Is some level of radiation “good for you”?
A federal research panel last week concluded that there is no safe exposure to radiation. It’s a conclusion based on assumptions about cancer that may be all wrong.
Over the last 30 years or so, the scientific establishment has become heavily invested in the notion that cancers are caused by genetic, or DNA mutations. The idea is that something — say a single molecule of a “cancer-causing” chemical, the smallest radiation exposure or even chance alone — can cause a change or mutation in a cell’s DNA, thereby turning a normal cell into a cancer cell.
In addition to regulation of radiation exposures, this supposition is the basic rationale that government regulators have relied on for decades to regulate exposures to chemicals allegedly linked with cancer risk — even though there is virtually no real-world evidence to support it.
But a new idea spotlighted by Tom Bethell in the July/August issue of the American Spectator should cause regulators to begin to re-think their decades-old-but-still-unproven assumption of gene mutation.
Is there evidence of a safe threshold? Or is it the case that every bit of radiation is a risk to us?