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[cdn-nucl-l] LNT, air pollution vs radiation
The following letter is on Page 6 of the November Health Physics Society
Is cancer incidence linear with dose?
> Response to Galpin's "Comments on Cohen's August Article"
> by Bernard L. Cohen, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
> Galpin's opening statement (October HPS Newsletter, page 6) is that
> chemical carcinogens in air pollution "are" treated with a linear,
> no-threshold theory (LN-T). That is correct, but it is irrelevant because
> carcinogens play a very minor role in air pollution regulation. The major
> role is played by SO2, nitrogen oxides, particulates, ozone, etc., none of
> which are carcinogens. These are treated as though there is a threshold
> for harm; if levels are below the regulatory limits, there is no problem.
> The mayor of Pittsburgh fights hard against emitters that lead to
> exceeding these limits, but goes to great lengths to attract industry as
> long as its pollution emissions are below the limits. If all pollutants
> are below the regulatory limits, the local media report that the air
> quality is good, there is no information given to the public to indicate
> any problems, and the public shows no concern. This situation is
> dramatically reversed when regulatory limits are exceeded.
> How different the situation is for radiation, where effects of even very
> low levels are treated with alarm. It seems evident to me that this
> difference is due to the LN-T.