After a 6-month delay Prof Busby’s book chapter on internal radionuclides has at last been published. This is a definite breakthrough since it is the first time that a peer-review article outlining the effects of internal radionuclides has been published.
This is a valuable resource for those fighting to reduce radioactive pollution since it shows that the hazardous effects of releases from nuclear power plants, accidents like Chernobyl and Fukushima, atmospheric bomb testing reprocessing and Uranium weapons are not being safely explained or predicted by the current radiation risk models. Pass this around as much as possible and ask the authorities to demand a re-justification of all practices involving these esxposures.
Aspects of DNA damage from internal radionuclides
The 50 page review was the result of a request in July 2012 by INtech, a Chinese owned publisher based in Switzerland for an outline of the evidence for asserting that exposure to man-made radioactive contamination of the environment (Chernobyl, Fukushima, power plants) was causing serious health effects whilst being sanctioned by the radiation risk model currently employed to underpin legal limits for exposure, that of the International Commission on Radiological Protection. The chapter makes the obvious point that the concept of “absorbed dose” cannot be safely employed for internal radionuclides for a number of reasons, but principally that those nuclides (Sr-90,Uranium) which have high biochemical affinity for the target for radiation effects, the nuclear DNA, will have a massively greater likelihood of causing DNA damage than the same dose delivered externally. The author points out, with citations of research showing this, that for the case of transmutation, (e.g. Carbon-14 changes to Nitrogen) it has been known since the 1960s that internal radiation effects are far greater than would be expected on the basis of “dose” , something which has been ignored by the risk agencies, ICRP, UNSCEAR, BEIR et al. The author deals with other internal exposure situations where there are similar concerns, hot particles, the “Second Event Theory” and the “Secondary Photoelectron Effect” where high atomic number elements exhibit phantom radioactivity by concentrating external gamma radiation. The review shows that internal hazard enhancement factors can theoretically be as high as 10,000-fold and lists epidemiological evidence where such enhancements are required to explain clear effects at conventional low doses, effects which are consistently denied by the radiation risk agencies on the basis of the faulty risk models. Finally, the author examines the evidence provided by the various epidemiological studies of radium-226 and radium-228 exposures and shows that these studies are useless because they omitted so many individuals who had died of non-cancer and cancer illnesses prior to the collection of the exposed groups. In conclusion, a number of key experimental studies are listed which will inform on the issue.
Although the chapter was accepted for publication in October 2012 and was to be published in December 2012, it is curious that it was held up for 6 months with a list of sequential excuses. Dr Busby wonders if this might be a consequence of its being submitted as evidence in a court case in the USA and also in a Nuclear Test Veteran case in the UK, both of which were completed in April. The article finally came out in May.