Doctors slam uranium miner over junk science on radiation safety
The Medical Association for Prevention of War has released a statement signed by 45 medical doctors calling on uranium mining company Toro Energy to stop promoting the view that low-level radiation is beneficial to human health. Toro Energy, which plans to mine uranium at Wiluna in WA and has interests in uranium exploration ventures in the NT and SA, has sponsored speaking tours by controversial Canadian scientist Doug Boreham. The joint statement notes that recent research has heightened rather than reduced concern about the adverse health impacts of low-level radiation.
Toro Energy is an Australian company involved in uranium exploration in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia and in Namibia, Africa. The company's most advanced project is the proposed Wiluna uranium mine in the WA Goldfields.
A 2010 report by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation states that "the current balance of available evidence tends to favour a non-threshold response for the mutational component of radiation-associated cancer induction at low doses and low dose rates."
The 2006 report of the Committee on the Biological Effects of Ionising Radiation (BEIR) of the US National Academy of Sciences states that "the risk of cancer proceeds in a linear fashion at lower doses without a threshold and ... the smallest dose has the potential to cause a small increase in risk to humans." The report also concludes that claims that low-level radiation exposure may be beneficial to human health are "unwarrranted".
- A review published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (US) in 2003 concluded that: "Given that it is supported by experimentally grounded, quantifiable, biophysical arguments, a linear extrapolation of cancer risks from intermediate to very low doses currently appears to be the most appropriate methodology."
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