It’s good for you

Trust Ann Coulter to point to some inconvenient facts about radiation and studies about their health effects. Here’s a tasty excerpt:

A $10 million Department of Energy study from 1991 examined 10 years of epidemiological research by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health on 700,000 shipyard workers, some of whom had been exposed to 10 times more radiation than the others from their work on the ships’ nuclear reactors. The workers exposed to excess radiation had a 24 percent lower death rate and a 25 percent lower cancer mortality than the non-irradiated workers.

Of course, those whose religion includes the “No Nukes!” chant will simply dismiss this kind of information by attacking Ann Coulter. This is the kind of argument that liberals tend to be quite good at. The argument may be summarized by “Shut up!, he explained.”

On a serious note, we do have some idea of how the various forms of radiation (e.g. gamma radiation, alpha and beta particles) interact with the body. We are also able to make probabilistic calculations of what doses will result in sickness or death. But these are only probabilities, not certainties. Some exposed to the so-called lethal dose will live; others exposed to significantly lower, supposedly non-lethal doses, will die.

We live amidst natural radiation from many sources, we have evolved on a radiologically active planet. It is not at all strange to me that some forms of radiation might be beneficial. As is reading Ann Coulter.

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