CATCH-13

Rich White returns.

Chris has presented a number of points to be addressed, so this post is somewhat lengthy but I have tried to refrain from over embellishing anything or making unnecessary statements. Also for the sake of brevity I have not tended to every single sentence from Chris; some were unnecessary to respond to, others don’t need to be dealt with to add anything to this debate and others have had responses in the comments.

“So, first up is the idea that because “only” around 10% of smokers develop lung cancer, smoking does not really ‘cause’ lung cancer at all.”

This is a tricky argument for both sides. I do agree with Chris that just because something is caused in a minority, it can still be causal. However the Cholera argument also serves both points. Chris is right Cholera was from the water (not the pump, which was very aptly pointed out in the comments); however, we know not everyone was affected by the water because of their immunity. On his death bed, Louis Pasteur said that ‘the terrain is everything’, meaning it is much more than just any given substance that can do harm, but how healthy our body is in general that determines whether a negative effect will ensue. Robert Koch developed the germ theory went on to say that it isn’t the bacteria itself, but the terrain i.e. your own immune system, and proved this by drinking a glass of vicrio cholera and remained symptom free 

The 10% itself, I think everyone here besides Chris agrees that that is more indicative of a ‘factor’ than a ‘cause’. Timbone made the point earlier in the CATCH discussion that a ‘cause’ has a direct effect and used the example of slitting your wrists leading to blood loss. A factor is something that may increase your chances of something happening. I think that’s far more accurate with smoking and LC.

“We can say, quite literally, that drink-driving kills.”

This is a good way to prove the above. It is not drink driving that kills, it is being hit by a car that can damage your body beyond repair and causing death. Drinking simply makes you more likely to be in an accident because of the neurological effects alcohol has on the body. From the victim’s point of view though, it won’t matter how sober or drunk the driver is – it’s the collision that does the damage.

“unlike Rich they don’t reject what we do know in the mean time, just because our knowledge is not perfect in the here and now.”

I’ve never said that. I have stated in the CATCH debate that I have never stated smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer, just that the evidence for the claim is underwhelming. I also put in my last entry about primary and secondary lung cancer i.e. whether smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer but sets up ideal conditions in the lungs for cancer to migrate to that site once it is established in the body. I’m actually a little disappointed Chris didn’t respond to this point, because I think it should be explored.

“Then we would expect smokers and nonsmokers alike to be dropping dead of lung cancer at the same rate. We would also expect some canny scientist to have spotted this massive global outdoor carcinogen.”

We wouldn’t expect them to drop dead at the same rate because, as Chris did rightly point out, we won’t expect everyone to suffer from any individual factor. Nor, as he also said, do we need a large percentage of victims to cry causation. And the massive outdoor carcinogen, well, it has. Rose has gone to great lengths to share information on air pollution, radioactive particles, mustard gas and so on.

“They used between 25mg and 75mg of tar. It was painted on their backs, as I would have thought Rich would know, really.”

I did know that, as I stated in CATCH-9: “And the animal studies, the carcinogenity was only really demonstrated by taking extracts, like tobacco condensate on bald mice (any irritant will cause skin cancer on bald mice).” While I’m not denying carcinogens exist in tobacco smoke, I will point out skin cancer developing on bald mice isn’t indicative of carcinogens, because skin cancer can be caused simply by irritation. Moreover, it wasn’t smoke that was used but condensate, which is different. (In fact, in looking through the McTear case to answer points further down, I found this:

‘The authors of the reports stated that the results of animal skin-painting experiments supported the proposition that the statistical association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer was causal. But Sir Richard Doll and Professor Friend said that the results of these experiments were of no value in determining whether smoking could cause lung cancer.’)

Finally, as I have said multiple times, it’s all about the dosage.

“On the criticism that there weren’t enough control dogs, same answer again, really. Since every one of the controls were absolutely fine and all the cases were dead, dying or in a bad way, we don’t need hundreds of controls to tell us what we already know – that healthy beagles don’t just suddenly get a range of smoking-related diseases for no reason.”

I wholly disagree here. Firstly, not every smoking dog was dead, dying or in a bad way. Plus, it is simply not scientific to compare a lot of smoking dogs (you’re right my number was wrong, i was working from memory, (I said 76, the 1971 report says 86, the 1982 report says 78, presumably the 78 were the remaining dogs after others were ‘sacrificed’ early on) but boosting the amount of smoking dogs and keeping the same amount non-smoking dogs isn’t helping your argument here) to only eight non-smoking dogs. I have just been looking through the 1971 Report and found the study details. The facts are there were 86 smoking dogs and 8 non-smoking dogs, which means the non-smoking group was roughly only 10% that of the smoking group. There were only 28 deaths in total, between days 57-875, while 58 of the smoking group survived to the final day. Of the non-smoking dogs, none died but there were two tumours, meaning 25% of the non-smoking dogs developed tumours. So, what does this tell us? The control group didn’t have any deaths, but did develop tumours. The smoking group developed more tumours but then there were far more of them – which reinforces my earlier point that the results may well have been very different had there been an equal number of smoking and non-smoking dogs. This is further backed up by the fact that in the smoking group, more than 8 dogs didn’t get tumours or die. It would therefore be possible to have 8 smoking dogs that had no ill effects and 8 non-smoking dogs, two of whom got tumours. This would indicate smoking as protective or harmless. Or, we could have 8 dogs of each camp neither of whom had any ill effect. The point here is that by changing the numbers the results vary massively, and the mere presence of tumours in the non-smoking group surely indicates that at least some of the tumours in the smoking group were caused by something other than tobacco. (pg 269-275 1971 report). Also, the 1982 Report says, on page 185, that “However, this observation has not been repeated so far (137).”

