fallout were comprised of cobalt-60, it's bonded to fine desert dust, and it's dispersed across (assuming the wind was blowing east the whole time) a great deal of Nevada, Utah, and Arizona.
Huh? "Bonding to fine dust" doesn't decrease levels of radioactivity. And cancer levels downwind of the fallout tracks were greatly elevated.

Quote:
Obviously these people did get sick, and I'm even willing to believe radiation was involved. But the odds of it being a result of nuclear testing are slim to nil.
Please explain the immensely increased cancer rate of the soldiers who were exposed during Bomb tests in the 50's. Over 98 percent died of cancer.
Quote:
I would put more money on the guess that the government was illegally dumping nuclear waste nearby.
Cite?
Quote:
Even though I have no reason to suspect it, and no way to prove it, even on those terms it's more likely than nuclear fallout being the culprit.
Ah-- I see.
Quote:
I'd also sooner bet that they coincidentally were filming on an undiscovered uranium vein. A particularly potent one.
Why? Uranium ore isn't harmful, except with prolonged exposure.

Atomic and Hydrogen Bomb tests produced huge amounts of radiation very quickly, and left dangerous wastes that last for generations. Nuclear wastes produce relatively little, except with prolonged exposure, or ingestion.
But the lesser source is more dangerous?

Quote:
Radioactive materials are dangerous, in general. Especially at the levels at which one would find them in nuclear waste. But low doses (say near 0.05 Sv) of ionizing radiation have been consistently shown to have the opposite effect as exposure to high levels of radiation. That is the definition of hormesis. Drastically different dose, opposite effect.
But you argued against this in this thread by suggesting that the lower doses from Uranium ore are more dangerous than fallout products.



Quote:
More or less, yeah. If by "everybody" you mean the general public that's never been educated even slightly about nuclear physics. Which isn't everybody. But I suspect you mean "everybody" as in "people in my age group, of my race, gender, and socio-economic background". In which case the answer seems to be "probably". I'm sure that the facts about plutonium, specifically, would shock you. In fact, I'm willing to eat 1mg of plutonium for every 1mg of pure caffeine you're willing to consume, in one sitting. We'll see which of us has more health problems down the road. Plutonium is only really dangerous when you have a critical mass of it.
No!
I asked why Nations and Nuclear Agencies from every nation on Earth take the opposite view from yours.
And I'll take you up on that eating contest whenever you like.



Quote:
Yeah, and the other thousands of people who have done the research. Do you think I wrote the 18 primary sources I cited? If I had, they wouldn't be primary sources...
You've cited those sources, yes.
But they're not online, so we can't read them ourselves, readily, to see if you have correctly interpeted their various results. And I'll go with a "slow & careful" approach to dangerous materials every day.
After all, I know how Marie Curie died....
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2004, 11:04 AM
phybre phybre is offline
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I now wield my cluestick

Quote:
they did it there to minimize risk from flying debris
Fallout is flying debris. That's what it is. Seriously. What did you think it was?

Quote:
Strontium 90, & radioactive Iodine & Cobalt isotopes are the most dangerous fallout materials. Their half-life periods are enourmous.
Did you even read what you just replied to? The half life of Iodine-131 is 8 days. It's written right up there. I know that because I wrote it. The half life of cobalt-60 is about 5 years. Strontium-90 has a half life of 29 years. Given that plutonium-239 has a half life of 24,000 years, and uranium-235 has a half life of 700 million years, I don't see how you can justify putting "enourmous" [sic] in italics.

To inject some reality into your post, strontium-90 is not a gamma emitter, and thus definately does not deserve to be characterized as one of the most dangerous fallout materials. I would consider the iodine to be the most dangerous, because the body will readily absorb it if you haven't taken rad pills prior to being exposed. That will kill you a lot faster than cancer will. As I already said twice, there would be no 131I left after 2 years, even if it did somehow manage to get there in any concentration, which it wouldn't.

Quote:
"Bonding to fine dust" doesn't decrease levels of radioactivity. And cancer levels downwind of the fallout tracks were greatly elevated.
"Bonding to fine dust" is pretty much the only way radiation can spread as a result of nuclear detonation. How do you think radiation spreads? It's not infective. Radioactive elements bond to dust and other debris and are carried by the wind. Any radiactive material that is carried out from a detonation is ultra-fine. Rather like vapor, but solid. It will bond with dust as readily as water vapor does to form hail. When there's less stuff for it to be carried by (i.e., when the detonation occurs in a desert), less of it is carried. That which is carried is spread over a very large area, due to the tiny mass of the carrier particle. Really dangerous fallout is stuff that has weight to it. Weight that nothing in the desert could contribute.

Further, what data have you seen about what regions were downwind of the Nevada Test Site in 1953? I have information about those tests that is relevant, which renders most of what you're trying to say moot. I'll put it at the end of this post.

Quote:
Please explain the immensely increased cancer rate of the soldiers who were exposed during Bomb tests in the 50's. Over 98 percent died of cancer.
What soldiers? Where? Nevada? Eniwetok? Bikini? Name a soldier that died due to radiation sickness in any US nuclear test. 98% ? According to whom? According to one of the 18 primary sources I cited (number 15 on my list; you obviously didn't check), after 25 years, exactly zero of the Japanese fisherman exposed to radiation during the Bikini Atoll tests had died of cancer. Fisherman obviously aren't soldiers, but I don't know what soldiers you're talking about...

Quote:
Atomic and Hydrogen Bomb tests produced huge amounts of radiation very quickly, and left dangerous wastes that last for generations. Nuclear wastes produce relatively little, except with prolonged exposure, or ingestion.
But the lesser source is more dangerous?
I already knew you were confused. Yes, huge amounts of radiation. Over a relatively small area. Most of which lasts for only a few seconds. We've already gone over the dynamics of fallout, so how much nuclear material is left at the detonation site is completely irrelevant, since the film crew weren't at the detonation site.

