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View Diary: Radiation, Cancer, and the Linear No-Threshold Model (143 comments)

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  •  You seem to be suggesting that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raoul78, LookingUp, Eirene, Mcrab

    virtually all biomedical research that takes the study of cancer from cell models - whether it be exploration of mechanism or testing of therapeutics - which is pervasively done in rodents is completely useless . . . . .

    The sobering thing about Chernobyl is that despite the radiation, the animals are doing much, much better than they do when they are impacted by human "business as usual" activities . . .. .

    •  you seem to be changing the subject... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raoul78, b00g13p0p, Picot verde

      A catastrophic disaster at nuclear reactor is not a "theraputic use of radiation."

      And, as I stated, from an ecological perspective the conclusion that "animals are doing much better" in the Chernobyl fallout zone is fundamentally flawed, because there have been no long-term systematic studies of wildlife in that zone.  The studies there have been ephemeral at best and only concluded that populations APPEAR to be doing better because they are not impacted by humans.

      There have been no systematic studies on the effects of radiation on those species. Just because there are a lot of animals does not mean that those animals are a healthy population.  

      Moreover, the effects of the radiation upon the alimentary chain in domesticated animals have also determined that the effects of Chernobyl are widespread and will be long in duration.

      •  You seem to be about the only (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raoul78, LookingUp, Eirene, worldlotus, Mcrab

        one who has interpreted this diary in a way that is meant to minimize the impact of what's happening in Japan right now . . . . .

        To me it simply seemed to be an attempt to counter some of the ridiculous truisms that are (seemingly endlessly) being spouted in the other diaries (e.g., "the effects of radiation are cumulative" - sure, they can be but hardly ever are  OR "humans aren't equipped to deal with radiation from nuclear power plants because it is not "natural" " - actually, human cells are fully equipped to deal with it . . .

        •  The diarist said.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          b00g13p0p, Lura

          and I quote: (Yet again)

          What are the risks at the moment for civilians in Japan?  Based on the LNT model, the increased radiation exposure will lead to a very slight increase in the number of cancers if the radiation remains elevated for long.  Based on the other models, there might be no increase in cancer at all, or perhaps even a slight benefit.  

          And, that is the most incredible piece of bullshit I've read here since this whole tragedy began to unfold.

          There is a difference in educating people that the plant is not going to explode into a mushroom cloud and trying to baffle them with information to try to convince them that what is happening in Japan can somehow be BENEFICIAL for human beings.

          •  Based on extant understanding (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raoul78, worldlotus, Mcrab

            of radiation, there indeed might be a slight benefit.  However, there was a much stronger statement immediately preceding that one that said there'd be an increase in cancer.

            And as far as I could ascertain, the statement was not made gleefully (like yay! I support cancer, let's release more radioisotopes!) - it was simply a rational analysis of the situation.

            •  Why not just stop obfuscating... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              b00g13p0p, Lura, Picot verde

              While there will be no mushroom cloud, many people are going to die because of this, people who did not have to die.

              They are going to die from radiation poisoning.

              Others are going to die horrible deaths from cancers that they would not have gotten from eating a bananna or being exposed to sunlight.

              They are going to die because of a nuclear disaster, not caused principally by a Tsunami and an Earthquake, but by poor human engineering.

              Add to that that high levels of radiation are going to poison the ecosystem at varying levels around these reactors for a period longer than any of us will be alive.

              That is the truth.  Plain and simple.  So stop trying to say otherwise.

              •  Based on the information that is (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                raoul78, LookingUp, worldlotus, Mcrab

                avaialable right now, it is impossible to say how many people will die.

                While I think it's irresponsible to claim that zero people will die (which you seemed to have interpreted this diary as saying), it's equally irresponsible to say that "many" people will.  

                The only "truth" that's out there right now is that not enough is known about the situation to say one way or the other.

              •  What are you basing this on? (5+ / 0-)

                That you're scared of radiation and radioactivity?  We can have an open and reasonable discussion, but it seems to me that you are pulling a disaster out of a hat based on nothing.  Could it get much worse?  Yes.  I hope it doesn't.  

                At the moment though, you are arguing as much against the known science as someone who believes the earth is 6000 years old and evolution does not happen.  

                I'm not making these conclusions based upon any of my personal scientific background, its based on what I've read in the scientific literature and the reports I've linked above.  Its also based on the best numbers I had available when I wrote it.

                •  "Pulling a disaster out of a hat"... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  b00g13p0p, Picot verde

                  And, herein lies the problem.

                  To you, it's only a potential disaster.

                  For most people it already IS a disaster.

                  We have a fundamental disagreement caused by our perspectives.

                  You think microscopically and I think macroscopically.

                  Sorry that you feel the need to insult my intelligence.

                  I happen to not only believe in evolution, but I know how it works.

                  •  I'd also like to apologize (0+ / 0-)

                    you're looking at it from a different persepctive, and I do not mean to insult your intelligence.