I think it’s suspicious too, because no doubt the researchers were aware that it should be more equal and could have had 60% smoking dogs, 40% non-smoking dogs. But with over 80 smoking dogs and less than 10 non-smoking, it’s hard to really call it worthy of praise. But, nonetheless, why give this one precedence over the myriad of other animal studies that failed? How can it be if this was such a gold standard, case-closed undeniable study that it has not been held up in court to prove that smoking has caused lung cancer in animals? From the McTear court case:

‘Mr McEachran said that Professor Idle was a witness who had had tobacco funding for research. His report concentrated on the biological and carcinogenesis studies which had so far failed to show how lung cancer developed. Researchers had failed to produce squamous cell carcinoma in laboratory animals exposed to cigarette smoke. No constituent or group of constituents as they existed in cigarette smoke had been shown to be a cause of lung cancer.’

‘Mr McEachran said that Dr Cohen was another witness who did not know whether smoking killed. He concluded that laboratory studies using whole cigarette smoke had not produced squamous cell carcinoma of the lung in experimental animals.’

‘He [Dr Cohen] also concluded that laboratory studies using whole cigarette smoke had not produced squamous cell carcinoma of the lung in experimental animals.’

‘Professor Idle was well qualified to express a view on whether smoking had been established as a cause of lung cancer. He noted repeatedly the limited understanding that science had of the mechanisms of cancer and the causation of the disease. He described the various theories of cancer causation and noted how theories that were once considered highly credible had been discarded at times, then revived. He described the inability of laboratory experiments to produce lung cancer in animals exposed to cigarette smoke, and the similar failure, despite long-standing efforts, to identify what ingredient or ingredients in cigarette smoke might be responsible for the development of lung cancer.’

‘Both Professor Idle and Dr Cohen gave evidence that laboratory studies had not produced lung cancer in animals exposed to cigarette smoke. What was interesting, counsel submitted, was not just that squamous cell carcinoma had not been induced in the lungs of laboratory animals, but that great care had been taken to create experiments which would produce positive results.’

(As an interesting bit of information in keeping with the debate, from the same case: ‘Professor Idle looked at the question of complex mixtures, and whether any ingredient had been identified as a cause of lung cancer, and concluded that it had not. He finally concluded that, in his judgment, cigarette smoking had not been established as a cause of human lung cancer and indeed the cause of cancer was unknown. Dr Cohen gave evidence that the majority of chemicals that had been shown to develop tumours in animals had been reported to show an increased risk in humans, and he could think of no examples where the human data were in conflict with the animal data. This rather underlined an expectation that when animal experiments were being carried out, they might produce a result to confirm that cigarette smoking could cause lung cancer. Dr Cohen gave evidence that studies had been carried out on animals in whom it had been demonstrated that cancer could be induced within their lifespan. Professor Platz gave evidence that it was not possible to distinguish between a smoker and a non-smoker, or indeed an individual with any other exposure that might be associated with lung cancer, on examination of pathological material.’)

So yes, we can discuss Auerbach all day long and Chris, feel free to tout it as the unshakable proof all you want. But everyone else is able to see the massive shortcomings and the absence of lung cancer. And, if it were as wonderful and conclusive as you are convinced then none of the above excerpts would exist.

“Stress is the perfect excuse for the critics because it can’t be measured very reliably, it’s vague in meaning and whatever effect it has on health is impossible to quantify”

I will simply paste a reply from the comments for this: ‘Does this therefore mean that it should be discounted? Research into the effects of stress are in their infancy and, as Chris says, it is hard to measure accurately. But studies do seem to be increasingly showing that again, whilst not in and of itself a hard-and-fast cause of many illnesses, it would seem to be a contributory factor. Probably not dissimilar to smoking itself ……’

“Rich tries to have his cake and eat it by suggesting that stress causes lung cancer (“Who’s to say that the cancer was not caused by post-operative complications? Or indeed the stress.”) while insisting that he’s not putting forward an alternative explanation (“I didn’t assert the real cause was stress”) because it would be ripped to shreds”

Chris, stop pretending to be a psychic or a psychologist. You’re an intelligent man so stop acting dumb. Let me clarify though: “Who’s to say that the cancer was not caused by post-operative complications? Or indeed the stress” those were postulates, food for thought, potential possibilities. Not alternative explanations – I am providing no alternative explanations because I have no evidence. But remember something, evidence only comes after something is already a fact. I don’t think a hypothesis on stress would at all be ripped to shreds, and such a silly claim suggests you know very little about the effects long term and chronic stress can have on the body.

“And we know that the percentage of nonsmokers who get lung cancer is much, much lower.”

Ah but we don’t. We know the figures show that, but we also know that misclassification and detection bias very much exist and, as Frank so wonderfully demonstrated, have a massive effect on the actual figures. And, anyway, if we run with your comment there, it still isn’t proof. It’s suggestive, yes. But look, smokers around the world know the purported health effects of smoking, and it’s known most smokers don’t have the greatest health – for most people, if you’re willing to engage in something you are pretty sure will kill you, the rest of your health isn’t top priority either. About 77% of cancer occurs in non-smokers, so they get quite a lot of it. Beyond misclassification and detection bias we have other things to consider – my nan, for example, had secondary bone cancer but they never located the primary site, I doubt that was a one-off occurrence. As I have stated previously, it would be very interesting to be provided data on primary/secondary cancer in smokers.

““No biological evidence exists, whatsoever, and animals studied have failed.”

Both these statements are, quite simply, lies, and transparent ones at that, considering Rich has just admitted that at least one animal study succeeded.”

I think you’ll find the above court case quotes quite adequate that neither are lies or transparent. I don’t remember admitting any animal study succeeded either.

“Rich complains that graphs showing cigarette consumption against lung cancer don’t “take into account such facts as, for instance, US tobacco being more radiaoctive than foreign tobacco, which should be explored.” He has since admitted that there is no evidence for this claim and the source he gave me is comically inept.”

