Seeing through a glass darkly and taking the next right steps
- 90 Downloads
When quoting earlier phrases from Daniel Defoe and Christopher Bullock, Benjamin Franklin actually got it slightly wrong when he reaffirmed that “… in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” . Just ask Schrödinger’s cat (and several religions) about the death paradox  and ask any government who will tell you that the only thing certain about taxes is, of course, more taxes. Perhaps the only certitude is uncertainty itself, as we always have an obscure or imperfect vision of reality. While we may indeed see through a glass darkly, we are often still compelled to take actions based on fuzzy information.
The effects of radiation on the body have long been studied, but even for cancer (the most evaluated adverse outcome to date), the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) has recognized significant uncertainties, noting that nominal risk projections for uniform whole-body radiation (total for all cancer sites)...
- 1.Wikipedia. Death and taxes (idiom). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_and_taxes_(idiom). Accessed 16 Oct 2018.
- 2.Schrödinger E. Die gegenwärtige Situation in der Quantenmechanik. English translation: John D. Trimmer. Proc Am Philos Soc. 1980; 124:323–38, reprint in Quantum Theory and Measurement, p. 152 (1983). Naturwissenschaftern. 1935;23:807–49.Google Scholar
- 3.UNSCEAR. Sources, effects and risks of ionizing radiation. United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. UNSCEAR 2012 report to the general assembly with scientific annexes. New York: United Nations; 2015.Google Scholar
- 4.EPA. EPA Radiogenic Cancer Risk Models and Projections for the U.S. Population. EPA 402-R-11-001. Washington, D.C.: EPA2011.Google Scholar
- 6.Till JE, Beck HL, Grogan HA, Caffrey EA. A review of dosimetry used in epidemiological studies considered to evaluate the linear no-threshold (LNT) dose-response model for radiation protection. Int J Radiat Biol. 2017;93(10):1128–44. https://doi.org/10.1080/09553002.2017.1337280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 7.NCRP. Uncertainties in the measurement and dosimetry of external radiation. NCRP Report No. 158. Bethesda, MD: National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements; 2007.Google Scholar
- 8.NCRP. Deriving organ doses and their uncertainty for epidemiologic studies (with a focus on the One Million U.S. Workers and Veterans Study of Low-Dose Radiation Health Effects). NCRP report no. 178. Bethesda, MD: National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements; 2018.Google Scholar
- 9.NCRP. Uncertainties in the estimation of radiation risks and probability of disease causation. NCRP report no. 171. Bethesda, MD: National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements; 2012.Google Scholar
- 10.UNSCEAR. Sources, effects and risks of ionizing radiation. United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. UNSCEAR 2017 report to the general assembly with scientific annexes. New York: United Nations; 2018.Google Scholar
- 11.NCRP. Health effects of low doses of radiation: perspectives on integrating radiation biology and epidemiology. NCRP commentary no. 24. Bethesda, MD: National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements; 2015.Google Scholar
- 12.NCRP. SC 1-26: approaches for integrating radiation biology and epidemiology for enhancing low dose risks assessment. Bethesda, MD: National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements. 2018. https://ncrponline.org/program-areas/sc-1-26/. Accessed 14 Oct 2018.
- 13.Thaler RH, Sunstein CR. Nudge: improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. New York: Pengiun Group; 2008.Google Scholar
- 14.ICRP. The 2007 recommendations of the international commission on radiological protection. ICRP Publication 103. Ann ICRP. 2007;37(2/4):1–332.Google Scholar
- 15.NCRP. Limitation of exposure to ionizing radiation. NCRP report no. 116. Bethesda, MD: National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements; 1993.Google Scholar
- 16.NCRP. CC 1: radiation protection guidance for the United States. NCRP Council Committee 1. 2018. Bethesda, MD: NCRP. http://ncrponline.org/program-areas/cc-1/. Accessed 14 Oct 2018.
- 25.NCRP. Guidance on radiation dose limits for the lens of the eye. NCRP Commentary No. 26. Bethesda, MD: National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements.2016.Google Scholar
- 26.ICRP. ICRP Statement on TIssue Reactions and Early and Late Effects of Radiation in Normal Tissues and Organs - Threshold Doses for Tissue Reactions in a Radiation Protection Context. ICRP Publication 118. Ann ICRP. 2012;41(1-2).Google Scholar
- 27.IAEA. Radiation protection and safety of radiation sources: international basic safety standards: general safety requirements, part 3. Interim edition. Vienna: International Atomic Energy Agency; 2011.Google Scholar
- 31.Ainsbury EA. Cataract following low dose ionising radiation exposures: mechanistic understanding and current research. Presented at Webinar-Scientific basis for the recommended dose limits for the lens of the eye. March 21. Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. 2018. http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/pdfs/Presentations/other/lens-of-the-eye-presentation-ainsbury.pdf. Accessed 16 Oct 2018.
- 34.IAEA. Implications for occupational radiation protection of the new dose limit for the lens of the eye. IAEA-TECDOC-1731. Vienna: International Atomic Energy Agency; 2013.Google Scholar
- 35.ICRU/ICRP. Operational quantities for external radiation exposure. Final draft. July. International Commission on Radiological Units and International Commission on Radiological Protection. 2017. http://www.icrp.org/docs/ICRU%20and%20ICRP%20Draft%20Joint%20Report%20Operational%20Quantities%20for%20External%20Radiation%20Exposure.pdf. Accessed 16 Oct 2018.