Let’s Go Rad!
When my little dog, Lilly, started dying, I took her to four vets. All said she was dying, and none knew what to do about it. it was a week into her slow decline – she hadn’t eaten, drunk or moved for that long. I was keeping her alive by bringing her to my neighborhood vet for subcutaneous shots of saline just to keep her well-hydrated. We knew it was a stop-gap procedure, but it was all we had.
One of my psychoanalytic patients came for her regular weekly session, and noticed Lilly’s unmoving body. She herself had become a recent dog owner, and knew a woman, Donna, who had two dogs, aged 19 and 20 years old. My patient said that she had a machine that was a human healing machine, but every time Donna turned it on to give a human patient a treatment, the dogs would throw themselves against the machine. Donna decided to let the dogs have their own therapy time with the device. And, indeed, she did feel that their regular treatments were part of why they were living so lengthily and well. Lilly sat on my lap as she had the therapy.
After 15 minutes, I put Lilly on the floor. She looked up and walked around the perimeter of Donna’s lving room. This was miraculous. Lilly had been so weak from her illness, and not eating, she had not had the energy to move in almost a week. Yet, here she was curious enough and energized enough by the treatment, that she walked around exploring her surroundings.
Lilly and my daughter, Molly
Then, Donna asked if Lilly wanted some hormesis water. I asked what that was, and Donna put a bowl of water on the floor with a little stone in it. I asked what the stone was, and she answered, “It’s radioactive.” Of course I jumped back. I wanted to get as far away from that stone as possible.
Donna began explaining to me that the therapeutic effects of low-level radiation has been documented in many, many studies. She encouraged me to read more about it. And she introduced me to a man who had learned a great deal about the little-known healing technology that is called Radiation Hormesis.
I met Jay Gutierrez the following week. He was in New York for various meetings. I was riveted by his stories, and impressed with his knowledge base.
I began by reading all the scientific literature on low-dose radiation. There have been over 3000 studies conducted on it. The names of the scientists who have done the research are revered within the scientific community.
Here are just a few of the studies conducted on low-level radiation:
- Survivors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima who received some radioactive exposure live longer and healthier than those who had no exposure at all to the post-bomb radiation.
- Double-blind studies performed on patients at Japan’s Misasa Radon Springs have confirmed the ability of its radioactive water to relieve rheumatism and neuralgia. Similar results were obtained in studies at Austria’s Bad Gastein spa.
- In a large scale Chinese study, it was shown that the mortality rate due to cancer was lower in an area with a relatively high background radiation (74,000 people) while the control group (78,000 people) who live in an area with low background radiation had a higher rate of mortality.
- In the US, Bernard Cohen‘s epidemiological large scale study (the largest ever conducted int he US) looked at 90% of the counties in the country. Results over a five-year research period indicated that the total cancer mortality is inversely correlated with background radiation dose. That is, MORE RADON, LESS CANCER. Bernie didn’t believe the results, and repeated the whole study. He got the same results, went down into his basement, and turned off his radon elimimator.
- Rates of leukemia and lymphocytic lymphoma were studied in relation to altitude. Higher altitudes have higher radiation. The finding, however, was the higher the altitude, the lower the incdence of the cancers.
- In Kerala, India, there is 400-800 percent more background radiation than neighboring areas, yet the people there have the highest fertility rate with the lowest neonatal deaths of any other Indian state.
- In Germany, women iving near uranium mining areas of Saxony, with high radon rates, have significantly lower lung cancer rates than a control group from East Germany where the radon levels are lower.
- 1700 Taiwan apartments were constructed with steel girders accidetally contaminated with cobalt 60, one of the more dreaded radioactive substances. Over a period of 16 years, 10,000 occupants were exposed to levels of radiation that should have, according to traditional theories of the damaging effects of all radiation, induced cancer many times in excess of background expectations. Taiwan health statistics predicted 170 cancers amoung an age-matched population of this size – but only five were observed.
I went to Jay’s center in Colorado, and witnessed the important work he was doing, healing patients with many afflictions through the judicious application of low-level radiative stones that he was mining.
I became a believer, and committed to writing a book and making a documentary on the phenomenon. Both were titled Because People are Dying. The documentary is now available to stream online, for free, in two parts: Part 1 and Part 2. The book has recently been re-issued, with new information and a brand new title: The Hormesis Effect.
I have found, in the seven years since I published the original book, that there is still a knee-jerk reaction to all forms and levels of radiation. Fear of the nuclear power industry is rampant, and the disaster at Fukashima, of course, was a nail in an already fragile coffin. All this is why I found it so very interestingt that the Wall Street Journal has recently taken up the mantel of low-level radiation. The article follows below.
Here is a reprint of the WSJ from a few weeks ago.
(Original article can be seen by clicking HERE):
Is a Little Radiation So Bad?
By JOHN R. EMSHWILLER and GARY FIELDS
Aug. 12, 2016 11:12 a.m. ET
Nuclear radiation is dangerous. It can cause cancer, birth defects and (in the sci-fi-movie world) 50-foot-tall humans and man-eating insects the size of buses.