Nuclear wastes produce relatively little what? Radiation? Yes, you are confused. A very quick look at NRC's website will inform you that there are three classifications of radioactive waste. Since I didn't specify, and was speaking hypothetically, there's really no point to argue about it.

Quote:
But you argued against this in this thread by suggesting that the lower doses from Uranium ore are more dangerous than fallout products.
You are mistaken. Further, presuming to tell me what I'm arguing is bad form. -5. It means I'll probably ignore you, after I'm done typing this.


Quote:
And I'll take you up on that eating contest whenever you like.
You're free to give me as much of your contact data as you feel appropriate, to get the ball rolling on that. Or not. It strikes me as a very foolish bet, since you obviously have no knowledge of plutonium toxicology, or caffeine toxicology, whereas I do. You don't seem to know that plutonium is an alpha-only emitter. You don't seem to know that the LD50 of caffeine is far lower than that of plutonium. 30 seconds on Google would have clued you in. My opinion of you suffers when you don't do basic research before you reply.

Quote:
You've cited those sources, yes.
But they're not online, so we can't read them ourselves, readily, to see if you have correctly interpeted their various results.
You are, again, mistaken. But this isn't Search Engines 101. This is Cecil is (and, incidentally, you are) ignorant of basic nuclear physics.

Quote:
After all, I know how Marie Curie died....
Leukemia. By most accounts, the first person in the world to die of radiation sickness. She exposed herself to many Sieverts. It's poetic, but irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

Now then, what I promised to post:

Cecil's very vague description of 11 nuclear detonations in 1953 is accurate, as far as that goes. But there are relevant factors and discrepancies to consider.

All the detonations in 1953 at the Nevada Test Site were part of Operation Upshot-Knothole. First detonation on 17 March, 1953. Last detonation on 4 June, 1953.

First of all, only 3 of the detonations actually occurred at Yucca flat. That's irrelevant to everything, except Cecil misspoke. That is, of course, assuming that only Areas 2, 3, and 10 are truly at Yucca flat, whereas the rest of the Nevada Test Site is simply near Yucca flat.

Moving along, as I explained previously, detonations not at ground level produce significantly less fallout than ground detonations. That being said, only 3 of the detonations in 1953 were groundbursts. They had yields of 11 kilotons, 27 kilotons, and 61 kilotons, chronologically. The largest of these was about 5x Hiroshima and 3x Nagasaki.

If any of the detonations would have produced significant fallout, it was the 4 June, 1953, 61 kiloton detonation (codenamed Climax). So if you care to produce meteorological data for the region 40 miles northwest of Las Vegas, that would be the day on which to start. Good luck with that. According to data at the site, the detonation was 172 feet west, and 232 feet north of the designated ground zero. That heavily suggests that the wind was in fact blowing north-northwest, and not east.

The winds would have to have been easterly and cyclonic to carry ALL the fallout to one specific region in Utah, keeping it concentrated, and then the cyclonic winds would have had to suddenly stop dead to get it all to the ground in the same place. This is an unreasonable scenario. Had these general conditions not prevailed, the fallout would have distributed in a physically reasonable way, which would mean that it would have been disbursed in such a way that there would be nowhere you could stand, even for the length of time making a movie requires, where you would be exposed to any significant rads.

Also, Climax was an ultra-efficient plutonium weapon. Much less dangerous fallout for its yield, as compared to similar yield weapons of the past.

This is, of course, all beside the point. I'm addressing Cecil's article about Uranium in false teeth, not his article about mysterious cancer that has no discernable link to anything.

Facts and sources would be great. So far, I've seen you provide neither. Your understanding of the subject matter seems to be wanting. You're acting unreasonably hostile, given that I'm only stating established facts. When you have something interesting you want me to reply to, let me know, and perhaps I will. Until then, check out this website. This way you might have something real to dispute if you choose to reply again.
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2004, 11:16 AM
phybre phybre is offline
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as an afterthought..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
I asked why Nations and Nuclear Agencies from every nation on Earth take the opposite view from yours.
1. No, that's not what you asked. Perhaps it's what you meant to ask.

2. Every nation on Earth doesn't have a "Nuclear Agency". In fact, less than half do. In fact, only about 30 are in any position to determine the facts for themselves. Of them, only 8 really are. Those would be the US, Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, and Israel.

3. They all don't take the opposite view from mine. For example, every member nation of the UN agrees with me, considering that my main source in the parent post is a UN study. I suspect you didn't actually read my post.

Either way, as I mentioned in the other reply, I'm ignoring you until such a time that you settle down.
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  #10  
Old 10-21-2004, 12:19 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phybre
Either way, as I mentioned in the other reply, I'm ignoring you until such a time that you settle down.
BWA-HA-HA!
That's rich!
I'm the only one troubling to respond to your post!

Quote:
Fallout is flying debris. That's what it is. Seriously. What did you think it was?
  1. radioactive by-products of the generated in the nulcear reaction that causes the Bomb's detonation
  2. Materials in the environment around the Bomb that are altered by the nuclear reaction.

Flying debris consists of stones, sand, gravel, & man-made objects in the area of the blast that are thrown into the air, with great velocity & force.
For example, in the first A-Bomb test, a multi-ton steel safe, used by the military & carelessly left near the Bomb tower, was thrown several miles & embedded itself in the ground.
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  #11  
Old 10-21-2004, 12:22 PM
phybre phybre is offline
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Final thoughts on Conqueror cast

It would seem that Cecil is demonstratably wrong again. By all probability, the 1953 Upshot-Knothole nuclear detonations at the Nevada Test Site would have had an insignificant effect on the health of the Conqueror cast.

