Linear no threshold (LNT) toxicology is junk science. But great for aggressive government nannies.
Toxicologist Ed Calabrese PhD of U Mass, Amherst, is trying to expose the junk toxicology that now is “consensus.”
Not to belabor the point, but Ed is the man when it comes to tox, in my book. He holds to the theory that LNT toxicology ignores the obvious–threshold and he takes it one more step to hormesis, which is the beneficial effect of exposures below threshold for toxicity.
Ed has research that shows that at low, non toxic levels, exposures to supposed toxins have a beneficial effect called “hormesis,” that is nothing more than the beneficial effect of low level exposure. Stress produces beneficial reactions is one way of looking at it. Exposure has a positive impact on the exposed.
Now the National Academy of Science is committed to the theory of no threshold linear toxicology as a controlling principle, no room for thresholds or certainly not hormesis.
In spite of the science that shows thresholds for toxins in all kinds of practical settings, they are in denial.
Don’t ask me what they are smoking.
The debate is presented here between Calabrese, our champion of thresholds and hormesis and the president of NAS, who is committed to the “consensus” that one molecule hit of a “toxin” or “carcinogen” is an intolerable risk and must be prevented, regardless of the cost or collateral consequences.
First is Calabrese’s article in Archives of Toxicology.
Then the president of the National Academy of Science to the editor of Archives complaining.
And in response our warrior scientist Calabrese.
Imagine what the fool’s life is like–do you remember the stories of Howard Hughes, who developed a fetish about catching a disease so he became a sort of bubble man? In psych circles that is one of the indicia of the obsessive compulsive disorder, clean freak behavior.
I know Ed can take care of himself as he demonstrates in his article and correspondence, but I would like to jump in as a human health biologist who knows a little practical toxicology. I assure the reader that thresholds are real and dose makes the poison in the real world. Threshold did not disappear because of the National Academy of Science obsessions and “consensus.”
For example threshold is well established for acetaminophen (Tylenol) which is therapeutic and reduces pain and fever at therapy doses, but becomes toxic to the liver at an acute ingestion of about 150 mg per Kilogram of body weight with a few exceptions, like higher levels in children who have another metabolic pathway to get rid of the toxins, and lower for people with liver disease.
150 mg per kilo ingestion is more than 11 grams in an adult male of above average size. A standard Tylenol tab is 325 mg, extra strength 500 mg, so the liver killer dose is 35 regular Tylenol or 23 extra strength for someone weighing 180 pounds. Pretty simple. At 4 hours after ingestion if your blood level is 140 or more micrograms per ml, ubeintruble because your glutathione protectors are depleted and the toxic byproducts are going eat your liver up.
You can’t make this NAS nonsense up, in labs they cheat on the definition of carcinogen in lethal level exposures of “tumor” prone rodents. Then they propose that any carcinogen is toxic and carcinogenic even down to a molecule of exposure. They have no plausibility research evidence on “one hit” carcinogenicity, certainly not “one hit” toxicology, just projections on a kiss and promise that is juiced by the precautionary principle. The “theory” is that one molecule of a toxin identified with rat and mouse research might damage DNA and create cancer risk.
Here is a public pronouncement of the NAS position on Linear No Threshold and the NAS “consensus.”
ALL THIS STARTED WITH ONE HIT NO THRESHOLD RADIATION BIOLOGY PROMOTED BY A NOBEL PRIZE WINNING FRUIT FLY RESEARCHER NAMED MULLER, WHO CHEATED ON HIS RESEARCH BECAUSE HE WANTED TO PREVENT NUCLEAR WEAPONS TESTING.
Hormesis is the beneficial effect of low dose exposures of agents that are toxic at high dose.
Ed Calabrese has, among other things, shown the hormetic benefit of background low level ionizing radiation.
But Ed is not the only one who has shown hormesis in radiation biological effects and in general toxicology.
Calabrese was on JundScience.com in the recent past for exposing Muller’s deceit that produced the rolling problem of one hit radiation toxicology adopted and formally considered controlling by the BEAR (Biological Effects of Ambient Radiation) commmisions but now one hit, no threshold is all the rage in general toxicology.
Out with dose makes the poison–now we are in the twilight zone.
Calabrese wrote convincingly of his investigation into the archives of Muller and associates work and the scandal that Muller pushed on when he knew there was research by a colleague that disproved his theory.
At this point we don’t even know what causes cancer, so is this a cart/horse thing or a chicken/egg thing? Or maybe its a follow the money and power thing and the old aphorism about practical politics by HL Mencken–you know how it goes–the goal of practical politics is to panic the public so they will be clamorous to be led to safety.
Roger Kimble points out in his new book The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia that the culture of the modern state tyranny is to make the populace dependent and infantile. de Tocqueville said it would be a soft tyranny that encourages an infantilization of the citizens. Soft tyranny of dependence and fear or anxiety but it does require that the State foster a level of inadequacy and anxiety–which includes an emphasis on—–ta taaaaa—the precautionary principle.