Saturday, March 5, 2016

China

There are two geographical areas involved in both of the following investigations. The "Low Background" areas has a background rate similar to the Gulf Coast states in the United States, i.e., about 100 mrad (0.1 cGy) per year; the "High Background" locations have exposures of approximately 300 mrad - very near the U.S. average. The early study, illustrated in Figure 21, is for relatively large cohorts with a "High" group of 74,000, compared with the "Low" control cohort of 77,000 inhabitants. Since "all radiation is dangerous and unhealthy," we should see the low-background contingent outshining their radiated countrymen in all facets of health and well-being.

Source for Figure 21 Chinese Cancer Morality: Zhai, S., Lin, X., Pan, T., He, W., Feng, R., Chen, M., Li, S., Chen, L.R., and Yie, H. Report of survey on mortality from malignant tumors in high background area of Guangdong. Journal of Radiation Research (Japan), 22, 48, 1982.

Au contraire! The data of Figure 21 support just the reverse. As can be seen in this study by S. Zhai et al., eight of the ten cancers investigated are higher in the low-radiation group.

A second Chinese study compared several reproduction related criteria for the two groups. In this case the "high" population consisted of 13,425 peasants [their word], with the control "lows" numbering 13,987. Figure 22 shows the relative percentages of reproductive "problems" between the groups. Unless there are some unknown confounding factors at work here, it is evident that living in a low-background radiation area is not conducive to large families.

If high-background radiation caused an increase in spontaneous abortion, neonatal mortality, or infertility, there would be no end to regulators and the protection bureaucracy attempting to move us all to new locations, dig up the farm, and bury it somewhere. But since all three of these factors are decreased with an increase in background radiation, no one seems to notice.

Source for Figure 22 Chinese Reproductive Data: High Background Radiation Research Group (HBRRG). Aspects of environmental radiation and dosimetry concerning the High Background Radiation Area in China. Journal of Radiation Research (Tokyo), 22, 88, 1981. Also in Science, 209, 877, 1981.