                    The issue for me is the following statement

                    many people are going to die because of this

                    And perhaps, because the "many" lacks a number I don't understand what you mean.  Do you think more people will die than were killed directly by earthquake and tsunami?  

                    Based on the LNT model, some people will contract cancer and die of this.  I don't believe there are going to be people, outside of possibly the workers at Fukushima, who will develop radiation sickness - the doses being reported simply aren't high enough.

                    For me, the language we use is important, and I guess for you as well.  Perhaps for you, the issue with me is that mine isn't strong enough.

          •  Comprehension fail. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raoul78, worldlotus

            And I quote:

            What are the risks at the moment for civilians in Japan?  Based on the LNT model, the increased radiation exposure will lead to a very slight increase in the number of cancers if the radiation remains elevated for long. Based on the other models, there might be no increase in cancer at all, or perhaps even a slight benefit.

            The diarist is trying to explain that, based on years of research, we have a few proposed models of how radiation affects people.  He then enumerates what those models would predict for those who are exposed to the stated doses (note that the diarist never claims that every person will be exposed only to those doses)

            No one is saying that the Japanese reactor situation is a good thing.  The diarist is just explaining how bad (for human health) it is predicted to be at this point.

            This isn't hard.

            •  Nothing but arrogance... (0+ / 0-)

              "This isn't hard"

              I'm not a fucking nuclear microbiologist.  And, I don't need to be one to understand what you and the diarist are trying to achieve.

              Since this event occurred, we've been bombarded by people trying to dazzle us with their bullshit.

              We're not talking about "small amounts" of radiation being released from these spent fuel rods anymore.

              But, please do carry on.

      •  the problelm (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raoul78, Ice Blue, worldlotus

        The problem is we can't study nature with 0 radiation because we live in radation all the time.  It is a normal part of our environment, just like sunlight.  And just like sunlight there is a threshold above which it is bad for us.  But there could also be a lower threshold below which it is unhealty - just like sunlight.

        I don't find that impossible, it's the same with many things besides just sunlight.  

        Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana

        by RAST on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 07:01:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well then... (0+ / 0-)

          if we "live in radiation all the time" there is of course no reason to be alarmed by what is happening in Japan.

          You should get a job at FOX.

          •  Funny. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ice Blue, worldlotus, Mcrab

            I was just thinking that your comments have an awfully Foxian bent
            - misrepresenting point of original source

            convince them that what is happening in Japan can somehow be BENEFICIAL for human beings

            trying to convince us that we should not be concerned because a nuclear disaster is like going out in the sun without your sun screen

            - subsequent exaggeration/scare tactics
            going to die horrible deaths from cancers that they would not have gotten from eating a bananna or being exposed to sunlight

            - ignoring science
            the most incredible piece of bullshit I've read

            in favor of gut instinct, which you purport to be
            the truth, plain and simple

            - effectively attacking scientists as elitists
            post doctoral psycho babble

            so-called intelligent experts insulting our intelligence

            Well done!

            •  Of course, a diary that (0+ / 0-)

              cites sources on the homeopathic benefits of radiation releases from a Nuclear power plant disaster should be taken seriously.

              Got any more room in that ivory tower?

              •  Homeopathic?? (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                raoul78, worldlotus, Roadbed Guy, ebohlman

                Did you misread "hormetic", by chance?

                The hormesis citation is a literature review and synthesis from Dose Response, an actual peer-reviewed scientific journal.  Citations from that article reference Science, the New England Journal of Medicine, Cancer, and the American Journal of Human Genetics, among others.  

                Or should we also relegate all of those to the "ivory tower"?

                Believe me, when scientists first encounter something counterintuitive like a hormetic effect, they tear their hair out trying to figure out what they did wrong, because they assume that any reviewer will think their study is crazy/stupid.  It's happened to me (on a much more trivial scale) many times.  

                Misreading I can understand (though it still seems bizarre that you're fixating on the brief mention of a scientific curiosity).  If that's not what happened here, however, I'm beginning to think that you're being deliberately obtuse.

                •  Why is a "brief mention of scientific curiosity" (0+ / 0-)

                  being given as one of the three possible outcomes for the radiation event that is occuring in Japan?

                  And, you can file that last sentence of yours in the filing bin kept where the sun does not shine.

                  If you are as smart as you seem to be, then you would understand that this person's highly scientific evidence about low levels of radiation is completely divorced from the reality of the situation at the Fukishima plant.

                  The situation is dire and its getting worse by the hour.  It has already been upgraded to a level 4 event and there is no indication that it is improving.

                  The whole discussion in this diary is effectively moot since it's was apparently intended to convince us that what is happening there is nothing to be greatly concerned about.

    •  Benefiting from the lack of human activity, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David Kroning II, raoul78

      not from more radiation. If you want to credit the disaster for the lack of human activity, I guess that's ok. Let's light em all up.

      There are negative effects from residual radiation, it's simply a fact that tearing up land for housing, roads, mines, factories and farms has a greater impact for wildlife.

      “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”, Theodore Roosevelt

      by the fan man on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 08:42:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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