If any detonations affected their health, they must have been the Operation Teapot detonations, February to May, 1955. Cecil doesn't seem to know this occurred, or else why didn't he mention it? There were nuclear detonations occurring potentially at the same time as the filming. With this time frame, it is much more reasonable to believe that they were exposed to radioactive fallout -- as it was falling. Had the radioactive materials already been there for 2 years, there would have been very little risk of inhaling or ingesting them, nor would there have been much to inhale or ingest. However, John Wayne died of lung and stomach cancer, Agnes Moorehead died of lung cancer, Dick Powell died of stomach cancer, and Susan Hayward died of unspecified cancer. It's reasonable to assume that all the other cast members who died of cancer had similar types. This is consistent with breathing and ingesting fresh radioactive fallout.

Where low levels of radiation exposure can have therapeutic effects, and high levels of radiation can have acute lethal effects, medium levels of radiation, especially when inhaled and ingested, carry increased cancer risk as their main danger. The cast members took in an amount of radioactive material too high to be beneficial, and too low to be poisoning. Thus, more of them died of lung and stomach cancer than an average group would be expected to.

Despite this, it's significant to note that none of the four named specimens died excessively prematurely. Even the 50% increase in cancer mortality in the group didn't significantly shorten their lifespans. Had they been exposes to low levels of ionizing radiation prior to going to Utah the studies I cited in the parent post show that there very well could have been no increased cancer risk, compared to an average group.

Again, most significant is that Cecil named the wrong year, and the wrong batch of detonations. Also, there were 14 Teapot detonations, to Upshot-Knothole's 11.
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  #12  
Old 10-21-2004, 12:51 PM
phybre phybre is offline
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Sorry, wrong again.

  1. radioactive by-products of the generated in the nulcear reaction that causes the Bomb's detonation
  2. Materials in the environment around the Bomb that are altered by the nuclear reaction.

Neither a nor b are radioactive fallout, by themselves. "a" by itself produces little fallout, which is why an airburst does far less ecological damage than a groundburst. "b" by itself is not radioactive. You obviously don't know how radiation propagates. Materials that are exposed to radiation don't become radioactive. They become irradiated. There's a big difference.

At any rate, only when "a" combines with "b" (which is flying debris, to use your term) is there radioactive fallout.

To paraphrase you (in order to make it correct):

Flying debris consists of stones, dirt, sand, gravel, man-made objects, and/or anything else in the area of the blast that is thrown into the air. That debris which doesn't have the mass to immediately return to the ground combines with the radioactive material and is carried by the wind to produce fallout.

fallout: A general term for debris which falls to the earth from an eruption cloud.
geopubs.wr.usgs.gov/open-file/of96-738/glossary.html

fallout: Radioactive debris that falls to earth after a nuclear explosion.
tis.eh.doe.gov/ohre/roadmap/achre/glossary.html

fallout: The process or phenomenon of the descent to the earth's surface of particles contaminated with radioactive material from the radioactive cloud.
nuketesting.enviroweb.org/nukeffct/enw77m.htm

fallout: The precipitation to earth of particulate matter from a nuclear cloud; also applied to the matter itself, which may or may not be radioactive.
http://www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/at...81-1/Gloss.htm
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  #13  
Old 10-21-2004, 12:59 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phybre
3. They all don't take the opposite view from mine. For example, every member nation of the UN agrees with me, considering that my main source in the parent post is a UN study. I suspect you didn't actually read my post.
Hate to burst your bubble, but reports by UN component agencies do not mean that all UN members approve of its contents. In fact, I am unaware of the General Assembly ever unanimously voting to affirm the findings of a scientific investigation. Your claim makes no sense whatsoever. You might as well have claimed that every American agrees with "x" because the National Academy of Sciences produced a report that, in part, claims "x."
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Old 10-21-2004, 01:10 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is online now
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Oh, second thought. If you really insist that all members of the UN believe that small doses of radiation are an aid to good health, could you please point me to the part of this report that makes any reference whatsoever to health benefits? (warning, large PDF) I can't find a thing except for medical therapy for cancer, to name a specific example. I can't find a single line about any other low level exposures being a "good thing."
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Old 10-21-2004, 01:13 PM
phybre phybre is offline
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Hate to crush your ego

Quote:
Hate to burst your bubble, but reports by UN component agencies do not mean that all UN members approve of its contents.
Good thing I never said otherwise. Good thing fact does not need to be approved of to be agreed with. Good thing diplomacy has nothing to do with science.

Quote:
In fact, I am unaware of the General Assembly ever unanimously voting to affirm the findings of a scientific investigation.
The things you are unaware of could probably fill volumes. Again, fact is not voted on. I vote that the rabbit is red. Reductio ad absurdum.

Quote:
Your claim makes no sense whatsoever. You might as well have claimed that every American agrees with "x" because the National Academy of Sciences produced a report that, in part, claims "x."
THIS claim makes no sense whatsoever. Nations are not individuals. Nations are not sentient. Nations are not morally equivalent to individuals. The example does not scale.

I'm continually surprised that the most extraneous things I say have the most emotional impact on the most unstable people. As if any of this has anything to do with the scientific fact of a nonstandard dose-response curve for ionizing radiation.

Is it that people are intimidated by an in-depth scientific discussion, and thus reply in the only ways they know how? Irrelevant garbage? The signal to noise ratio here so far has been 0. I'll wait a few hours and see if it improves.
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Old 10-21-2004, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
You're free to give me as much of your contact data as you feel appropriate, to get the ball rolling on that. Or not. It strikes me as a very foolish bet, since you obviously have no knowledge of plutonium toxicology, or caffeine toxicology, whereas I do. You don't seem to know that plutonium is an alpha-only emitter.
You say that as if being an alpha-only (actually just primarily alpha, but we'll gloss over that) emitter would somehow make it safer to eat. But the very properties which make alpha sources reasonably safe to handle also make them especially dangerous to ingest. And while it's true that plutonium has a higher LD50 than caffeine, you seem unaware that plutonium, like all heavy metals, is a bioaccumulant, whereas caffeine is flushed out of the body in a matter of hours, which would make it exceedingly unwise to match a person gram-for-gram with plutonium vs. caffeine.

