Thursday, October 9, 2014

"the authors fearmonger", and the regulator responds expertly

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) continues to rebut spurious claims from what consistently appear to be the frivolously credentialed.

Doctors Misdiagnose the Scientific Evidence on “Uranium Mining and Health” | CNSC response to an article in Canadian Family Physician
Family physicians have an important responsibility in educating the public as well as their patients on health risks. This counsel must be based on sound, scientific evidence. The commentary by Drs. Dewar, Harvey and Vakil on Uranium Mining and Health (1) in the May 2013 issue of the Canadian Family Physician contains false and misleading information, demonstrating personal bias. These known anti-nuclear activists have appeared before the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) on multiple occasions and we are compelled once again to set the record straight and provide your readers with the accurate and objective information.
Drs. Dewar, Harvey and Vakil misquote a study of Czech and French uranium miners saying the study concluded excess lung cancer, reduced pulmonary function and emphysema due to alpha irradiation from radon and radon progeny (2). In fact, the referenced study did not analyze or publish findings on either reduced pulmonary function or emphysema; it focused on the impact of the quality of the exposure information and the effects of modifying factors (age at exposure, time since exposure) on lung cancer risk.
The authors also falsely claim that the hazards of uranium mining to surrounding populations have not been studied. In fact, a basic literature search of PubMed returned six relatively recent studies of cancer incidence and mortality in populations living near uranium mine, mill and processing operations (3-8). These studies consistently concluded there was no clear or consistent evidence that the nuclear activities had adversely affected the health of residents.
... One of the main fundamentals of the CNSC's mandate is to provide objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public on nuclear-related health and safety topics, which the authors of the commentary have sorely neglected to do. We invite your readers to visit our website for scientific studies and accurate information on uranium mining and health. 
Dr. Patsy Thompson, Director General
Directorate of the Environmental and Radiation Protection and Assessment
Read the full response, including the references
The fearmongering can be read at Canadian Family Physician

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