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

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: EXHIBIT F continued

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:

Before proceeding, it is worthwhile to digress for a moment to explain how inaccurate risk factors for internal contamination have been able to endure. The radiation protection agencies are responsible for perpetuating a number of dogmatic ideas concerning radiation effects in man. Students of the radiation sciences are indoctrinated with these ideas and have no reason to question them. These ideas have a powerful influence on the thinking of researchers and have caused otherwise sincere and scrupulous scientists to reject data that is out of sync with so-called “conventional wisdom.” By this means, the knowledge base of radiation effects is severely constrained. The authors of the CERRIE Minority Report have identified a number of the presumptions that have held sway over radiation epidemiology and prejudiced the outcome of so-called “definitive” studies of the effect of radiation on human health. These include the following:

1) In response to expectations inherent in the ICRP’s models and risk factors, a large range of epidemiological studies of internal radiation have been dismissed. Rejection of this data is justified on the grounds that it is not in harmony with what is presumed to be unassailable scientific fact.

2) Radiation effects in populations are assessed through the prism of the Linear No-Threshold Hypothesis. Those who receive the highest dosages are presumed to be the ones that will manifest the greatest effects. If evidence is gathered that shows that the greatest effects are suffered by those with less than the highest dosages, this evidence is considered suspect and frequently rejected. The hidden assumption in this is that ALL endpoints of radiation-induced damage is linearly related to dosage. This certainly may not be the case with certain endpoints created by internal contamination. For instance, in the case of infant leukemia after Chernobyl, populations receiving the highest dosages may not have exhibited the highest incidence of infant leukemia because of an increase in spontaneous abortions, fetal deaths or still births.

3) In most incidents of radiation exposure, populations receive a mixture of external irradiation and internal contamination. However, by convention, the dosages of those exposed are almost invariably defined in terms of the dose delivered externally. In this way, the health effects produced by the internal contaminants are either missed entirely or not adequately studied.

4) Frequently, simplistic assumptions are made about how radioactivity, once liberated, migrates through the environment, which groups receive exposure and the dosages received by those exposed. These “assumptions” color the outcome of epidemiological studies and prejudice the “objective” findings of a study.

5) Only certain disease endpoints are assumed to be radiation-induced, namely cancer, leukemia, and genetic disorders. Other possible endpoints receive no attention. This cocksure assumption has presented a severe obstacle to the investigation of the role played by depleted uranium in the etiology of Gulf War Illness.