Low radioactive doses: instill doubt even without legitimate reason

Some nuclear skeptics say low doses are dangerous and so this low carbon must not be deployed massively because of the danger when an accident occurs. This article shows how wrong an opinion it is.

Translation of french blog : “antiscientific press”


(Sorry for automatic translation)

According to a researcher at INSERM, the rule of LNT (Linear No Threshold Relationship) concerning radioactive radiation would be too optimistic. We would all be in danger.

It’s quite the opposite.
This rule is overly cautious and dates from a time when you could still formalize the safety of low doses.

Link to Publication refuted in this post:

There is much to say about this article as: “The risk of low radiation doses should be reassessed” appeared in Sciences et Avenir August 5, 2015 and Ms. Thébaud-Mony.
Indeed, the author is not a biologist and his interview is dotted with nonsense (such as birth defects or frequency of post Chernobyl cancers)

This is an article biased, mixing true or false assertions and presented as mere hypotheses established.

Three examples:

There is not a shred of evidence of a “supra-linear” for the appearance of cancer after exposure to low doses.

It may be radiation-induced defects during fetal exposure, but it has never demonstrated after exposure of prospective parents themselves.

There is no transmission of these defects to offspring (hereditary radiation-induced defects have been identified in animals, not humans)

Conversely :

1) There is reliable evidence for a radiation-induced cancer risk proportionately lower (or no?) Low doses (<100 mSv) compared with high doses.

Why this is known and schematically, for DNA damage induced by low doses, the organism favors the absence of repair or apoptosis, which leads to cell death (thus the damaged cells n 'not evolve into cancer cells).

In high doses, the DNA repair is imperative to preserve the function of the exposed organ; a cell can then be repaired badly, with one or more mutations that may be a step in a process leading to a cancer cell.

For high doses, other defense mechanisms (control by the cellular microenvironment, or by the immune system) are submerged and become ineffective.

This shows that the tissues do not defend the same way against strong, low doses (besides the genes activated in response to irradiation are different), so the linear extrapolation of the effects of high doses to zero, as does the LNT, is meaningless.

2) epidemiological studies on irradiated Hiroshima Nagasaki and nuclear workers (including the latest INWORKS study (1)) show no cancer risk increased significantly below an exposure of 100 mSv. Studies on child may show lower limits, but they are not entirely convincing (eg, studies after scanner (s) X-rays in childhood does not account for why Scanner has been made).

3) the effect of hormesis (protection against the effects of ionizing rayonements with small doses of exposure, like Mithridates) was clearly demonstrated in mice in the analysis of available publications made by Duport in 2003 (study about 60,000 mice, 40% of experimental series show a very clear effect of hormesis).
A credible mechanism was found by Portess in 2007 (Low-dose irradiation of nontransformed cells Stimulate the selective removal of precancerous cells via intercellular induction of apoptosis).
Finally an effect of hormesis is common in chemical toxicology; this is not a fantasy of pro-nuclear activist.

4) Unlike some laboratory animals, there is still no conclusive evidence of an effect of hormesis in humans but only very strong evidence. Check whether or not this effect exists in humans, and especially to what extent, will require a considerable biological and epidemiological research effort.
The complexity of costly cofactors make a rigorous scientific study and its ROI will be low. And those whose is the goodwill to warn about the dangers of excessively low doses would have much to lose to insist that it takes place (hearing for the press, memberships and grants for NGOs, development of regulatory bodies , …).

Hint: It may be noted that for nuclear workers, the risk of cancer for people who have been exposed to low doses well below the spontaneous risk in unexposed; it can be a "healthy worker effect", but it would be unusually large.

Source Wikipedia – https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horm%C3%A8se
The hormesis is a phenomenon well known and well documented, not just for radioactivity, also in terms of chemical toxicity: just a tiny little poison effectively stimulates the defense mechanisms. It is a general rule that applies, inter alia, to radioactivity.

As a reminder of our great scientist:

"Although it can be argued that" The absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence "
we never make choices only on absolute data, but only on probabilistic data.
Do not observe a phenomenon increases the calculable probability so that it does not exist. "

Cognitive biases do the rest. Without being aware of it, we are moving towards the theses we intuitively satisfying, we have already selected a priori as a result of the influence of "cognitive market."

Or sprinkling of financial resources to oversee the "nothing" asphyxiation them greatly deleterious areas where needs are urgent (tobacco, illiteracy, carbon, …). Democracy must recover.
The risk of not acting is often overlooked in favor of the much lower risk of acting.

So one wonders why the magazine "Sciences et Avenir" will look, to talk about the effects of low doses, a notorious militant who, according to PubMed, never published anything on the subject.

Thébaud-Mony same was as Director of research at INSERM, "public health specialist," which to the uninformed reader Sciences et Avenir means "competent in medicine and biology", but in reality, Wikipedia dixit Annie Thébaud-Mony is a French sociologist of health, known for its research and community work on occupational diseases.