Did I admit there’s no evidence for it? And, again, let me paste an earlier comment of mine just to dispel your lies that I’m backtracking: ‘I don’t actually think the Polonium does cause cancer (which i probably should have specified), for reasons I deal with in my book. It was just something else i’m throwing out there as stuff that simply hasn’t been looked at in smoking studies, when really, something as huge as that premise should look at as many avenues as possible.’

Frank also mentioned he had heard about high-phosphate fertilisers being used at one point, and it is precisely in this high-phosphate fertilisers that extra polonium would come from.

“So let me be more explicit: Very few women smoked until the 1920s and very few women got lung cancer. By the 1970s, very many women were smoking and very many women were getting lung cancer.”

From Frank’s ‘misclassification error’ entry is this comment from HarleyRider: “For some unknown reason, never smokers who get lung cancer are more likely to be female.” 

So if never smokers with lung cancer are more likely to be female, and more female smokers are getting lung cancer, doesn’t that demonstrate other factors coming to play? Your premise only really works Chris if the smokers get the disease and non-smokers don’t.

“On the wacky idea that the chemicals and toxins in cigarettes “are tiny, less than we inhale in normal air”, I pointed out that all of Rich’s examples involved secondhand smoke, not directly inhaled smoke.

My figures were how much a cigarette contains, yes. Higher, yes, but how much?

It varies greatly depending on the chemical, but 1,000 times higher is the frequently given estimate. Whatever the dilution, it is completely fatuous to equate secondhand smoke with directly inhaled smoke.”

I wasn’t comparing SHS to active smoking. My figures were how much a cigarette contained or produces. And you’ll forgive me for not immediately swallowing the ‘estimate’ i’m sure, given everyone here knows what ‘estimate’ means in tobacco control.

“You’re confusing acute health problems with chronic health problems. CO converts haemoglobin to carboxyhaemoglobin. This is not great in the short-term but can be very bad in the long-term as it starves your organs of oxygen and leads to chronic disease.”

Right, but you keep repeatedly missing the point of dosage. For instance, how many cigarettes does it take over what timeframe to develop chronic disease from the carbon monoxide? How long would it take for the oxygen levels and haemoglobin to return to normal? Such questions are important here. It’s like saying ‘smoking causes cancer’ and the latest SG statement that even one puff can kill. Context, dosage, timeframe.

“A massive straw man, there. My point was—and I think this is crystal clear as it was the point of the whole post—that all studies have flaws and we must decide whether the flaws are big enough to invalidate the study’s finding. Since the flaws raised by the defence are petty issues like ‘they didn’t have enough control dogs’ and ‘my mate smoked 105 cigarettes but he calls himself a nonsmoker’, the answer in this case is no.”

If those are the only flaws you think we’ve found I guess you haven’t been doing much reading here. I think most of us here are able to acknowledge that Frank’s recent graphs and other findings in the comments destroy the hospital study, just for starters.

“Show me one person who says ‘eating causes heart disease’.”

Really? The findings of a high-fat or generally poor diet contributing to heart disease hasn’t reached you yet? My actual point there was that we know some foods can lead to heart problems, but other foods can help prevent, so how can we be confident that all tobacco causes lung cancer and not, perhaps, certain brands? Or tobacco cured in certain ways?

“Which would surely suggest the cigarettes are responsible in your argument, correct? In which case, the aforementioned resistance isn’t quite so prominent as is being made out.

See what he did there? I said that Asian people had a resistance to lung cancer and he responded as if I said Asian people were immune from lung cancer. Even though I’d already corrected him on this in a previous post. Would you like a light for your straw man, Rich?”

Even though I dealt with this in the comments, it’s just an outright display of dishonesty I want to mention it again. Anyone, besides you apparently Chris, can see I have not said that in that excerpt at all. ‘The very quote of mine you used says ‘resistance’ and no mention of ‘immune’. It says, and you copied it, ‘resistance isn’t quite so prominent as is being made out’.’

“Because if it was less than 98% then there were a disproportionately large number of smokers in hospital, which ‘anti-smoking fanatics’ like me would suggest is evidence that smoking isn’t too good for you. And since 99.7% of lung cancer patients were smokers, we’d need 99.7% of Londoners to be smokers for there not to be a positive association when measured against the general population.”

Not necessarily. The percentage of a population of a whole city needs to be mirrored in a hospital sample to show it one way or the other? Nonsense. I think you’ll find the original point made on this was simply that with such a vast majority of Londoners being smokers, it is not surprising to find a huge percentage of smokers in hospital.

“Rich, that’s because you’re a young lad who started smoking a few years ago. The people dying of lung cancer in the hospital were not. And, yes, smoking habits do change and that’s why Doll and Hill asked for the average amount smoked over 20 years. As I said in the post, a bit of inaccuracy here or there on this sort of question really is a trivial issue.”

I’ll agree with this, most older people do tend to keep the same smoking habits (within a range, say ’20-25’ a day rather than a flat 23).

“No, God, don’t repeat things. I read it. Just give me a source for your claim that the study didn’t take note of smoking status and explain what you mean about comparing people in their 30s to people in their 80s.”

If you read it, then this excerpt would be perfectly clear: ‘What we do know is that during the time period of twenty-two months there was a total of 11,612, which is a figure much lower than the overall death rate for white males. The Surgeon General acknowledged this and claimed that the participants in the survey were considerably healthier than the average person.’