Such a dark view of radiation has shaped public fears, and for decades it has been part of the foundation of nuclear policies. It has been accepted by an alphabet soup of federal agencies as well as national and international scientific bodies. It has affected how old atomic-weapons sites are cleaned up, nuclear power plants operated and radiation used in medicine.
The scientific basis for this view is known as the linear no-threshold model, or LNT, which holds that any amount of radiation increases someone’s cancer risk, with the danger rising along with the dose.
But Carol Marcus scoffs at the LNT model. As science, it’s “baloney,” she said, essentially in the same category as “the Earth is flat.” The white-haired, 77-year-old professor of nuclear medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, with both an M.D. and Ph.D., is on a campaign to change the way America treats radiation.
In a pending petition, she is asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to abandon the LNT model, which her filing, quoting another critic, calls “the greatest scientific scandal of the 20th century.” Two similar petitions, signed by about two dozen academics and others, are also under NRC review.
Dr. Marcus advocates an approach that holds that low radiation doses aren’t harmful and could even benefit people’s health—a phenomenon known as “hormesis,” possibly reducing cancer rates by stimulating the body’s protective systems. Among other things, she wants the NRC to raise by 50-fold its allowable annual radiation dose to the public.
A typical NRC rule-making petition attracts fewer than two dozen public comments, said an agency spokeswoman. A few draw up to about 200. More than 600 comments have come in on the LNT matter, the most ever. An NRC staff recommendation on the petitions isn’t expected until next year.
One comment came from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an LNT adherent. Radiation’s link to cancer is “particularly strong,” it said, and warned against “basing radiation protection on poorly supported and highly speculative proposals.”
Most of the comments are against her initiative, said Dr. Marcus. At least, she said, her petition is intended “to get this ball rolling” and force regulators to deal with evidence she believes contradicts the LNT model.
In a sense, LNT critics are asking the NRC to turn back the clock to a time when officials believed that below a certain level, known as the “tolerance dose,” radiation wasn’t harmful. By 1960, however, the Federal Radiation Council wrote of “an increasing reluctance” among scientists to embrace exposure standards “on the basis of the existence of a threshold for radiation damage.”
By the 1970s, the LNT model was rising to the fore.
LNT supporters and critics say that large bodies of scientific evidence support their respective positions. They debate the biologic research regarding damage done to cells by radiation and the body’s ability to repair such injuries. Sometimes, the two sides point to the same research to bolster their arguments.
The dispute largely involves annual radiation exposures below 10 rem, or 10,000 millirems. A rem is a measure of radiation absorbed by a person.
The average American gets about 300 millirems a year from background sources, such as the sun. A medical procedure can add anywhere from a few millirems for a chest X-ray to more than 1,000 for certain CT scans or other procedures. A cross-country airplane flight provides about 5 millirems of extra solar radiation. Under the LNT model, even one millirem would raise someone’s cancer risk by a small amount.
As a precaution, regulators try to limit the amount of extra radiation the public gets from nuclear activities. The NRC requires its licensees, such as nuclear power plants, to ensure that no member of the public gets more than an additional 100 millirems a year from the facility’s operations.
In her petition, Dr. Marcus said that the public-exposure level could safely be raised to the same limit as for nuclear-industry workers, currently 5,000 millirems a year.
Moving from the LNT model could greatly reduce the costs of cleaning up contaminated sites, said Edward Calabrese, a toxicology professor at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He has written that in the 1940s and 1950s, an influential group of scientists pushed the LNT model using actions that were “ideologically driven and deliberately and deceptively misleading”—a position that others dispute.
A more benign view of radiation, said Dr. Marcus, would have helped avoid what she believes was the unnecessary evacuation in 2011 of tens of thousands of people in Japan after the Fukushima nuclear complex, damaged by an earthquake and tsunami, released radiation.
Jan Beyea, a physicist who served on a National Academy of Sciences panel that studied the accident, defended the prudence of the evacuation given the circumstances but added that “the social and mental distress caused by the fear of radiation is probably the biggest public health effect from these releases.” Dr. Beyea, an LNT supporter, estimated that the radiation could cause about 500 cancer cases over the next 50 years. However, he said, the stress and chaotic evacuation conditions contributed to the deaths of several hundred elderly people.
In the U.S., 36% of respondents in a 2013 Rasmussen poll felt that it was at least somewhat likely that Fukushima-related radiation had done significant harm to this country—despite federal assurances to the contrary.
Radiation fears also crop up in medicine. A report earlier this year by researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Hofstra University found that of some 3,500 people surveyed, nearly two-thirds expressed some level of concern about getting radiation from medical imaging procedures, such as CT scans.
Congress could jump into the radiation debate. The House has passed a bill by Rep. Randy Hultgren, an Illinois Republican, to push further research into the effects of low-dose radiation. The bill is pending in the Senate.
In a statement, Rep. Hultgren said the official thinking on radiation “is akin to saying that jumping down one step in a flight of stairs is harmful to your health because we already know the harm caused by jumping down a full flight of stairs.” However, he added, the LNT approach “shouldn’t be changed until we know more.”