• 31 JUL 09
    • 0

    #1104: Dariusz’s response to Cindy Sage’s comments

    Dear Don,
    Since Cindy Sage has published her comments concerning my recent blog, I would like that also my responses to these comments would be available to EMFacts readers.
    Thanks,
    Dariusz

    Response to Cindy Sage comments

    Dear Cindy,
    In all three articles cited in my blog (two from ICNIRP SC-I, one from Rothman) and in Auvinen’s lecture at BioEM2009, were listed numerous methodological problems with the case-control studies conducted so far. The major problem is that there are compared good quality data on cancer with very poor quality data on radiation exposures. This causes that the data are of “insufficient quality”. Continuation of research without substantial improvement of the quality of data on radiation exposure will only add more of “insufficient quality” data. Having more and more of “insufficient quality” data will not miraculously change them to “quality data” by sheerpiling of numbers. These will be still comparisons of good data on cancer and poor data on exposures. That is why continuation of case-control studies without substantial change of exposure assessment will be waste of time and funding.

    I stand by my statement that “…at this time any statements suggesting that there “is health risk” or that there “is no health risk”, based on the epidemiological evidence, are premature and not reliably supported by the available science…”. However, even though the data are of insufficient quality to draw reliable conclusions, the existence of data suggesting the possibility of increased risk of brain cancer is sufficient to advice precaution and request further research to clarify this issue. So, we can not say yes or no to the risk question but we can advice precaution because there are indications that risk may exist.

    As to the “confusing” ICNIRP’s messages – yes, they are confusing. In one article the experts say that the studies have not shown causal relationship and that they, the experts, think that it is unlikely that such causal relationship exist. What it tells the non-experts is that any suspicions can be disregarded because the experts think them unlikely. On the other hand in another article the same experts can not make up their mind and say that the results could still go both ways and they do not assure us expertly that it is unlikely to be that case. Hence – confusion.

    In response to the comments of Cindy Sage I added the the following post scriptum to the blog:

    Post scriptum added on July 25th, 2009

    In response to Cindy Sage comments, I still stand by my statement that “…at this time any statements suggesting that there “is health risk” or that there “is no health risk”, based on the epidemiological evidence, are premature and not reliably supported by the available science…”. However, even though the data are of insufficient quality to draw reliable conclusions, the existence of data suggesting the possibility of increased risk of brain cancer is, in my opinion, sufficient to advice precaution and to request further research to clarify this issue. At the present, one can not “yes” or “no” to the risk question but we can advice precaution because there are indications that risk might exist.

    **************************************************
    Dariusz Leszczynski, PhD, DSc
    Research Professor; STUK – Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority
    Guangbiao Professor; Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
    Adjunct Professor; University of Helsinki, Finland

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