Both the great Truths and the great Falsehoods of the twentieth century lie hidden in the arcane, widely inaccessible, and seemingly mundane domain of the radiation sciences

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What follows is the continuation, in serial form, of a central chapter from my book A Primer in the Art of Deception: The Cult of Nuclearists, Uranium Weapons and Fraudulent Science.

EXHIBIT F continued:

Under normal circumstances, thyroid cancer is a rare occurrence. After the core of the Chernobyl reactor became scattered to the winds, however, an epidemic of thyroid cancer among children and teenagers broke out in the most affected Soviet territories. For example, Stsjazhko et al. reported in 1995 on the officially validated rate of thyroid cancer in Belarus in the under-15 age group before and after the accident (2.8 million children fell within this group out of a total population of 9.9 million.) In the years 1981 to 1985, approximately 3 cases of thyroid cancer existed per million children. In the years 1986 to 1990, the number of thyroid cancers had increased to 47 per million — 17 times the pre-accident level. Between 1991 to 1994, 286 cases per million were validated — 102 times greater than before the accident.

This epidemic was beyond the purview of the ICRP risk models. Ignoring the tragedy of the Marshall Islanders, the prevailing view of the cancer-causing potential of internalized iodine-131 was given clear expression in UNSCEAR 1988. The authors stated that their literature review provided “little proof that iodine-131 is carcinogenic in humans and support[ed] the notion that the carcinogenic potential of I-131 beta particles might be as low as four times less than external x-rays or gamma rays” [1]. Here in a nutshell is expression of the corrupted paradigm of radiation effects: external radiation is more hazardous than internal contamination and the risk to health is extremely diminished if the exposure is chronic rather than acute. According to the ECRR, these two errors were demolished by the high rate of thyroid cancer after Chernobyl. First, internal contamination, not external irradiation, caused the runaway epidemic. Second, chronic low-dose exposure from radionuclides in the environment was the method of delivery. Further, Chernobyl refuted the prevalent idea that a latency period of 10 years or more was required between thyroid exposure and the onset of clinical symptoms. After the Chernobyl explosion, increases in the rate of thyroid cancer became observable within a few years.

To fit the skyrocketing incidence of thyroid cancer to their incorrect models, the radiation protection agencies attempted to massage their data:

“The risk agency community, having had to swallow the facts of the increase, promptly responded by adjusting the doses to as high a level as possible to try and fit the data to the model. The idea was to assume that the children who were affected had been iodine-deficient and therefore their thyroid glands would take up more iodine. This was unsuccessful since doses large enough to fit the cancer data would be so high that the children would have died of radiation sickness” [2].

In his book Wings of Death, Chris Busby provides an excellent example of the type of shenanigans that can infiltrate the field of radiation protection. It is mentioned here because it bears on the accepted risk factor for thyroid cancer and the reason for the inaccurate predictions made for this endpoint in the wake of Chernobyl. Both BEIR V and UNSCEAR 1988 cite a study by Lars-Erik Holm and colleagues on iodine-131 induced thyroid cancer. (The UNSCEAR document referred to the study as “important evidence.” Lost to many in the fine print was the fact that Holm was one of the authors of UNSCEAR 1988.) The development of the accepted risk factor for thyroid cancer relied heavily on this study. Holm et al. conducted research on a population of 35,000 patients, who between 1951 and 1969 had undergone diagnostic procedures that involved injections of iodine-131. In determining the incidence of radioiodine induced thyroid cancer, the authors made a scientifically questionable procedural decision. They discarded from consideration all cases of thyroid cancer that had been diagnosed within five years of the I-131 injections. They justified this extraordinary step on the basis of the Hiroshima Life Span Study, that claimed that a considerable time elapsed between exposure and the clinical expression of thyroid cancer. Assuming the truth of this observation to be applicable to all avenues of exposure, the authors concluded that cancers diagnosed within five years of exposure could not be reliably attributed to the radioiodine injections. They proceeded on the unwarranted premise that these cancers were present prior to the injections but had gone undiagnosed. From a study of the control population, the authors calculated that in a population of 35,000 the expected number of thyroid cancers would be 39.4. After discarding the questionable cancers appearing within five years of injection, 50 cancers were recorded in the study group. This number was not statistically significant when compared to the control population, and the conclusion the authors arrived at was that the internalized iodine-131 had no effect on the incidence of thyroid cancer. How many cases of thyroid cancer did they need to throw out to reach this conclusion? As Busby reports: “Careful analysis of the paper reveals that 156 extra cancers developed in the group in the first five years but that these were discarded. The true result should have been 156 + 50 = 206 cancers, or five times the control group incidence [3]” [4].

By this time, the reader needs little coaching to discern the scam being enacted, perhaps unwittingly, by scientists enmeshed in the bastardized system of radiation effects. Holm and colleagues ground key ideas of their research on the corrupted Hiroshima data of acute, external irradiation that purportedly “proved” that thyroid cancer requires a long latency period. They then imported this “fact” into a study of internal contamination by iodine-131 and used it to justify throwing out 156 cancers from their study group. This permitted them to reach the conclusion that internalized radioiodine does not contribute to excess thyroid cancers. At this point, the radiation protection agencies step in and use this “important evidence” to establish risk factors for iodine-131. In the event of a radiation accident that vents radioiodine into the environment, the radiation protection agencies can refer to what by this time has gained the stature of a canon, in order to bamboozle the population into believing that the public health impact will be much less severe than what actually transpires. In the event that anyone questions the accuracy of these authoritative assessments, they will be referred to the mind-numbing Gordian Knot of indecipherable journal articles, cryptic mathematical models, and unconquerable decrees of the ICRP: the modus operandi of a near-perfect crime. One can only marvel at the sophistication of this debauched edifice, which masterfully conceals mass casualties and death delivered to the people of the Earth by the Cult of Nuclearists.

The severity of the Chernobyl accident caused this corruption to be unveiled. Using data from Belarus that was reported in UNSCEAR 2000, the ECRR calculated that the error in the risk factors of the ICRP for thyroid cancer was about six-fold or more. In confirmation of this conclusion, Wings of Death contains the following observation:

“It is clear, nevertheless, that a major error exists in the accepted risk for thyroid cancer. There are already 450 cancers in the first 10 years for the under-14 age group alone in the areas into which the evacuees [from Belarus] were moved. Only 100 excess thyroid cancers were predicted for all age groups combined in this population for the next 50 years. Thyroid cancer has also increased in adults. In 1993 there were 2,039 registered cases in Belarus (population 10.5 million) and more than 3,000 in the Ukraine (population 53 million) (BMJ, 1993). At minimum the error defined by this is already several hundred per cent; at maximum it is truly enormous, since only 10 years have passed out of the 40 years covered by the prediction. The trend is upward: this error will grow. These predictions were made on the basis of the existing risk factors, so their inaccuracy, already apparent and no doubt to become more obvious over the coming years, indicates that the risk-factor calculations for thyroid cancer, like those for leukemia, are unreliable. Chernobyl represents the most important recent test of these risk factors; it has proved that they are in urgent need of revision”.


[1] United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). Sources, Effects and Risks of Ionizing Radiation. Report to the General Assembly, New York 1988.

[2] European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR). Recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk: the Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses for Radiation Protection Purposes. Regulators' Edition. Brussels; 2003.

[3] Gofman J.W. Radiation-Induced Cancer from Low-Dose Exposure: An Independent Analysis. San Francisco: Committee for Nuclear Responsibility; 1990.

[4] Busby C. Wings of Death: Nuclear Pollution and Human Health. Aberystwyth, Wales: Green Audit Books, Green Audit (Wales) Ltd; 1995.