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rh200
4th Aug 2010, 00:50
In some thread a while ago I mentioned an article from some journal in the past that small radiation doses are relatively harmless. By small I mean a lot higher than the accepted amounts now.

The scientist proposed an argument that the human body had evolved to counter specific threats in the environment. We did not have a mechanism to deal with small doses of radiation because we did'nt need it. There are places in the world where the background dose radiation is very high and people have lived there for ages with no hassels.

There was a lot more in the journal, I was going to keep the article, but never got around to it. But this in newscientist showing a new study saying the same thing.

Who's afraid of radiation? - opinion - 03 August 2010 - New Scientist (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727715.800-whos-afraid-of-radiation.html?page=1)

Any thoughts on this?

Tyres O'Flaherty
4th Aug 2010, 01:41
We live in radiation of different wavelengths all the time.

Our bodies even produce certain types of it through our metabolism of foods with some constituents.

Radon gas comes builds up in houses built in parts of the UK with the right kind of bedrock.

Gahh. ''Radiation'' is a scareword to most people, sometimes undeserved

AC Busted
4th Aug 2010, 02:56
Living down here in the melanoma capital of the world, I tend to disagree.

onetrack
4th Aug 2010, 03:30
rh200 - Keep wearing your tinfoil hat under the headset, you'll be right.... :E

Let's get some proper perspective on it.... :)

Chances of dying of any kind of cancer... 1 in 2

Chances of dying of a cancer caused by workplace radiation... 1 in 1,000,000

The radiation dosage received during high level flight is often no more than the background radiation levels in many areas on Earth.

You are so much more likely to die of some other unrelated form of disease, accident or injury during your lifetime, than a radiation-related disease... that the risk figure for the radiation-related disease reduces to a barely-measureable figure...

Radiation and Risk (http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/risk.htm)

rh200
4th Aug 2010, 03:38
We live in radiation of different wavelengths all the time. rh200 - Keep wearing your tinfoil hat under the headset, you'll be rightApart from being a tradie, I also have a physics degree, so am well aware of "radiation". Like most things, in moderation its probally not that bad.

The question is are we as a society paranoid about it, and is it impossible to have a constructive debate about it, without the extremists coming out a howling.

With nuclear power a potential major energy source, the "Radiation debate is front and center. It seems to me the public have an irrational fear of it, a bit like the hydrogen as a fuel debate and safety.

onetrack
4th Aug 2010, 04:26
No, I think it's probably very difficult to have a rational debate about it, because of several factors...

1. Mention of radiation immediately provokes irrational responses in many people. Fear of what you can't see, drives a lot of it.

2. The research on radiation-induced illnesses is limited to Atom bomb survivors and workers exposed to radiation in workplace accidents. This is a very low number in the overall population.

3. Many cancers are SUSPECTED of being induced by radiation exposure... but no-one has yet made a reliable link, via comprehensive studies. The jury is still out on this one. Only a couple of cancer types ARE well known, to be radiation-exposure related.

4. The varieties of radiation exposure, that we are exposed to daily, run into the hundreds. I don't see how an accurate study can take into account all the possibilities and sources.

Sciolistes
4th Aug 2010, 04:29
There was a documentary on the idiot box that said this place in Iran has the highest natural radiation of anywhere in the world and the people have a very very low incidence of cancer. It also said that airline pilots has a signficiantly low cancer rate compared to the rest of the population. In addition, the wildlife in the area around Chernobyl (spelling?) is absolutely booming with no specifically identified and conclusively attributed radiation issues.

In other words, the documentary quoted a study saying that much higher than current deemed safe levels are actually beneficial.

Given that science is often fundementally wrong about most practical aspects of life, it wouldn't suprise me.

Loose rivets
4th Aug 2010, 04:50
The scientist proposed an argument that the human body had evolved to counter specific threats in the environment. We did not have a mechanism to deal with small doses of radiation because we did'nt need it.

I wonder what mechanism determined the need for DNA's double helix.

Load Toad
4th Aug 2010, 08:07
Probably a woman.

ORAC
4th Aug 2010, 08:51
I wonder what mechanism determined the need for DNA's double helix. Quantum Entanglement Holds DNA Together, Say Physicists (http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/25375/)

Tankertrashnav
4th Aug 2010, 11:01
Radon gas comes builds up in houses built in parts of the UK with the right kind of bedrock.