I didn’t say the study didn’t take note of smoking status, I said the Report doesn’t inform us how many of the participants were smokers and non-smokers. The age range was 35-89 and the results appear to talk only of total deaths, total incidence etc, with age only being mentioned with this: ‘For cigarette smokers, the studies show that the mortality ratio declines with increasing age, being higher for men aged 40-50 than for men over 70. This effect is illustrated in Table 6 from the study of men in 25 states,’

There are some other interesting things mentioned in the ’64 Report:

‘The studies of men in nine states and men in 25 States, for instance, suffer from the difficulties that the populations studied are hard to define, that the smokers and non-smokers were recruited by a large number of volunteer workers, and that completeness in the reporting of deaths was hard to achieve, since this depends on reports from the volunteers.’
‘In all studies the death rates for non-smokers are markedly below those of U.S. white males in 1960. Even the smokers of one pack of cigarettes or more daily have death rates that average slightly below the U.S. white male figure. To some extent this is to be expected, since hospitalized and other seriously ill persons are not recruited in such studies. The sizes of the differences appear, however, surprising for the studies with United States populations. Hammond and Horn (lo), in a special investigation on this question, concluded that the discrepancy in their study was due to the screening out of sick persons in recruiting plus probably a selection towards men of higher economic levels.’

‘So far as interpretation of results is concerned, the discrepancy raises two points. It is clear that the seven prospective studies involve populations which are healthier than U.S. males as a whole. Secondly, the low death rates for non-smokers suggest the possibility that the studies recruited unusually healthy groups of non-smokers.’

Ultimately, I think we’re lost as to where this debate is. It started with Chris telling Frank he was wrong smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer and a debate should ensue. It has, and it’s been interesting. But where do we go from here? For a lot of people, the debate could end with ‘1 in 10 heavy smokers get lung cancer, i call that a factor not a cause’. Has the ‘cause’ debate concluded and we just looking at incidence of smoking and lung cancer rates, or are we just analysing the smoking studies? Either suits me, I’m just curious about the direction.

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86 Responses to CATCH-13

  1. Frank Davis says:

    Radioactive Tobacco
    Re radioactive phosphate fertiliser, I dug out a link for it (which comes complete with a list of references). From the article:

    It’s a well established but little known fact that commercially grown tobacco is contaminated with radiation. The major source of this radiation is phosphate fertilizer.1 The big tobacco companies all use chemical phosphate fertilizer, which is high in radioactive metals, year after year on the same soil. These metals build up in the soil, attach themselves to the resinous tobacco leaf and ride tobacco trichomes in tobacco smoke, gathering in small “hot spots” in the small-air passageways of the lungs.2 Tobacco is especially effective at absorbing radioactive elements from phosphate fertilizers, and also from naturally occurring radiation in the soil, air, and water.3
    To grow what the tobacco industry calls “more flavorful” tobacco, US farmers use high-phosphate fertilizers. The phosphate is taken from a rock mineral, apatite, that is ground into powder, dissolved in acid and further processed. Apatite rock also contains radium, and the radioactive elements lead 210 and polonium 210. The radioactivity of common chemical fertilizer can be verified with a Geiger-Mueller counter and an open sack of everyday 13-13-13 type of fertilizer (or any other chemical fertilizer high in phosphate content).4
    Conservative estimates put the level of radiation absorbed by a pack-and-a-half a day smoker at the equivalent of 300 chest X-rays every year.5 The Office of Radiation, Chemical & Biological Safety at Michigan State University reports that the radiation level for the same smoker was as high as 800 chest X-rays per year.6 Another report argues that a typical nicotine user might be getting the equivalent of almost 22,000 chest X-rays per year.7
    US Surgeon General C Everett Koop stated on national television in 1990 that tobacco radiation is probably responsible for 90% of tobacco-related cancer.8 Dr RT Ravenholt, former director of World Health Surveys at the Centers for Disease Control, has stated that “Americans are exposed to far more radiation from tobacco smoke than from any other source.”9

    I must say that radioactivity makes much more sense to me than the 5,000 or so ‘chemicals’ in tobacco smoke (most of which are found in more or less any wood smoke) as a likely cause for cancer.
    The question then becomes: When did tobacco producers start using phosphates? How widespread was its use around the world? Is it still being used? How well does it tally with global cancer incidence?
    Frank

  2. Frank Davis says:

    Radioactive Tobacco
    Re radioactive phosphate fertiliser, I dug out a link for it (which comes complete with a list of references). From the article:

    It’s a well established but little known fact that commercially grown tobacco is contaminated with radiation. The major source of this radiation is phosphate fertilizer.1 The big tobacco companies all use chemical phosphate fertilizer, which is high in radioactive metals, year after year on the same soil. These metals build up in the soil, attach themselves to the resinous tobacco leaf and ride tobacco trichomes in tobacco smoke, gathering in small “hot spots” in the small-air passageways of the lungs.2 Tobacco is especially effective at absorbing radioactive elements from phosphate fertilizers, and also from naturally occurring radiation in the soil, air, and water.3
    To grow what the tobacco industry calls “more flavorful” tobacco, US farmers use high-phosphate fertilizers. The phosphate is taken from a rock mineral, apatite, that is ground into powder, dissolved in acid and further processed. Apatite rock also contains radium, and the radioactive elements lead 210 and polonium 210. The radioactivity of common chemical fertilizer can be verified with a Geiger-Mueller counter and an open sack of everyday 13-13-13 type of fertilizer (or any other chemical fertilizer high in phosphate content).4
    Conservative estimates put the level of radiation absorbed by a pack-and-a-half a day smoker at the equivalent of 300 chest X-rays every year.5 The Office of Radiation, Chemical & Biological Safety at Michigan State University reports that the radiation level for the same smoker was as high as 800 chest X-rays per year.6 Another report argues that a typical nicotine user might be getting the equivalent of almost 22,000 chest X-rays per year.7
    US Surgeon General C Everett Koop stated on national television in 1990 that tobacco radiation is probably responsible for 90% of tobacco-related cancer.8 Dr RT Ravenholt, former director of World Health Surveys at the Centers for Disease Control, has stated that “Americans are exposed to far more radiation from tobacco smoke than from any other source.”9

    I must say that radioactivity makes much more sense to me than the 5,000 or so ‘chemicals’ in tobacco smoke (most of which are found in more or less any wood smoke) as a likely cause for cancer.
    The question then becomes: When did tobacco producers start using phosphates? How widespread was its use around the world? Is it still being used? How well does it tally with global cancer incidence?
    Frank

    • richwhite09 says:

      Re: Radioactive Tobacco
      That’s the same link i provided that Chris rejected, decried that the SG almost certainly never said that quote, and rubbished the whole thing.
      Notably, though, Chris rubbished it just because it doesn’t seem correct to him, rather than because he had conflicting evidence. I fully agree with you that the questions you pose deserve investigation, and such questions were the entire reason i posted about radiation in the first place. But apparently the defence is alone in thinking such investigation is warranted.

