| Une opinion qui ne sera
sans doute pas acceptée par tout le monde!...
The words radiation and radioactivity cause
unwarranted fear, argues Zbigniew Jaworowski of the Central Laboratory
for Radiological Protection in Warsaw, Poland. Writing in the current issue
of the International Journal of Low Radiation from Inderscience publishers,
he suggests that because life evolved alongside ionising radiation, we
can cope far better with low doses of radioactivity than is often thought.
He says that changing our perspective on radiation could reduce the costs
to society of the precautionary principle adopted in the aftermath of the
| One thing life did not apparently do was to
evolve an organ that can detect radiation. This lack of a radiation sense
points to the fact that living organisms have no need to detect such a
low risk phenomenon. Indeed, ionising radiation only seems exotic and mysterious
to some people because it was not discovered until relatively recently,
unlike light and heat say. It is nevertheless nothing more than another
form of energy. The perceived distinction has serious negative consequences
but has no scientific basis says Jaworowski.
Given this new perspective, Jaworowski says that the Linear No Threshold (LNT) model of radiation effects is inappropriate to current needs. However, for statistical reasons the LNT cannot be falsified and so the precautionary principle is often adopted at, what he says is, an unacceptable societal cost. LNT is based on outdated genetic experiments, which are not supported by findings from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, says Jaworowski, where no adverse genetic effects have been found in the children of those survivors exposed to high levels of radiation.
The so-called 'precautionary principle', which seeks to reduce exposure to ever lower levels and at any cost, has not proved to be 'cautionary' at all. "It has led to unacceptable societal penalties, as clearly demonstrated in the aftermath of the Chernobyl catastrophe," he explains, "The time has come to change the LNT paradigm and to base radiological safety and protection on modern knowledge and the realities of the natural radiation environment."
'The paradigm that failed' by Zbigniew Jaworowski in International Journal of Low Radiation, 2008, vol 5, pp 151-155
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