Meanwhile, if there's a multi-ton steel safe falling towards me, my primary concern will not be whether or not it's radioactive. My primary concern will be that it's going to squish me flat. It's the latter danger which the government was addressing by performing the tests in the desert, not the former, since the desert contains few large chunks of debris. Dust, however, the desert has plenty of.
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  #17  
Old 10-21-2004, 02:16 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is online now
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Originally Posted by phybre
Good thing I never said otherwise.
Ahem: "They all don't take the opposite view from mine. For example, every member nation of the UN agrees with me, considering that my main source in the parent post is a UN study. "

Please explain that.

Quote:
Quote:
Your claim makes no sense whatsoever. You might as well have claimed that every American agrees with "x" because the National Academy of Sciences produced a report that, in part, claims "x."
THIS claim makes no sense whatsoever.
I'm illustrating the fallacy of division. I thought someone who claims such familiarity with science would be aware of the importance of logical arguments.

Quote:
The things you are unaware of could probably fill volumes.... I'm continually surprised that the most extraneous things I say have the most emotional impact on the most unstable people.
I realize you are new here. There is another forum on this board for personal insults, which are not allowed elsewhere. It's called the BBQ Pit. Check it out.
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  #18  
Old 10-21-2004, 02:35 PM
kidchameleon kidchameleon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
Irrelevant. Strontium 90, & radioactive Iodine & Cobalt isotopes are the most dangerous fallout materials. Their half-life periods are enourmous.
C'mon Bosda, half life isn't the end all and be all. I work with In-111 and Tl-121. In-111 has a half life of 67.92 hours and Tl-121 73.0944. Which am I more concerned with? In-111, because it's gamma emission is 171 and 245 keV, as opposed to 135 and 167 for Tl-121. Additionally if you have a long half life, you get less exposure since it isn't decaying that fast.

Where do you find Iodine with long half-lifes? The highest I can think of is I-125 with a half-life of 60 days.


Quote:
I asked why Nations and Nuclear Agencies from every nation on Earth take the opposite view from yours.
And I'll take you up on that eating contest whenever you like.
I've heard about hormesis at work, though I'm not sure how much I believe. But the US and UK both have exposure limits for workers, limits that are supposed to keep us below the threshold for both acute and chronic effects. I'm not very worried about low levels of exposure, considering the background we get each year.
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Old 10-21-2004, 03:39 PM
legion legion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phybre
No.

2. 99% of radioactive fallout isn't radioactive for more than a fortnight. Iodine-131 has a half life of 8 days, and would be among the most dangerous elements in fallout. Xenon-133 has a half life of 5.2 days.
I'm confused. There must be many billions or even trillions of radiactive iodine-131 atoms in a fallout cloud and if half of them decay after 8 days and half the remainder in another 8 days and half the remainder in another 8 days and half the remainer in another 8 days...

Isn't it going to take a lot longer than a fortnight before the radiation level falls to 1% of the original fall out levels?
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  #20  
Old 10-21-2004, 03:44 PM
Bippy the Beardless Bippy the Beardless is offline
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phybre do you have any readily available online sources for your claims of possible health benifits of low level ionizing radiation, sites which would satisfy the scientists amongst us?
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  #21  
Old 10-21-2004, 03:45 PM
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Thisd is a lame pitting. Bosda, it wpould do more for your credibility if you responded with reason and cites to support your assertions instead of throwing a hissy fit.

The newbie is a crank (cites from 1928 and 1909?), but he's not necessarily wrong. Hormesis is an apparently real phenomenon that has been demonstrated to occur in some studies, but it is still highly controversial and not yet widely accepted by the medical community. The argument seems to be that low doses of ionizing radiation set off repair sytems in cells, thus acting as a sort of prophylactic against carcinogens and thus lowering one's chances of cancer. Here's a link to a Scientific American article that gives a brief overview that is comprehensible to non-scientists.
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Old 10-21-2004, 03:47 PM
kidchameleon kidchameleon is offline
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Stupid I-121, making me write Tl-121 instead of Tl-201. Never trust Iodine.

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  #23  
Old 10-21-2004, 03:48 PM
gobear gobear is offline
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Whoops, wrong thread.
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Old 10-21-2004, 04:29 PM
CurtC CurtC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
Quote:
In fact, I'm willing to eat 1mg of plutonium for every 1mg of pure caffeine you're willing to consume, in one sitting.
And I'll take you up on that eating contest whenever you like.
Note, however, that he didn't offer to inhale equal amounts. I would be more willing to inhale 1 ug of caffeine than 1 ug of plutonium.

My take on this whole thing? If you imagine a dose-response graph for radiation, the model for the last 50 years or so has been LNT, but there is some evidence that at the low end, the curve flattens out or even angles up to the left. This data is hard to get, though, because it depends on sifting out very small effects in epidemiological studies, which is very error-prone. But if this effect is real, it has pretty large implications for our environmental policies. The best we can do now is to not worry excessively about very low exposures, because at most the effects are still small, and sit back and wait for more data.
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  #25  
Old 10-21-2004, 04:29 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is online now
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Bosda- could you maybe- just maybe- come up with some cites, like phybre has (and great ones too, might I add, phybre- and Welome!), hmmm?