      • Frank Davis says:

        Re: Radioactive Tobacco
        the SG almost certainly never said that quote
        Maybe he’s right. I traced the quote to chapter 15 of The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer. There was no further reference. A bit of further googling turned up this:
        The alleged claim by C. Everett Koop that radioactivity causes 90 percent of tobacco-related cancer has so far resisted the tracking skills of my research team (it’s all over the Web, typically attributed to a Koop appearance “on national television”), but if he said it, it’s way off from what everyone else says – including surgeon generals’ reports from before, during, and after his tenure.
        Further googling turned up lots of repetitions of the claim, many referencing Herer.
        It doesn’t necessarily mean Koop didn’t say it. It just makes it rather less likely. I’d want to see a video or transcript before I trusted it.
        Frank

        • richwhite09 says:

          Re: Radioactive Tobacco
          Yes i had little luck tracking it down too. That doesn’t automatically mean it wasn’t said, i’ve phsically watched things on TV then tried finding it online and not found it, so it doesn’t mean it wasn’t said, and i’m somewhat reluctant to think that someone would give a specific name and be bold enough to put it in quotes if it wasn’t true because it leaves it wide open to be sued. But, that said, it’s true we can’t use it as evidence.
          Still, there are a couple of facts: radioactive materials are in soil, and high-phosphate fertilisers may well be higher in content. I do think it’s something worth exploring – although i’m not going to say ‘hey everyone, this is the reason smokers seem to have higher LC rates’, i think it’s something that could possibly explain some discrepancy of the rates between smokers and non-smokers and shouldn’t be brushed off without any attempt at investigation. We do know from animal studies (and hell, human observation from the atom bombs) how devastating radiation can be – animals exposed to it developed lung cancer in huge percentages, so if it is high(er) in tobacco smoke or certain brands of cigarettes then it’s a very plausible suggestion that it increases some lung cancer rates.

        • richwhite09 says:

          Re: Radioactive Tobacco
          Yes i had little luck tracking it down too. That doesn’t automatically mean it wasn’t said, i’ve phsically watched things on TV then tried finding it online and not found it, so it doesn’t mean it wasn’t said, and i’m somewhat reluctant to think that someone would give a specific name and be bold enough to put it in quotes if it wasn’t true because it leaves it wide open to be sued. But, that said, it’s true we can’t use it as evidence.
          Still, there are a couple of facts: radioactive materials are in soil, and high-phosphate fertilisers may well be higher in content. I do think it’s something worth exploring – although i’m not going to say ‘hey everyone, this is the reason smokers seem to have higher LC rates’, i think it’s something that could possibly explain some discrepancy of the rates between smokers and non-smokers and shouldn’t be brushed off without any attempt at investigation. We do know from animal studies (and hell, human observation from the atom bombs) how devastating radiation can be – animals exposed to it developed lung cancer in huge percentages, so if it is high(er) in tobacco smoke or certain brands of cigarettes then it’s a very plausible suggestion that it increases some lung cancer rates.

        • Frank Davis says:

          Re: Radioactive Tobacco
          Pubmed

          South Med J. 1986 Feb;79(2):145-50.
          Lung cancer: is the increasing incidence due to radioactive polonium in cigarettes?
          Marmorstein J.
          Abstract
          This paper presents clinical, experimental, and epidemiologic evidence to help explain the rapidly increasing incidence of primary lung cancer, with recently observed reversal in leading cell type from squamous cell to adenocarcinoma. It postulates that this may be due to changes in modern cigarettes, with or without filters, which allow inhalation of increased amounts of radioactive lead and polonium and decreased amounts of benzopyrene. This hypothesis is based upon measurements of increased concentrations of radioactive polonium in the lungs of cigarette smokers, in modern tobaccos grown since 1950, and in high-phosphate fertilizers used for tobacco farming in industrialized countries. Critical support for this thesis is based upon experimental animal studies in which lung cancers that resemble adenocarcinomas are induced with as little as 15 rads of radioactive polonium, equal to one fifth the dosage inhaled by cigarette smokers who average two packs a day during a 25-year period.

          Pubmed2

          Radiol Technol. 1996 Jan-Feb;67(3):217-22.
          Cancer risk in relation to radioactivity in tobacco.
          Kilthau GF.
          Aston Academy, Houston, Texas, USA.
          Abstract
          Leaf tobacco contains minute amounts of lead 210 (210Pb) and polonium 210 (210Po), both of which are radioactive carcinogens and both of which can be found in smoke from burning tobacco. Tobacco smoke also contains carcinogens that are nonradioactive. People who inhale tobacco smoke are exposed to higher concentrations of radioactivity than nonsmokers. Deposits of 210Pb and alpha particle-emitting 210Po form in the lungs of smokers, generating localized radiation doses far greater than the radiation exposures humans experience from natural sources. This radiation exposure, delivered to sensitive tissues for long periods of time, may induce cancer both alone and synergistically with nonradioactive carcinogens. This article explores the relationship between the radioactive and nonradioactive carcinogens in leaf tobacco and tobacco smoke and the risk of cancer in those who inhale tobacco smoke.

