By Bernard L. Cohen (auth.)
I used to be no longer invited to put in writing a foreword for this publication. Dr. Cohen, figuring out my busy agenda, could have thought of this kind of request to be an imposition. I volunteered to take action partly to recognize my gratitude to him for having been a relentless resource of reference fabrics as i've got became my recognition more and more to informing either lay and clinical audiences about the biologic results of low-level ionizing radiation. My basic explanation for vol unteering, although, is to indicate to the significance of the sort of ebook for public schooling at a time while the media, in collaboration with numerous activist teams, have built one of the humans a virtually phobic worry of radiation at any point. I take factor with the phrases of one other Nobel laureate, George Wald, who states on a regular basis "Every dose is an overdose. '" This philosophy has re sulted in girls refusing mammography for the detection of breast melanoma even supposing this technique is the main delicate for detection of such cancers within the early, curable level, or even although, at the present, breast melanoma is the major reason for melanoma deaths between girls. It has led a Westchester County, ny legislator to nation proudly within the long island instances that he v vi I FOREWORD had brought laws that may bar all radioactivity from the county's roads.
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19 A large number of methodological shortcomings in the Mancuso work were pointed out. In all, that paper drew well over 20 critiques,19-23 an unprecedented, large number. The original data on which their study was based were reanalysed independently by three other research teams. 4 expected. Searches for evidence for increased incidence of these two diseases were made in other groups exposed to radiation, but no such evidence was found. For example, Fig. 9 shows 23 the data for pancreatic cancer among the Japanese A-bomb survivors along with the Mancuso analysis and the "3 observed versus 1 expected" found in the other analyses.
HOW DANGEROUS IS RADIATION? I 25 The situation would be tolerable if the media considered it their function merely to transmit scientific information from the scientific community to the pUblic. But this they refuse to do. They want to decide what to transmit, which requires media people to make judgments on scientific issues. How they do this clearly depends heavily on their own education on these issues, which is derived almost exclusively from other media sources. Thus the media fraternity dealing with science seems to form a closed loop, educating one another, and choosing input from scientists only when it suits their own prejudices.
To believe that nearly all of these scientists are somehow involved in a sinister plot to deceive the public is indeed a challenge to the imagination. The media have frequently stated that the scientific estimates of the cancer risk of low-level radiation have been increasing in recent years. This is definitely not the case. The BEIR estimate was reduced from one chance in 6 million per millirem 28 in 1972 to one chance in 8 million in 1980,13 and the UNSCEAR and ICRP estimates of cancer risk from radiation have not changed in the past decade.