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Radiation and Human Health

"Got some Atomic Women stuff: It's from Radiation & Human Health, a book by Dr. John W. Gofman from Berkeley, an M.D. and doctor of nuclear physical chemistry. At the request of the Atomic Energy Commission (our grandparents?) he studied the effects of radiation on chromosomes and how this relates to cancer. Here are some excerpts before I return this book to the library tomorrow:

bfly3"In particular, the author believes that the situation of radioiodine is fraught with danger to the health of many thousands, perhaps ultimately hundreds of thousands of persons, if current medical wisdom prevails. It will not be the first time that medicine has caused an epidemic of a specific type of cancer."

"It is very important to inform the reader of what the administration of 131 Iodine does in addition to irradiating the thyroid gland. A major effect of 131-I, in the cases where sizable doses to the thyroid gland are delivered, is also to deliver sizable doses of Whole-Body Irradiation via the blood. This fact is very well documented and well known among physicians".

The MIRD Committee, in its Dose Estimate Report No. 5 (1975), provides an estimate of the whole-body radiation dose for various uptakes of 131 Iodine by the thyroid gland.

The greater the uptake by the thyroid, the greater is the whole-body dose, because the thyroid converts the iodine to an organic form which, when subsequently released from the thyroid, remains in circulation longer than does the inorganic iodine which has not been absorbed by the gland." from the table, and his calculations, an average dose of 10 rads given to a person with an uptake of 25% (mine was 71) for a 25 year old male calculates as: 5 out of 100 patients will develop a fatal cancer from the radioiodine.

Re. thyroid cancer and higher treatment doses, it calculates as 24 out of 100 patients will develop a fatal cancer. He says,

"if one knew absolutely nothing else about iodine, about thyroid disease, or about the treatment of thyroid disease, one would certainly know that there should be an overwhelmingly strong medical reason to give a medication which itself creates a 5% chance of cancer death or a 24% chance of cancer death."

This chapter explains how Freitas and co-workers in their 1979 study were illogical in their statement that 131 I is safe for children. Gofman shows how they state

"the theoretical risks of such therapy have not been realized in the clinical setting," When they should have said "there have been no studies done on 131 I on children in a clinical setting."

In another small study Freitas et al. reported no cancer deaths, when based on the risk table established for dosage and number of study participants he should have seen 0.0016 cases. So duh. Also not enough time had passed to evaluate these patients to see if they would get cancer.




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