• 03 AUG 06
    • 0

    #531: RMIT: An incestous peer review?

    The weblog version of this message is at:

    I was asked this morning why I am not happy with the peer review that examined the primary RMIT reports and the SRMA risk assessment. See: http://mams.rmit.edu.au/g60adi0a81r3.pdf

    My concerns here is that the reviewers are all Melbourne based academics appointed to the panel with the approval of RMIT, which has a very big vested interest in the outcome. The NETU lawyer has previously stated that a class action may be launched if a connection between the workplace and brain tumours was found. So it would be perfectly understandable that the emphasis of the whole exercise from RMIT’s viewpoint would be to disprove any connection between cancer cases and environmental exposures in the building.

    The reviewers seem all to eager to rubber stamp the idea that there is no cancer cluster in building 108 and that “It would therefore be reasonable to conclude the investigation at this point.”

    However before the investigation is closed a closer examination needs to be done on the the claims that nothing is amiss with the amount of cancer on the top floors of Building 108.

    According to the Southern Medical Service Final Report of the investigation there was no correlation between offices on floor 17 with spot readings over 4 mG and all cancer cases ” It should be noted that only one of the 12 tumour cases occupied a room with a magnetic field greater than 4.0 mG and this was a benign meningioma” (page 29) With this we have to conclude that there is no association but I would have liked to have seen in the final report the floor plans of floors 16 and 17 with all room measurements given as previously by EMC Technologies but in the powered up mode (which was selectively done) – and with the actual room locations of the cancer cased identified. As the old saying goes a picture is worth a thousand words!


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