Saturday, February 13, 2016

Battling the Bureaucracy

I'd suggest that the only way to change country A's regulators would be for the citizens of A to understand the evidence and know the evidence proves the regulators are wrong; that their regulations are costing lives, not saving them; that the tax money of the citizens is being wasted on nonsensical programs to reduce radiation levels that are already insignificant; and that people and industries are being denied the benefits of nuclear technology because bureaucrats feel a responsibility to "enforce official policy" rather than question, observe and reason.

So, I submit, it is up to us to look at the evidence - of which the following is just a small fraction - and then, with reason and eloquence, persuade our political leaders to lead. Failing that, we should work to throw the blackguards out, and help elect those who will listen to reason - and not to the anti-technologists who would return us to the days of manure, a boring subsistence, and back-breaking labor.

In Luckey's Radiation Hormesis, the source of much of the evidence to be offered in the upcoming chapters, the subject matter was arranged in terms of parameters that were being observed, e.g., fertility, growth rate, immunity, mortality, cancer risk, life span. Subjects of the studies ranged from bacteria to fish eggs, to mice, to beagles, to humans - with each interspersed within the observed parameters. The information presented is technical, quite detailed, and frankly - because I tend to faint when reading italicized Latin words of more than two syllables - can be a bit difficult to understand. But that's what we engineers were put on Earth for: to attempt conversion of scientists' ideas into something normal people can fathom.

For this reason I've concentrated on, and am limiting the data to, studies on mice and men. Mice, because the experiments are with statistically significant numbers of specimens bred to minimize genetic differences - and men (women, too) because of a hunch that readers will be interested in that particular species. Additional details on these and related subjects can be found on the Radiation, Science and Health website at http://cnts.wip.edu/rsh.

Upcoming chapters have the following content:

  • Chapter 14: Data from mice experiments concerning responses, such as longevity and various cancer mortalities, to a wide range of exposures
  • Chapter 15: Observations and data from A-bomb survivors
  • Chapter 16: Radiation effects on workers in nuclear power plants and nuclear-weapons facilities
  • Chapter 17: Effects of different levels of background radiation on residents in different geographical areas
  • Chapter 18: Some hormetic effects seen in medical treatment statistics
  • Chapter 19: A huge study of nuclear-shipyard workers by Johns Hopkins University
  • Chapter 20: An even bigger study by Bernard Cohen of the effects of residential radon in the United States. You may have been a participant in the study, as it covered 90% of U.S. residents in more than 1,700 counties.

Hopefully, one or more of these topics will be helpful in your evaluation of the experimental basis of hormesis - or, as United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) puts it - "the adaptive response to radiation in cells and organisms."