        • Frank Davis says:

          Re: Radioactive Tobacco
          Pubmed

          South Med J. 1986 Feb;79(2):145-50.
          Lung cancer: is the increasing incidence due to radioactive polonium in cigarettes?
          Marmorstein J.
          Abstract
          This paper presents clinical, experimental, and epidemiologic evidence to help explain the rapidly increasing incidence of primary lung cancer, with recently observed reversal in leading cell type from squamous cell to adenocarcinoma. It postulates that this may be due to changes in modern cigarettes, with or without filters, which allow inhalation of increased amounts of radioactive lead and polonium and decreased amounts of benzopyrene. This hypothesis is based upon measurements of increased concentrations of radioactive polonium in the lungs of cigarette smokers, in modern tobaccos grown since 1950, and in high-phosphate fertilizers used for tobacco farming in industrialized countries. Critical support for this thesis is based upon experimental animal studies in which lung cancers that resemble adenocarcinomas are induced with as little as 15 rads of radioactive polonium, equal to one fifth the dosage inhaled by cigarette smokers who average two packs a day during a 25-year period.

          Pubmed2

          Radiol Technol. 1996 Jan-Feb;67(3):217-22.
          Cancer risk in relation to radioactivity in tobacco.
          Kilthau GF.
          Aston Academy, Houston, Texas, USA.
          Abstract
          Leaf tobacco contains minute amounts of lead 210 (210Pb) and polonium 210 (210Po), both of which are radioactive carcinogens and both of which can be found in smoke from burning tobacco. Tobacco smoke also contains carcinogens that are nonradioactive. People who inhale tobacco smoke are exposed to higher concentrations of radioactivity than nonsmokers. Deposits of 210Pb and alpha particle-emitting 210Po form in the lungs of smokers, generating localized radiation doses far greater than the radiation exposures humans experience from natural sources. This radiation exposure, delivered to sensitive tissues for long periods of time, may induce cancer both alone and synergistically with nonradioactive carcinogens. This article explores the relationship between the radioactive and nonradioactive carcinogens in leaf tobacco and tobacco smoke and the risk of cancer in those who inhale tobacco smoke.

        • Frank Davis says:

          Re: Radioactive Tobacco
          Pubmed3

          J Environ Radioact. 2001;57(3):221-30.
          Inhalation of 210Po and 210Pb from cigarette smoking in Poland.
          Skwarzec B, Ulatowski J, Struminska DI, Boryło A.
          University of Gdansk, Faculty of Chemistry, Sobieskiego, Poland. bosk@chemik.chem.univ.gda.pl
          Abstract
          The carcinogenic etfect of 210Po and 210Pb with respect to lung cancer is an important problem in many countries with very high cigarette consumption. Poland has one of the highest consumptions of cigarettes in the world. The results of 210Po determination on the 14 most frequently smoked brands of cigarettes which constitute over 70% of the total cigarette consumption in Poland are presented and discussed. Moreover, the polonium content in cigarette smoke was estimated on the basis of its activity in fresh tobaccos, ash, fresh filters and post-smoking filters. The annual effective doses were calculated on the basis of 210Po and 210Pb inhalation with the cigarette smoke. The results of this work indicate that Polish smokers who smoke one pack (20 cigarettes) per day inhale from 20 to 215 mBq of 210Po and 210Pb each. The mean values of the annual effective dose for smokers were estimated to be 35 and 70 microSv from 210Po and 210Pb, respectively. For persons who smoke two packs of cigarettes with higher radionuclide concentrations, the effective dose is much higher (471 microSv yr(-1)) in comparison with the intake in diet. Therefore, cigarettes and the absorption through the respiratory system are the main sources and the principal pathway of 210Po and 210Pb intake of smokers in Poland.
          PMID: 11720371 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

          lycaeum.org

          The alpha emitters polonium-210 and lead-210 are highly concentrated on tobacco trichomes and insoluble particles in cigarette smoke (1). The major source of the polonium is phosphate fertilizer, which is used in growing tobacco. The trichomes of the leaves concentrate the polonium, which persists when tobacco is dried and processed.
          Levels of Po-210 were measured in cigarette smoke by Radford and Hunt (2) and in the bronchial epithelium of smokers and nonsmokers by Little et al. (3) After inhalation, ciliary action causes the insoluble radioactive particles to accumulate at the bifurcation of segmental bronchi, a common site of origin of bronchogenic carcinomas.
          In a person smoking 1 1/2 packs of cigarettes per day, the radiation dose to the bronchial epithelium in areas of bifurcation is 8000 mrem per year — the equivalent of the dose to the skin from 300 x-ray films of the chest per year. This figure is comparable to total-body exposure to natural background radiation containing 80 mrem per year in someone living in the Boston area.

        • Frank Davis says:

          Re: Radioactive Tobacco
          Pubmed3

          J Environ Radioact. 2001;57(3):221-30.
          Inhalation of 210Po and 210Pb from cigarette smoking in Poland.
          Skwarzec B, Ulatowski J, Struminska DI, Boryło A.
          University of Gdansk, Faculty of Chemistry, Sobieskiego, Poland. bosk@chemik.chem.univ.gda.pl
          Abstract
          The carcinogenic etfect of 210Po and 210Pb with respect to lung cancer is an important problem in many countries with very high cigarette consumption. Poland has one of the highest consumptions of cigarettes in the world. The results of 210Po determination on the 14 most frequently smoked brands of cigarettes which constitute over 70% of the total cigarette consumption in Poland are presented and discussed. Moreover, the polonium content in cigarette smoke was estimated on the basis of its activity in fresh tobaccos, ash, fresh filters and post-smoking filters. The annual effective doses were calculated on the basis of 210Po and 210Pb inhalation with the cigarette smoke. The results of this work indicate that Polish smokers who smoke one pack (20 cigarettes) per day inhale from 20 to 215 mBq of 210Po and 210Pb each. The mean values of the annual effective dose for smokers were estimated to be 35 and 70 microSv from 210Po and 210Pb, respectively. For persons who smoke two packs of cigarettes with higher radionuclide concentrations, the effective dose is much higher (471 microSv yr(-1)) in comparison with the intake in diet. Therefore, cigarettes and the absorption through the respiratory system are the main sources and the principal pathway of 210Po and 210Pb intake of smokers in Poland.
          PMID: 11720371 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

