EPA’S Adoption of LNT for Cancer Risk Assessment

By Edward J. Calabresea, & Robert J. Golden – Re-Blogged From Junk Science

1. IntroductionThe US Congress passed, and President Richard Nixon signed intolaw the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974. A significant provision of theAct involved engaging the US NAS to advise the EPA on multiple sci-entific and technical areas such as chemical and radiation risk assess-ment, including cancer risk assessment. To achieve these goals the NAScreated the Safe Drinking Water Committee (SDWC) in 1975. In 1977the SDWC published the 700 pageDrinking Water and Health[1] reportoffering EPA widespread guidance, including cancer risk assessmentand its underlying scientific foundations that supported the LNT.Within two years EPA would issue the first national drinking waterstandard for a chemical carcinogen using the LNT for total trihalo-methanes (THM) [2]. This action would jump start an avalanche ofother LNT based cancer risk assessments by EPA, not just for drinkingwater but for other environmental media as well.

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A Perfect Storm of Cosmic Rays

Ten years ago, NASA reported a “perfect storm of cosmic rays.” During the year 2009, radiation peppering Earth from deep space reached a 50-year high, registering levels never before seen during the Space Age.

It’s about to happen again.

Ground-based neutron monitors and high-altitude cosmic ray balloons are registering a new increase in cosmic rays. The Oulu neutron monitor in Finland, which has been making measurements since 1964, reports levels in April 2019 only percentage points below the Space Age maximum of 2009:

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Neutrons Detected on Commercial Airplane Flights

March 13, 2019: Long lines. Narrow seats. Baggage fees. You recognize this list. It’s the downside of flying on modern commercial airlines. And now we have a new item to add: cosmic ray neutrons.

Spaceweather.com and Earth to Sky Calculus have just completed a 5-continent survey of neutron radiation at aviation altitudes. From December 2018 through February 2019, Hervey Allen of the University of Oregon’s Network Startup Resource Center carried  Earth to Sky radiation sensorsincluding neutron bubble chambers–onboard commercial flights from North America to Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.

map2

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Cosmic Rays Increasing for the 4th Year in a Row

By Dr Tony Phillips – Re-Blogged From Space Weather

Cosmic rays in the stratosphere are intensifying for the 4th year in a row. This finding comes from a campaign of almost weekly high-altitude balloon launches conducted by the students of Earth to Sky Calculus. Since March 2015, there has been a ~13% increase in X-rays and gamma-rays over central California, where the students have launched hundreds of balloons.

neutronsandxrays2

The grey points in the graph are Earth to Sky balloon data. Overlaid on that time series is a record of neutron monitor data from the Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory in Oulu, Finland. The correlation between the two data sets is impressive, especially considering their wide geographic separation and differing methodologies. Neutron monitors have long been considered a “gold standard” for monitoring cosmic rays on Earth. This shows that our student-built balloons are gathering data of similar quality.

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Scientists Are Developing a Shield to Protect Astronauts From Cosmic Radiation

By Petr Dockrill – Re-Blogged From Science Alert

If humankind is ever going to get off this rock we call Earth, we’ll have to find a way of dealing with cosmic radiation – the high-energy particles speeding through open space that have been found to be harmful when we’re not protected by our planet’s atmosphere.

RADS ON A PLANE–NEW RESULTS

Re-Blogged From http://www.SpaceWeather.com

Many people think that only astronauts need to worry about cosmic radiation. Not so. Ordinary air travelers are exposed to cosmic rays, too. A recent study from researchers at Harvard found that flight attendants have a higher risk of cancer than members of the general population, and the International Commission on Radiological Protection has classified pilots as occupational radiation workers.

How much radiation do you absorb? Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have been working to answer this question by taking cosmic ray detectors onboard commercial airplanes. Flying since 2015, we have collected more than 22,000 GPS-tagged radiation measurements over 27 countries, 5 continents, and 2 oceans.


(A) A global overview of our flights. (B) To show the typical density of our data, we zoom in to the Four Corners region of the USA.

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Radiation from Space is Increasing

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

High altitude instrumentation balloon measurements show an increase in cosmic rays since 2015

Since the spring of 2015, NASA’s Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have been flying balloons to the stratosphere over California to measure cosmic rays. Soon after our monitoring program began, we quickly realized that radiation levels are increasing. Why? The main reason is the solar cycle. In recent years, sunspot counts have plummeted as the sun’s magnetic field weakens.

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Low-Level Radiation Exposure Less Harmful to Health Than Other Modern Lifestyle Risks

[The basis of this article is a report at http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/publications/view/2583. It is based on a review of considerable literature and may go against much that is accepted as true. It’s a slow read, but take a look at this (and other) issues there if you have time. -Bob]

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

From the “I thought sure Fukashima was going to kill me” department

Oxford Martin restatement finds that risks from radiation exposure are extensively studied and small relative to smoking, obesity and air pollution

UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

Human populations have always been exposed to ionizing radiation, and more so in modern life due to its use in medicine, industry and the armed forces. Whilst the risks to human health from medium and high-level radiation are relatively well-understood, the risks at lower levels are less clear. Mixed messages about the safety of low doses of radiation from different sources have created confusion for the public and for policy makers.

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Eclipse, Global Cooling, Cosmic Rays, etc.

By Dr Tony Phillips – Re-Blogged From http://www.spaceweather.com/

LUNAR ECLIPSE DETECTS GLOBAL COOLING (BUT ONLY A LITTLE): On Sept. 27th, millions of people around the world watched the Moon pass through the shadow of our planet. Most agreed that the lunar eclipse was darker than usual. Little did they know, they were witnessing a sign of global cooling. But only a little.


Above: “The eclipse was truly dark,” says photographer Giuseppe Petricca of Pisa, Italy

Atmospheric scientist Richard Keen of the University of Colorado explains: “Lunar eclipses tell us a lot about the transparency of Earth’s atmosphere. When the stratosphere is clogged with volcanic ash and other aerosols, lunar eclipses tend to be dark red. On the other hand, when the stratosphere is relatively clear, lunar eclipses are bright orange.”

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