I don't have enough physics to know the answer, but I can read cites, and so far phybre is winning 99-0.
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  #26  
Old 10-21-2004, 04:45 PM
Ghanima Ghanima is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legion
Isn't it going to take a lot longer than a fortnight before the radiation level falls to 1% of the original fall out levels?
Half life, to get to 99% depletion:

% depleted = 50+25+12.5+6.25+3.125+1.563+0.781=99.219%

This corresponds to seven half-lives, or 7x8=56 days. So a little over a fortnight.
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  #27  
Old 10-21-2004, 04:57 PM
bonzer bonzer is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phybre
That "short history" is a secondary source, at best. And it's a retrospective history. And the NRC has a vested interest in saying that, since their livelihood depends largely on radiophobia.

Unless you have an actual source to cite that there was any such "preexisting debate", I'm afraid you aren't showing one.
Of course it's a secondary source. But you're overlooking that it quotes from a primary source. It's also a secondary source that accords with the likes of Cancer Wars (Basic, 1995) by the historian of science Robert Proctor, which similarly (p158) dates the NCRP adoption of no-thresholds to the 1940s. (Proctor discusses the whole historical debate about dose-response in the period in detail, though he concentrates on chemical agents, his argument being that it's that debate that precedes and prompts concern amongst radiologists.)
There's also the fundamental logical problem that there's no motive for the NRC to falsify their history. After all, anyone remotely aware of the issues knows that the dose-response curve has been controversial. Redating the origins of the original debate by 10 years (or more) in an official history would make no difference to their current position and hence would be pointless. It, however, makes all the difference to the criticism you've chosen to make of the column. I've pointed to an account that's likely to be neutral on the detail in question and the best you can do is dismiss it because it disagrees with you.
On top of this, it's not even as if Cecil's account requires that teeth manufacturers be that aware of the ideas prevalent amongst scientists at the time. They may not have realised that the doses involved might count as "low". If that were the case, then general concerns about the dangers of radioactivity may have prompted them to consult the AEC. Who then explained that the doses were low and hence probably harmless (by the criteria, right or wrong, prevailing at the time).
To cap it all, your accusation against the column on this issue isn't even relevant to the point you seem to want to make. It ought to be quite possible to believe that low doses are actually harmless, or even beneficial, and realise that people didn't necessarily believe that in the 1950s. If nothing else, you seem to realise that most people didn't believe that in subsequent decades. Frankly, your hobbyhorse seems to be making you misread both Cecil's column and the history of concerns about radiation.
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  #28  
Old 10-21-2004, 05:17 PM
neuroman neuroman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman
There is another forum on this board for personal insults, which are not allowed elsewhere. It's called the BBQ Pit. Check it out.
And in fact, Bosda is pitting phybre in there right now, but has thoughtlessly not linked to it in this thread. Here it is for phybre and any other interested parties.

we Have A New Freak On The Board, & Is He A Dilly!
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  #29  
Old 10-21-2004, 05:20 PM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Moderator speaketh:
Insults are OK in the Pit forum, but NOT here. Decorum at all times, folks.
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  #30  
Old 10-21-2004, 06:00 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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I have to admit that I was wrong about the half-life of Iodine.

But the main crux of what my point was, was that ionizing radiation was basicaly very, very bad for you.
And I stand by that.
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  #31  
Old 10-21-2004, 06:05 PM
kidchameleon kidchameleon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghanima
Half life, to get to 99% depletion:

% depleted = 50+25+12.5+6.25+3.125+1.563+0.781=99.219%

This corresponds to seven half-lives, or 7x8=56 days. So a little over a fortnight.
I thought a fortnight was two weeks...
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  #32  
Old 10-21-2004, 06:07 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Question: if none of his cites are web-accessible, how praytell am I losing?
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  #33  
Old 10-21-2004, 06:08 PM
Ghanima Ghanima is offline
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I thought a fortnight was forty days...

...and a quick check on dictionary.com shows me that you are correct. So 56 days is 8 weeks or four fortnights. I stand corrected.
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  #34  
Old 10-21-2004, 06:13 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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I've been googling one or two of the names listed in thoses cites, and none of them turn up listings for University Faculty Members.

That is, the authors of the papers don't seem to be teaching at any university.

Odd.

Of course, I haven't checked them all....
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  #35  
Old 10-21-2004, 06:37 PM
Who_me? Who_me? is offline
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I've tried to find more information on line about the topic. I must admit that most of what I found is beyond me. I have discovered that it's a topic that has been much discussed and debated. I'm linking some of the seemingly reputable sites with information so those of you who can understand it. Whatever else you may say about the OP, it doesn't seem to be an entirely crackpot idea...



http://www.lbl.gov/abc/wallchart/cha...appendixf.html

http://www.up.ac.za/saapmb38/pollycove2/pollycove2.htm

http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/members/199...baum-full.html

http://cnts.wpi.edu/RSH/Data_Docs/summary98.html

http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-co...9/1090144.html
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  #36  
Old 10-21-2004, 06:40 PM
Who_me? Who_me? is offline
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errr... for those of you that can understand it...

I knew I should have proofread again after editing that sentence...
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  #37  
Old 10-21-2004, 07:09 PM
Leviosaurus Leviosaurus is offline
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According to dictionary.com, a fortnight is two weeks (or 14 days, if you prefer.)

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=fortnight

Sheesh. There's this great resource called the "Internet" some of you may have heard of...
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  #38  
Old 10-21-2004, 07:10 PM
Leviosaurus Leviosaurus is offline
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Op, someone replied already. My bad.
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  #39  
Old 10-21-2004, 09:30 PM
kidchameleon kidchameleon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
Question: if none of his cites are web-accessible, how praytell am I losing?
Well, amazingly not every bit of human information is available on the internet. I did find his NEJM cite, but for some reason I can't post the url here. In fact it erases my enter post. Here's there conclusion, though, "We conclude that the risk of breast cancer associated with radiation decreases sharply with increasing age at exposure and that even a small benefit to women of screening mammography would outweigh any possible risk of radiation-induced breast cancer"

Check out a library.
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  #40  
Old 10-21-2004, 09:56 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
Question: if none of his cites are web-accessible, how praytell am I losing?