          lycaeum.org

          The alpha emitters polonium-210 and lead-210 are highly concentrated on tobacco trichomes and insoluble particles in cigarette smoke (1). The major source of the polonium is phosphate fertilizer, which is used in growing tobacco. The trichomes of the leaves concentrate the polonium, which persists when tobacco is dried and processed.
          Levels of Po-210 were measured in cigarette smoke by Radford and Hunt (2) and in the bronchial epithelium of smokers and nonsmokers by Little et al. (3) After inhalation, ciliary action causes the insoluble radioactive particles to accumulate at the bifurcation of segmental bronchi, a common site of origin of bronchogenic carcinomas.
          In a person smoking 1 1/2 packs of cigarettes per day, the radiation dose to the bronchial epithelium in areas of bifurcation is 8000 mrem per year — the equivalent of the dose to the skin from 300 x-ray films of the chest per year. This figure is comparable to total-body exposure to natural background radiation containing 80 mrem per year in someone living in the Boston area.

      • Frank Davis says:

        Re: Radioactive Tobacco
        the SG almost certainly never said that quote
        Maybe he’s right. I traced the quote to chapter 15 of The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer. There was no further reference. A bit of further googling turned up this:
        The alleged claim by C. Everett Koop that radioactivity causes 90 percent of tobacco-related cancer has so far resisted the tracking skills of my research team (it’s all over the Web, typically attributed to a Koop appearance “on national television”), but if he said it, it’s way off from what everyone else says – including surgeon generals’ reports from before, during, and after his tenure.
        Further googling turned up lots of repetitions of the claim, many referencing Herer.
        It doesn’t necessarily mean Koop didn’t say it. It just makes it rather less likely. I’d want to see a video or transcript before I trusted it.
        Frank

    • richwhite09 says:

      Re: Radioactive Tobacco
      That’s the same link i provided that Chris rejected, decried that the SG almost certainly never said that quote, and rubbished the whole thing.
      Notably, though, Chris rubbished it just because it doesn’t seem correct to him, rather than because he had conflicting evidence. I fully agree with you that the questions you pose deserve investigation, and such questions were the entire reason i posted about radiation in the first place. But apparently the defence is alone in thinking such investigation is warranted.

  3. Frank Davis says:

    Radioactive Tobacco
    Re radioactive phosphate fertiliser, I dug out a link for it (which comes complete with a list of references). From the article:

    It’s a well established but little known fact that commercially grown tobacco is contaminated with radiation. The major source of this radiation is phosphate fertilizer.1 The big tobacco companies all use chemical phosphate fertilizer, which is high in radioactive metals, year after year on the same soil. These metals build up in the soil, attach themselves to the resinous tobacco leaf and ride tobacco trichomes in tobacco smoke, gathering in small “hot spots” in the small-air passageways of the lungs.2 Tobacco is especially effective at absorbing radioactive elements from phosphate fertilizers, and also from naturally occurring radiation in the soil, air, and water.3
    To grow what the tobacco industry calls “more flavorful” tobacco, US farmers use high-phosphate fertilizers. The phosphate is taken from a rock mineral, apatite, that is ground into powder, dissolved in acid and further processed. Apatite rock also contains radium, and the radioactive elements lead 210 and polonium 210. The radioactivity of common chemical fertilizer can be verified with a Geiger-Mueller counter and an open sack of everyday 13-13-13 type of fertilizer (or any other chemical fertilizer high in phosphate content).4
    Conservative estimates put the level of radiation absorbed by a pack-and-a-half a day smoker at the equivalent of 300 chest X-rays every year.5 The Office of Radiation, Chemical & Biological Safety at Michigan State University reports that the radiation level for the same smoker was as high as 800 chest X-rays per year.6 Another report argues that a typical nicotine user might be getting the equivalent of almost 22,000 chest X-rays per year.7
    US Surgeon General C Everett Koop stated on national television in 1990 that tobacco radiation is probably responsible for 90% of tobacco-related cancer.8 Dr RT Ravenholt, former director of World Health Surveys at the Centers for Disease Control, has stated that “Americans are exposed to far more radiation from tobacco smoke than from any other source.”9

    I must say that radioactivity makes much more sense to me than the 5,000 or so ‘chemicals’ in tobacco smoke (most of which are found in more or less any wood smoke) as a likely cause for cancer.
    The question then becomes: When did tobacco producers start using phosphates? How widespread was its use around the world? Is it still being used? How well does it tally with global cancer incidence?
    Frank

  4. richwhite09 says:

    Re: Radioactive Tobacco
    That’s the same link i provided that Chris rejected, decried that the SG almost certainly never said that quote, and rubbished the whole thing.
    Notably, though, Chris rubbished it just because it doesn’t seem correct to him, rather than because he had conflicting evidence. I fully agree with you that the questions you pose deserve investigation, and such questions were the entire reason i posted about radiation in the first place. But apparently the defence is alone in thinking such investigation is warranted.