A visit to the sites
http://iris.ehess.fr/index.php?115 is illuminating.

The second link provides on its page and its "publications" which are three exceptions to articles or books activists, as ordinary books published and not peer-reviewed journals. So three exceptions:

1) With D. Walters, R. Johnstone, K. Frick, M. Quinlan & Baril-Gingras G. (ed.) Regulating Workplace Risks. A comparative study of inspection regimes in times of change. Edward Elgar Publishing. 400 p.

2) A Multidisciplinary network about occupational cancer in Paris suburb, Seine-Saint-Denis (France). First results of a pro-active research (with the SCOP 93 network), International journal of occupational and environmental health, 2005, 11, 263-275.

3) Repair the damage related to work? Social relations, institutional laws and practices, Social Sciences and Health, 2003, 21 (4), 105-113.

The second is a collective work (it is not mentioned in the summary) and the third is unknown PubMed …

Consider then an article and a half according to current assessments.
Access the rank of Research Director at INSERM with such a record he has earned or the result of political balance? Each judge.

Sciences et Avenir has nothing of the requirements of a scientific publication, it is an extension of the body that is to scoop the draw: the anguish sells particularly when it is written by a director of the INSERM strong known in the art.

Thébaud-Mony Ms. sees an epidemic of cancers, regularly denounced in various journals of Social Sciences where she accumulated abundant literary production. It offers quite regularly, without justification other than his partisan faith research topics on occupational cancer to agencies sometimes have weak financing; there has never been any scientific proof of the assumptions it made nor the least acceptable method to check the plausibility. She seems sincerely convinced of the conspiracy theory that places academic toxicologists in the class of profiteers ulterior interests, which makes her a partner listening in the world of social sciences strong fond of these treats.

"Another explanation is its managing editor, seems to be herself a convinced anti-nuclear. The press ethics is slow to progress, publications are often influenced by the ideologies they are made, and not always balanced by the opposite opinion. "

Cf the work of the french association "Information Citizens"(Citoyensdelinfo) totally independent association that advocates a French press council (as in Belgium, Switzerland, Quebec, Austria, South Africa, Tunisia, etc …). This will allow ( only the form and not in substance) to promote ethical dialogue within the journalistic profession, and limit the exploitation by publishers of their power of influence. "


(1) Study INWORKS:
Search: First results of the epidemiological study INWORKS on the risk of leukemia among workers in the nuclear industry


Normal leukemia risk is 20/10000, and here it would be spent 21/10000 for workers. You call this effect "devastating"?

On the interesting comments in Nature: http://t.co/vfalfLtsOe

The study only considers occupational doses
while the medical doses varied widely and is higher today than professional, unlike the beginning of the study period …

And remember untreated uncertainties in the reference mortality rates. In short, the result is much more uncertainsuretenucleaire announced by IRSN.

The data processing rejects those not compatible with the linear increase with the elimination of the first 10 years …

(2) Self called the confirmation INWORKS 10/20/2015:

"Prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation, even at low doses, increases the risk of so-called solid cancers, according to research on nuclear workers." http://www.pourquoidocteur.fr/Articles/Question-d-actu/12564-Nucleaire-meme-de-faibles-doses-sont-dangereuses-pour-les-employes

Other sources:

Sources scientifically prove these assertions.

In anti chronological order:

a) The linear no-threshold theory is historically based on scientific concealment of Professor Hermann Muller
(Nobel Prize 1946 Medicine for having discovered the mutagenic effects of radiation) – Released by Bruno Comby – EFN – 2011

and the Benefits of Low-Dose Radiation – Jerry Cuttler, Myron Pollycove – 2009

When will we acknowledge the reality? Jerry M. Cuttler – 2006

d) – Dose-effect relationships and estimates of the carcinogenic effects of low doses of ionizing radiation
[French National Academy of Medicine] March 6, 2005



Comment :

The rapid development of science arouses distrust a foul to understand its operation.
Scientists, mostly inhabited by the requirement of rigor and progress, are routinely suspected of collusion and dishonesty. Projections of our own greed vices? And this without cause in the majority of cases (pharmacy pretend me more concerned than other industry saw baskets of secu.)

The drift is often about the inability to relativize the dangers: That can not be said enough that everything is in the dose. But few are concerned about it and anxiety wins, including with the nocebo effect. (radiation (mSv), microwave, bisphenol, endocrine disruptors, …). This does not mean of course that we should not strict standards and respected.

In fact, one must realize that the absence of technical progress is more deleterious than the very low numbers impacts of its progress (see the rapid increase in life expectancy). The lifestyle in developed countries, carries the vast majority of sore (tobacco, psychotropic substances, overweight or over-nutrition, exhaustion, stress and sedentary lifestyle, neuroses, and psychosomatic effects nocebos), the individual seeks a goat envoy to justify its difficulties.



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