There are these things called "books".
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  #41  
Old 10-21-2004, 11:14 PM
phybre phybre is offline
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hostility, hostility, hostility

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzer
Of course it's a secondary source. But you're overlooking that it quotes from a primary source.
What primary source does it quote from? I'm not overlooking it, because you failed to mention it. Why is that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzer
It's also a secondary source that accords with the likes of Cancer Wars (Basic, 1995) by the historian of science Robert Proctor, which similarly (p158) dates the NCRP adoption of no-thresholds to the 1940s. (Proctor discusses the whole historical debate about dose-response in the period in detail, though he concentrates on chemical agents, his argument being that it's that debate that precedes and prompts concern amongst radiologists.)
Why don't you use the book's full title? Cancer Wars: How Politics Shapes What We Know and Don't Know About Cancer. This is not a journal entry, and you can call Proctor "Jesus the Nazarene" for all it matters. Inventing silly titles doesn't lend him credibility. So you're right. It is a secondary source. One that's clearly been designed to push a political agenda. Regardless of what he discusses, the "debate about dose-response in the period" was no more real than the "debate" about "creation science" being taught in public schools now. For anyone that cares to admit the facts, there is no debate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzer
There's also the fundamental logical problem that there's no motive for the NRC to falsify their history.
Why not? Because I haven't stated it? You seem to be a little weak on logical reasoning, and knowing when to invoke the word "logic" in your argument. Tell me if this scans:

The NRC is made up of people. People who like money and job security.

The money they make and the job security they want are guaranteed by making all radiation appear as dangerous as possible. Despite, for example, that the entire northern hemisphere has a measurable amount of plutonium all across it. The average is between 1 and 4 pCi/m^2, if I'm not mistaken.(1)

Every group that has influence based on fear has a reason to falsify things.

But that's all irrelevant. The burden of proof isn't on me to show that they're lying. The original 18 sources I cited have done that. Feel free to read at least one of them. Obviously you haven't done so, as yet.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzer
After all, anyone remotely aware of the issues knows that the dose-response curve has been controversial.
Hyperbole. Also irrelevant. If you choose to assume that any given person knows what a dose-response curve is, that's your prerogative. "Anyone remotely aware of the issues" wouldn't be trying so hard to discredit me, when the facts speak for themselves. So go review them, and get back to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzer
Redating the origins of the original debate by 10 years (or more) in an official history would make no difference to their current position and hence would be pointless.
Your observation is noted. Not that I see how it's relevant, since that isn't what has been done.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzer
It, however, makes all the difference to the criticism you've chosen to make of the column. I've pointed to an account that's likely to be neutral on the detail in question and the best you can do is dismiss it because it disagrees with you.
What account is that? How do you define "neutral" ? I have dismissed it because it's one secondary source with no clear references. Whereas I have 18 primary sources. I don't know where you went to school, but 1 primary source has more weight than 1 secondary source. 18 primary sources certainly have more weight than 1 secondary source. Again, you might want to pick one and read it, so we're actually on the same page, here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzer
On top of this, it's not even as if Cecil's account requires that teeth manufacturers be that aware of the ideas prevalent amongst scientists at the time.
Cecil's account requires the levels of radiation in those teeth to be dangerous. He characterizes it as dangerous several times. I have provided evidence that directly contradicts his notion that it "wouldn't be something you do for the health benefits". What don't you understand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzer
To cap it all, your accusation against the column on this issue isn't even relevant to the point you seem to want to make.
And what exactly makes you an authority on the point I seem to want to make? If you'd stop giving me garbage to reply to and pay attention, my point would be obvious. Why isn't it? Not for lack of clarity. I think the problem is more along the lines that Cecil fanboys don't like it when someone easily and effortlessly shows him to be wrong. If that's the case, it's a personal issue, and I'll thank you to not involve me in your personal issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzer
Frankly, your hobbyhorse seems to be making you misread both Cecil's column and the history of concerns about radiation.
Frankly, you're mistaken. Frankly. And that sentence doesn't even make conceptual sense. Frankly.

At least you're trying.


(1) Hardy E.P., Krey P.W., Volchok H.L, Global inventory and distribution of fallout plutonium, Nature 241:444-445 (1973)
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  #42  
Old 10-21-2004, 11:49 PM
phybre phybre is offline
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Wrong report. Do better homework.

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Originally Posted by Ravenman
...could you please point me to the part of this report that makes any reference whatsoever to health benefits?
No, I can't. Mainly because that's not the article I cited. However, if you find a free copy of this (the UN wants $45 for it, and I'm sure you're not the type to pay for information), feel free to check out Annex B, like I said.

Quote:
I can't find a thing except for medical therapy for cancer, to name a specific example.
You didn't name a specific example. Do you intend to? Since it has nothing to do with my point, and it doesn't seem to have anything to do with your point, I would guess you don't intend to.
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  #43  
Old 10-22-2004, 12:02 AM
phybre phybre is offline
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This is getting tiresome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos
You say that as if being an alpha-only (actually just primarily alpha, but we'll gloss over that) emitter would somehow make it safer to eat.
Actually, alpha-only. As in, it does not emit beta or gamma. At all. We're talking about 239Pu. It emits an alpha particle and decomposes into 235U, through spontaneous fission. It has a decay energy of 5.245 MeV. So, let's not gloss over that, since you're wrong. Let's point at it and make fun of you. Yes?

