Cancer mortality reduction by 97% - huge! Is it true? Hormesis?
"Effects of Cobalt-60 Exposure on Health of Taiwan Residents Suggest New Approach Needed in Radiation Protection", W.L. Chen et al., Dose Response. 2007; 5(1): 63–75,
... serendipitous contamination of 1700 apartments in Taiwan with cobalt-60 (T1/2 = 5.3 y). This experience indicates that chronic exposure of the whole body to low-dose-rate radiation, even accumulated to a high annual dose, may be beneficial to human health. Approximately 10,000 people occupied these buildings and received an average radiation dose of 0.4 Sv, unknowingly, during a 9-20 year period. They did not suffer a higher incidence of cancer mortality, as the LNT theory would predict. On the contrary, the incidence of cancer deaths in this population was greatly reduced-to about 3 per cent of the incidence of spontaneous cancer death in the general Taiwan public. In addition, the incidence of congenital malformations was also reduced - to about 7 per cent of the incidence in the general public. These observations appear to be compatible with the radiation hormesis model.
Figure 1 from the same paper. Click to magnify and hires.
1. by D.W.Miller, MD: Afraid of Radiation
2. Keeping the Lights On
3. by William R. Ware, Ph.D.: Low-Dose Radiation Exposure and Risk of Cancer
4. Caroline Hadley: "What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger", Nature, EMBO reports VOL 4 | NO 10 | 2003
5. Bernard L. Cohen: "Test of linear no threshold theory of radiation carcinogenesis for inhaled radon decay products", University of Pittsburgh 1994
Fig 1a from Cohen's paper
To annoy anti-nuclear environuts: Letter...
More refs added (02-Mar-2011):
6. Rheumatology 2000;39:894–902;
"Long-term efficacy of radon spa therapy in rheumatoid arthritis—a randomized, sham-controlled study and follow-up"
7. Int.J.Low Radiation,Vol.1,No.4,2005; "Nuclear shipyard worker study (1980–1988): a large cohort exposed to low-dose-rate gamma radiation"
see also John Cameron's (one of the study author) write-up here
In 1980, the US Department of Energy (DOE) gave a contract to the School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University to study radiation risks to nuclear shipyard workers. This study, which extended for more than a decade, cost the taxpayers $10 million. This was the World's best epidemiological study of nuclear workers. The study has yet to be published more than 12 years after its completion in early 1988.
The reader may think that the nuclear shipyard study is contradicted by other human studies. I know of no contradictory studies. One other radiation worker study--the British radiologists study. (Smith and Doll 1981)-- also looked at the death rate from all causes. It gives results consistent with NSWS. (Table 2.)