Download Before it’s Too Late: A Scientist’s Case for Nuclear Energy by Bernard L. Cohen (auth.) PDF

By Bernard L. Cohen (auth.)

I used to be no longer invited to put in writing a foreword for this ebook. Dr. Cohen, understanding my busy agenda, may have thought of the sort of request to be an imposition. I volunteered to take action partially to recognize my gratitude to him for having been a relentless resource of reference fabrics as i've got became my recognition more and more to informing either lay and medical audiences in regards to the biologic results of low-level ionizing radiation. My basic cause of vol­ unteering, notwithstanding, is to indicate to the significance of the sort of publication for public schooling at a time whilst the media, in collaboration with quite a few activist teams, have built one of the humans a nearly phobic worry of radiation at any point. I take factor with the phrases of one other Nobel laureate, George Wald, who states usually "Every dose is an overdose. '" This philosophy has re­ sulted in ladies refusing mammography for the detection of breast melanoma although this system is the main delicate for detection of such cancers within the early, curable level, or even notwithstanding, at the moment, breast melanoma is the major reason behind melanoma deaths between ladies. It has led a Westchester County, manhattan legislator to country proudly within the ny occasions that he v vi I FOREWORD had brought laws that might bar all radioactivity from the county's roads.

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28 I CHAPTER 2 Caffeine and alcohol are known to cause genetic defects. 4 mrem. While the media have generally played up the fear of cancer more than genetic effects in scaring the public about radiation, they have not entirely ignored the latter. There was one TV special which featured two beautiful twin babies (dressed in very cute dresses) afflicted with Hurler's syndrome, a devastating genetic disease. All sorts of details were offered on its horrorsthey will go blind and deaf by the time they are five years old, and then suffer from problems with their hearts, lungs, livers, and kidneys, before they riie at about the age of ten.

26 But these reports never receive media coverage. * These papers are good science; they collect and correctly analyze data. However, it should not be inferred that anyone paper gives a definitive answer on the cancer risk oflow-Ievel radiation. For example, a study of the cancer risk for mice may not be applicable to humans. No study of humans can be carefully controlled; other factors, such as variations in diet, exposure to chemicals, smoking habits, socioeconomic status, etc. are frequent complications.

Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are the two most important components of air pollution from coal burning. Other residues of coal burning known to cause genetic transformations are benzoa-pyrene (evidence in viruses, fruit flies, and mice), ozone, and large families of compounds similar to these two. The genetic effects of chemicals on humans are not well understood and there is practically no quantitative information on them, but there is no reason to believe that the genetic impacts of air pollution from coal burning are less harmful than those of nuclear power.

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