And yes. It does "somehow" make it safer to eat. Because alpha particles are not energetic enough to penetrate most body tissue. Your exposure is thus reduced. Even if you eat it. Even if you inhale it. The "somehow" is, in fact, basic nuclear physics. I've said that far too often in reply to people who style themselves as knowing what I'm talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos
But the very properties which make alpha sources reasonably safe to handle also make them especially dangerous to ingest.
Ridiculous. Good thing you gave the slightest bit of reference to show that you know what you're talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos
And while it's true that plutonium has a higher LD50 than caffeine...
I don't recall hiring you to tell me when I say something that's true. I don't recall recognizing you as the final authority on what is true. I doubt many other people here recall that, either. It's true because it's true. Not because you declare it to be.

Quote:
..you seem unaware that plutonium, like all heavy metals, is a bioaccumulant, whereas caffeine is flushed out of the body in a matter of hours, which would make it exceedingly unwise to match a person gram-for-gram with plutonium vs. caffeine.
You seem unaware that I'm aware of that. Yes, plutonium will never leave the body. It typically migrates to the skeleton. And I maintain that this will reduce my risk of cancer later in life. I'm starting to think that you, also, didn't read my initial post. Let me repost the relevant portion:

Quote:
Originally Posted by phybre
...during the Manhattan A-bomb Project in the mid 1940s, 26 men accidentally ingested plutonium in amounts that far exceeded the level now considered dangerous. They were closely monitored. In 1987, over forty years later, only four of the 26 workers had died. In an average group of unexposed men the same age, ten would be expected to die. Two or three cancer deaths would have been expected an average group, but only one of the plutonium workers had died from cancer.
Thanks for playing.

Quote:
Meanwhile, if there's a multi-ton steel safe falling towards me, my primary concern will not be whether or not it's radioactive. My primary concern will be that it's going to squish me flat.
I'm happy for you.

Quote:
It's the latter danger which the government was addressing by performing the tests in the desert, not the former, since the desert contains few large chunks of debris. Dust, however, the desert has plenty of.
You're mistaken, insofar as you're oversimplifying. Why don't you provide data to that effect, instead of proclaiming it as if you are the chosen spokesman of the Nevada Test Site? People believe you when you have corroborating evidence, like I do.

Also I believe I already said "the desert contains few large chunks of debris" and "dust.. the desert has plenty of". Would you please give me credit if you're going to quote me? Thanks.
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  #44  
Old 10-22-2004, 12:22 AM
phybre phybre is offline
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Troll alert, woop, woop, woop

Quote:
I'm illustrating the fallacy of division. I thought someone who claims such familiarity with science would be aware of the importance of logical arguments.
What you illustrated is the fallacy of composition, which is the complement to the one you stated. Not to mention synecdoche. And the fallacy was in your illustration.

So let's talk about logic. Set theory combined with governmental theory, perhaps?

1. The UN is a set of sets.

2. Each member nation is a set of elements.

3. The sets of elements theoretically don't differentiate between the set and the elements (if you choose to believe in so-called democracy).

4. Thousands of elements among all the sets affirm X, through scientific rigor. Thus, the sets affirm (see 3).

5. Those sets that had no elements that did this cannot affirm nor deny, and so have no computational weight. Meaning they have no negative computational weight.

Now assign a value of 1 to an affirmation, and a value of -1 to a denial, and a value of 0 to anything else. You will get several 1s, zero -1s, and many 0s. The result is positive. The set of sets affirms.

If you want to talk about logic, it would be wise to not pretend UN procedure has anything to do with logic, or that the "official stance" of a nation on a subject is in any way relevant to anything.

Maybe you can now shift back to the topic at hand, which is plutonium, and not the UN. If you are ignorant on this front, I don't blame you for wanting to keep the conversation irrelevant.

Quote:
I realize you are new here. There is another forum on this board for personal insults, which are not allowed elsewhere. It's called the BBQ Pit. Check it out.
If you have something to accuse me of, go to that forum and do so. I won't read it, so you're guaranteed to "win". That works for everyone, since you don't clutter this thread, either.
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  #45  
Old 10-22-2004, 12:39 AM
phybre phybre is offline
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Whew. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidchameleon
C'mon Bosda, half life isn't the end all and be all. I work with In-111 and Tl-121. In-111 has a half life of 67.92 hours and Tl-121 73.0944. Which am I more concerned with? In-111, because it's gamma emission is 171 and 245 keV, as opposed to 135 and 167 for Tl-121. Additionally if you have a long half life, you get less exposure since it isn't decaying that fast.
Thanks. You beat me to it. Another great illustration of why plutonium is far safer to be in contact with than 131I, 133Xe, 60Co, 141Ba, etc. When it takes 24,000 years for half the material to decompose, that obviously means that only 1/48000th of it decomposes per year. 1/17520000th per day. 1/1513728000000th per second. When the calculations are right there, it's evident how minscule that really is.

Quote:
I've heard about hormesis at work, though I'm not sure how much I believe. But the US and UK both have exposure limits for workers, limits that are supposed to keep us below the threshold for both acute and chronic effects. I'm not very worried about low levels of exposure, considering the background we get each year.
And nobody is suggesting that you disregard those regulations, of course. You might be interested to know that a Canadian study of 4,000 nuclear workers had a cancer mortality rate far below 21,000 coal and natural gas plant workers, and in Britain the cancer mortality rate of 70,600 exposed workers was less that that of 24,500 unexposed workers in the same plants. The data in references 6, 9, and 13 of my original post would probably interest you.

I'm just pointing out that many people presume that your limited exposure will end up giving you cancer in 30 years, when the science shows that as long as you DO observe the exposure limits, it will at least not increase your risk at all, and potentially reduce it.
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  #46  
Old 10-22-2004, 12:40 AM
Askance Askance is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
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Yeah, yeah, I know Phybre, you get to define what is scientific and logical and everyone else in the discussion is guilty of various logical fallacies.

