Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Regulatory Agencies

There are a number of national and international regulatory agencies (not to mention state, county and municipal affiliates) whose entire reason for existence is to measure, verify measurement, and regulate levels of ionizing radiation. If the radiation hazard is defined as a linear relationship between radiation dose and effect (the LNT theory), then the job is relatively straightforward. But abandonment of the LNT would mean tossing most reference books, revising all the charts, and taking down the ubiquitous posters with such catchy phrases as "Every Gamma Ray Can Be a Killer" or "Do You Really Need an X-ray?"

Given an understanding of low-level effects, many government agencies involved in such "non-protection" might mercifully go down the tubes; but for the technicians who have been working in the radiation environment, there may well be a silver lining. It is they who understand the mechanics of radiation - so who better to become operators or partners in the "hormesis clinics" that would undoubtedly spring up once the beneficial effects of low-level radiation were known? ("Good morning, Mrs. Jones, would you be interested in our special on two rads of deep therapy X-rays today for $225? It comes with a bonus of an hour in the 200 pCi per liter arthritis-relief chamber.")

As mentioned earlier, when one is looking forward to retirement, retraining is not a gratifying option - but what is the choice here? It is job security for a few people (who are, incidentally, quite employable) versus the continued enslavement of us all to a lie posing as science: the LNT hypothesis. At issue are the lives of all those who will die by following the LNT theory. Eventually, the truth will prevail - and we should continue to ask, "Why not now, rather than later?"