Granite as it decays emits radon, thus most Cornish houses suffer from it to a greater or lesser extent. Some tin mines were notorious radon hotspots, with the miners who worked in them rarely making it past 60 as they succumbed to lung cancer. I've had my own old farmhouse tested and the levels are double the recommended figure, but as I dont smoke or sunbathe on the beach and no longer fly in the stratosphere for long periods I'm not too worried about it.

The greens' kneejerk reaction to ANY man-produced radiation (power generation etc) is based on ignorance or wilful avoidance of the fact that it's all round us in one naturally occurring form or other. Id be willing to bet my annual dose is greater than the average Sellafield worker's!

MagnusP
4th Aug 2010, 11:12
TTN: Likewise Aberdeen. It has twice the UK average background radiation; presumably the figure for Cornwall is similar.

Some interesting figures here:

http://www.ndawg.org/documents/Paper7-02.pdf

Parapunter
4th Aug 2010, 11:14
aren't there bylaws in parts of Cornwall, requiring extractor fans to be fitted to houses in order to remove Radon from the houses?

HuntandFish
4th Aug 2010, 11:22
Yes we are .
There seem to be two basic issue . Firstly large doses of ionising radiation kill and the risk reduces as the dose reduces so the assumption is that zero is the only safe levvel .
Secondly anything man made is bad .
Lukemia clusters around Sellafield and Dounreay certainly existed but was it radiation from the plants?

bnt
4th Aug 2010, 11:45
I know a lady who won't use a microwave oven because of the "radiation" - but she uses a cellphone.
Microwave oven: 2.45 GHz transmitter 0f 700-1000W: contained in a Faraday Cage, tested to meet strict regulations on microwave leakage e.g. FDA regs of 5 milliwatts per cm² - and you can always stand back;
Cellphone: 2.1 GHz transmitter of up to 1 Watt power, which you hold next to your brain.

I don't think I'll bother trying to explain the difference between ionising and non-ionising radiation to this lady. :hmm:

On the topic of the article: I'm not thoroughly up to date on all the issues, but I will say that I was expecting a higher incidence of long-term problems after the Chernobyl disaster - cancers, genetic defects etc.

tony draper
4th Aug 2010, 12:01
Buggah! what will me overclocked 20 GHz CPU be doing to me then?:uhoh:

MagnusP
4th Aug 2010, 12:40
HuntandFish:
Lukemia clusters around Sellafield and Dounreay certainly existed but was it radiation from the plants

That's partly why I posted the link above, as it includes Cumbrian background levels.

Tankertrashnav
4th Aug 2010, 12:57
aren't there bylaws in parts of Cornwall, requiring extractor fans to be fitted to houses in order to remove Radon from the houses?


This may the case for new-build. In my own case it was recommended that sumps were installed under the floor to collect the gas and pipes with extractor fans led through the walls to remove it.

As my floors are stone/concrete and my walls nearly 3' thick you can imagine the quote was eye-watering.

I just leave a window open when I can remember!

Magnus P - Interesting about Aberdeen - yes of course, the Granite City!

HuntandFish
4th Aug 2010, 13:05
MagnusP
Cumbrian geology does varey but there is granite however Caithness where Dounreay is located is all bogs and sedimentary rock used for paving slabs

MagnusP
4th Aug 2010, 14:21
Thanks for that, HuntandFish.
There's an interesting NHS paper on cancer clusters here. (http://www.swpho.nhs.uk/resource/item.aspx?RID=9108)

Loose rivets
4th Aug 2010, 18:22
Quantum Entanglement Holds DNA Together, Say Physicists

Thanks ORAC, by chance, that has particular relevance to the chapter I'm trying to polish now. Something about our Perfect Code being latched to the Universe - Implying we're something more than the sum of the physical parts and our functioning is reliant on forces outside the material world.


Keef might remember one of my rambles. He said, 'Vibrations I like.' if I remember correctly. The link above rings true. (Ho ho)

flying lid
4th Aug 2010, 20:18
Mobile phones - 2 comments. Form your own opinion

My friend is partially deaf in one ear, due to excessive wax build up. He says after 10 minutes on a mobile phone the wax softens (melts), and his hearing improves !!!

Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic lost one of his friends to a tumor that he believes was caused by cellular RF. He chides friends for using them without a headset. He allways uses one, stating it is "the best £10 he has ever spent".

One day all our noses will glow green in the dark !!!!!!!!!!

Lid