Thursday, April 28, 2016

The "Linear Mafia's" Last Hurrah?

On June 29, 2005, a politicized committee appointed by the National Academy of Sciences issued a well-publicized report that is in total disagreement with the unanimous French Academy of Science and Academy of Medicine's May 2005 report. H. Josef Hebert, an Associated Press writer [as printed in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock, Ark., June 30, 2005, p. 2], summarized its conclusions:

"The preponderance of scientific evidence shows that even very low doses of radiation pose a risk of cancer or other health problems and there is no threshold below which exposure can be viewed as harmless, a panel of prominent scientists concluded Wednesday.

"The finding by the National Academy of Sciences panel is viewed as critical because it is likely to significantly influence what radiation levels government agencies will allow at abandoned nuclear power plants, nuclear weapons production facilities and elsewhere.

"The nuclear industry... as well as some independent scientists, have argued that there is a threshold of very low level radiation where exposure is not harmful, or possibly even beneficial. They said current risk modeling may exaggerate the health impact.

"The panel, after five years of study, rejected that claim."

Needless to say, this report was met with outrage by the scientists who have incontrovertible evidence to the contrary - evidence that was simply ignored by a panel of the same Good Old Boys who held to the LNT hypothesis on earlier requests to examine the accumulating evidence. The reaction of Gerald Looney, M.D., a California physician, is typical:

"The medical profession is fully in favor of progress, but change is out of the question! I am embarrassed and frustrated by the rigid and reactionary viewpoints of my colleagues. Today's report carries the conclusion of a NAS panel of people who are old enough to know better but continue to support and promulgate the patently false Linear No-Threshold (LNT) hypothesis of radiation risk...

"Perhaps this myopic view could be tolerated a while longer, except that it has an increasingly harmful impact on future generations. The current public (and panel) phobia of even a single ionizing ray leads to an expectation of zero tolerance from current environmental and political leaders. Such fear and intolerance makes us easy prey and our cities potential and prolonged wastelands in the face of even a small dirty bomb producing a tiny and harmless, but definitely measurable, increased level of radioactivity over a wide area, thereby allowing a terrorist to literally hoist us on our own petard."

The doctor also has a frightening personal story to tell. He and his partner Nancy were scheduled for the type of whole-body scans (WBS) that the NAS panel's report recommends be avoided. Nancy took the advice of scientific colleagues who suggested she beware of ionizing radiation inherent in CT scans. Unfortunately, an asymptomatic cancer was already underway, and the lack of early treatment proved fatal. Dr. Looney was to take the scan, resulting in a cancer's being found on his kidney. That cancer was surgically removed, apparently successful.

Concerning the phobic position of the NAS, Dr. Looney writes:

"Public and professional policy, even when it comes from the National Academy of Sciences, seems clearly erroneous when a patient follows their official guidelines and advice but succumbs to curable pathology, while another patient ignores these same policies and thereby survives similar disease."

We began in the prologue with the sacrifice of my sister's fetus to an ignorance of low-level radiation effects, and we end with an avoidable death resulting from similar ignorance. Along the way, we saw, among many similar increases in life span and health, that a dose of 0.15 Gy would likely prevent 10,000 breast cancer deaths - with better than 99% certainty - if given to a million women.

How many more lives must be forfeited to a thoroughly discredited LNT before reason prevails?

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