Friday, November 11, 2011

Linear no Threshold Hypothesis

From a Sierra Club insider:

With junk science, it is easy to scare people. There are many things that are bad for us that are present at low levels in the environment -- for example, mercury, lead, radiation, or tobacco smoke. The junk science approach to trace toxins is to claim that if a high level of the bad thing would cause X people to get sick, then a level 10,000 times smaller must cause 1/10,000 as many people to get sick. Given 300 million people in the country, this math can give you thousands of people getting sick from low levels of mercury, lead, radiation, or secondhand tobacco smoke. This approach is known as the linear no threshold hypothesis.

So considering this approach, don't you think this toxic substance should be banned or controlled?


Steve Gilham said...

It's been done. The "Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide" meme is probably old enough to vote by now.

Neal Asher said...

Yeah, Penn & Teller. I must check out You Tube to see if they have anything new up.

Unknown said...

Meh. I did toxicology at last year of uni. Prof was talking about junk science and how resilient to toxins the human body really is. At a low level toast, mustard, apples, oxygen and many other things are carcinogenic and radiation isn't really all that dangerous.