❝ …AP reports that the Trump administration is quietly seeking to roll back the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations on radiation exposure. The story took a closer look at a rule the EPA proposed back in April called “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.” When it was released, most coverage focused on the proposal’s potential limitation of what studies the EPA could and could not use in decision-making. It essentially demanded the EPA not use any studies based on data that isn’t publicly available.
…The transparency rule is hiding another agenda. Paragraphs scattered throughout the document make it clear that the proposed rule is meant to re-evaluate the science behind “the dose response data and models that underlie what we are calling ‘pivotal regulatory science.'” That jargon means the EPA wants to challenge the assumptions that underlie its current guidelines on toxic exposure.
❝ …Data shows that the higher the dose of radiation you receive, the more severe the consequences—in other words, that the response to doses is linear. The more radiation, the more health effects.
Because it’s much harder to accurately measure small doses of radiation in large populations over long periods of time, there isn’t much data available on the lower end. Still, most scientists agree that the relationship stays the same for small amounts of ionizing radiation: Small doses increase the aggregate risk of cancer by a relatedly small amount…
Trump and his flunkies want to remove safety measures currently in place. After all, they cost money which could be spent elsewhere. Like on golf trips.
I’ve noted here recently that early days in my working life were spent in metals testing labs. And some of that work involved materials used in nuclear power plants. I didn’t mention there were a number of folks I worked with BITD who were former researchers close-up and personal with nuclear radiation. The emphasis was on FORMER because pretty much every year they were updated on what was currently the new acceptable level of “safe” radiation over time. That dose became lower every year as scientific understanding increased. Most of them joked that the “new” dangerous levels were lower than levels they were exposed to as “safe” just a year or two previous. What else could they do? They had worked their way down to the labs where I worked because there was no radiation exposure at all. And they refused to accept the risk of continued exposure.
When you’re dealing with radioactive materials with a half-life measured in hundreds of years or more – which is only accumulative – the only result is a shortened lifespan. How much is that paycheck worth, then?