Let me pick you up on one you've made.


Quote:
In this article, Cecil says:

Quote:
Manufacturers discussed the situation with the Atomic Energy Commission in the 1950s. The debate proceeded along the following lines. On the one hand, putting uranium in people's mouths might possibly give them cancer and kill them.
Unquote.

I'm afraid I must contest this. It was not until 1958 that low amounts of ionizing radiation were considered dangerous. 1958 was the year that the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) decreed, quite without any scientific evidence, that radiation creates adverse effects in humans according to a Linear, No Threshold (LNT) model.

Cecil states that the debate between the AEC and tooth manufacturers included consideration of the possibility that "putting uranium in people's mouths might possibly give them cancer and kill them". You say you contest this, but in fact you are contesting that "putting uranium in people's mouths might possibly give them cancer and kill them", which Cecil did not state. He merely said that this issue came up in the discussion. Nowhere do you back your refutation of this nor seem to realise that you are arguing against a position Cecil did not take.
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  #47  
Old 10-22-2004, 12:46 AM
phybre phybre is offline
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Certainly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bippy the Beardless
phybre do you have any readily available online sources for your claims of possible health benifits of low level ionizing radiation, sites which would satisfy the scientists amongst us?
Results 1 - 10 of about 9,890 for hormesis.

I'm sure you can determine for yourself which are credible and which are not. I'm sure you'll recognize a lot of what is said on many of those pages, since they'll be going from the same sources I've cited. And more.
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  #48  
Old 10-22-2004, 01:02 AM
phybre phybre is offline
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I... see...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gobear
The newbie is a crank (cites from 1928 and 1909?)
I'm afraid I don't see the relationship between your accusation and your justification, there. And I'm curious as to why you make no mention of the cites from 1976, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996? Are you only comfortable with science that has occured since you have been born?

Quote:
..it is still highly controversial and not yet widely accepted by the medical community.
How many radiologists did you talk to, in order to determine that? I don't think your sample was representative. Ask them before you speak for them, eh?

Quote:
The argument seems to be that low doses of ionizing radiation set off repair sytems in cells, thus acting as a sort of prophylactic against carcinogens and thus lowering one's chances of cancer.
Absolutely. Since all life on this planet has been exposed to ionizing radiation for about 4 billion years now, I don't see how it's so unreasonable to believe that we have not evolved characteristics specifically to deal with that. If natural selection would have been good for anything, it would have been good for that.

SciAm as a great source, and I have to say I wasn't aware of that article. But do bear in mind that SciAm is essentially a periodical, and not a scientific journal, so they often inject a lot of opinion into their articles. Just a caveat. The article seems to suggest that Calabrese's work is not mirrored by dozens of other studies, which it is. So I have issue that SciAm is implying that the evidence for this is new, or just developing now. But the conclusion is on the dot. A National Research Council review would be a good idea. As much scrutiny as possible, from as many as possible.
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  #49  
Old 10-22-2004, 01:09 AM
phybre phybre is offline
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Yeah, sorry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghanima
I thought a fortnight was forty days...

...and a quick check on dictionary.com shows me that you are correct. So 56 days is 8 weeks or four fortnights. I stand corrected.
It was off the top of my head, so you'll forgive me. It's within the same order of magnitude, and so the difference really is negligible, when you're talking about materials that can potentially have a half life of 700 million years.

The radiation doesn't need to go down to 1% for it to be safe, of coure. I was just trying to illustrate a safety margin, and a general time frame. Obviously the longer you wait, the safer it will be.
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  #50  
Old 10-22-2004, 01:25 AM
phybre phybre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewT
Yeah, yeah, I know Phybre, you get to define what is scientific and logical and everyone else in the discussion is guilty of various logical fallacies.
If that were the case, why are you fulfilling your expectation more than I am, so far? Is it your custom to tell someone else "what they're doing", characterizing it negatively, and then proceed to do that very thing yourself? Makes you look kind of foolish.


Quote:
Cecil states that the debate between the AEC and tooth manufacturers included consideration of the possibility that "putting uranium in people's mouths might possibly give them cancer and kill them".
No. Let me make it clear what Cecil stated, by directly quoting him, which you thusfar haven't done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil
Manufacturers discussed the situation with the Atomic Energy Commission in the 1950s. The debate proceeded along the following lines. On the one hand, putting uranium in people's mouths might possibly give them cancer and kill them. On the other hand, their teeth looked great. It was an easy call.
As you can clearly see, this is a drastic oversimplification, at best. As you can clearly see, it is a false dilemma. So if you are trying to maintain that Cecil was simply stating history, and not endorsing it, I'm afraid you seem to be wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil
None of the research I came across mentioned a specific number of cancer deaths, but clearly this was not something you'd do for the health benefits.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil
If even one guy with fake teeth looked good in a disco, wasn't that worth a little risk?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil
In one of those classic wacky moves, manufacturers once upon a time put uranium in dental porcelain to give crowns and false teeth that certain glow.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil
In other words, not only were you nuking your gums...
And now I'll remind you what I said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phybre
It was not until 1958 that low amounts of ionizing radiation were considered dangerous.
But then why argue about what Cecil meant, as you seem to be trying to do? Unless you're him, you can't know. What he said is clear. And let's not pretend that implication doesn't factor into a Cecil Adams column.

Quote:
He merely said that..
Yes, yes. He merely said that, I merely said this, you merely said the other thing. Let's all play the "I merely said" or the "I just said" game. Because words have arbitrary meanings and equivocation by proxy is reasonable. Apologize for Cecil some more. He's wrong. Get over it.
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