  5. Frank Davis says:

    Re: Radioactive Tobacco
    the SG almost certainly never said that quote
    Maybe he’s right. I traced the quote to chapter 15 of The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer. There was no further reference. A bit of further googling turned up this:
    The alleged claim by C. Everett Koop that radioactivity causes 90 percent of tobacco-related cancer has so far resisted the tracking skills of my research team (it’s all over the Web, typically attributed to a Koop appearance “on national television”), but if he said it, it’s way off from what everyone else says – including surgeon generals’ reports from before, during, and after his tenure.
    Further googling turned up lots of repetitions of the claim, many referencing Herer.
    It doesn’t necessarily mean Koop didn’t say it. It just makes it rather less likely. I’d want to see a video or transcript before I trusted it.
    Frank

  6. richwhite09 says:

    Re: Radioactive Tobacco
    Yes i had little luck tracking it down too. That doesn’t automatically mean it wasn’t said, i’ve phsically watched things on TV then tried finding it online and not found it, so it doesn’t mean it wasn’t said, and i’m somewhat reluctant to think that someone would give a specific name and be bold enough to put it in quotes if it wasn’t true because it leaves it wide open to be sued. But, that said, it’s true we can’t use it as evidence.
    Still, there are a couple of facts: radioactive materials are in soil, and high-phosphate fertilisers may well be higher in content. I do think it’s something worth exploring – although i’m not going to say ‘hey everyone, this is the reason smokers seem to have higher LC rates’, i think it’s something that could possibly explain some discrepancy of the rates between smokers and non-smokers and shouldn’t be brushed off without any attempt at investigation. We do know from animal studies (and hell, human observation from the atom bombs) how devastating radiation can be – animals exposed to it developed lung cancer in huge percentages, so if it is high(er) in tobacco smoke or certain brands of cigarettes then it’s a very plausible suggestion that it increases some lung cancer rates.

  7. cjsnowdon says:

    I “rubbished” it because anyone who knows anything about this issue, or Koop, would know that he would never say anything so insane. And if he did, it would be documented somewhere other on a Mickey Mouse website written by God knows who. Like a newspaper, for example, or the countless government documents available online. Instead we have a link to a cranky website which links to a dead link of a equally cranky website. http://www.acsa2000.net/HealthAlert/radioactive_tobacco.html
    The site Frank links to says it best: “Nothing in the world, DM, is so powerful as an idea that tells people exactly what they want to hear”
    Ain’t that the truth?

  8. cjsnowdon says:

    I “rubbished” it because anyone who knows anything about this issue, or Koop, would know that he would never say anything so insane. And if he did, it would be documented somewhere other on a Mickey Mouse website written by God knows who. Like a newspaper, for example, or the countless government documents available online. Instead we have a link to a cranky website which links to a dead link of a equally cranky website. http://www.acsa2000.net/HealthAlert/radioactive_tobacco.html
    The site Frank links to says it best: “Nothing in the world, DM, is so powerful as an idea that tells people exactly what they want to hear”
    Ain’t that the truth?

    • Frank Davis says:

      Koop was a bit of a strange character, though. He used to wear his Surgeon-General’s uniform to work. And he brought his Christianity too. I’m not sure if subsequent SGs do the same. The general impression I have of him is that he’s the sort of guy who was quite capable of speaking his own mind, and not the party line, and so could have made that remark on TV even if it wasn’t the official medical view. But I’m speculating… He certainly doesn’t seem to have been an ordinary, run-of-the-mill SG (a bit like Sir Liam Donaldson wasn’t an ordinary run-of-the-mill Chief Medical Officer in the UK). The ordinary ones don’t appear on TV.
      On a completely different subject, I came across an article about French tabacologist Professor Pierre Molimard today. It was in French, unsurprisingly. A sample:
      Mais l’opération est ratée sur le plan du marketing. En effet, non seulement les fumeurs, stigmatisés et pourchassés, ne se sont pas précipités vers les pharmacies en réponse aux interdictions, mais les ventes de tous les médicaments dits “de sevrage tabagique” sont en chute libre. Et ceci malgré une intense publicité télévisée indirecte qui devrait être interdite, car il est cousu de fil blanc que le fumeur saura quel médicament, remboursé par la sécurité sociale, il lui faudra insister pour que son médecin le lui prescrive.
      Mais le plus grave, pour qui se préoccupe de la santé des fumeurs, est que ces mesures drastiques se montrent contreproductives vis-à-vis du tabagisme. Les ventes officielles de tabac augmentent, sans que baisse la contrebande. La prévalence du tabagisme des jeunes s’accroît. Les consultations de tabacologie sont désertées. Les DIU de tabacologie n’attirent plus les étudiants. Par défense identitaire, les fumeurs se replient dans un “tabagisme retranché”. Ils deviennent inaccessibles aux messages de santé publique.

      And here’s the Google translation:
      But the operation is unsuccessful in terms of marketing. Indeed, not only smokers, stigmatized and persecuted, have not rushed to pharmacies in response to the bans, but sales of all drugs known as “cessation” are plummeting. And despite intense indirect television advertising should be banned because it is sewn with white thread that smokers will know which drug reimbursed by social security, he will insist that your doctor prescribes it to him.
      But more importantly, who cares about the health of smokers, is that such drastic measures to show counterproductive vis-à-vis smoking. The official sales of tobacco increased, without reduction in smuggling. The prevalence of smoking among youth is increasing. Smoking cessation consultations are deserted. IUDs smoking cessation attract more students. For defense identity, smokers are folded in a “cut tobacco”. They become inaccessible to the public health messages.

      This English almost needs to be further translated from English into… English.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Koop was a bit of a strange character, though. He used to wear his Surgeon-General’s uniform to work. And he brought his Christianity too. I’m not sure if subsequent SGs do the same. The general impression I have of him is that he’s the sort of guy who was quite capable of speaking his own mind, and not the party line, and so could have made that remark on TV even if it wasn’t the official medical view. But I’m speculating… He certainly doesn’t seem to have been an ordinary, run-of-the-mill SG (a bit like Sir Liam Donaldson wasn’t an ordinary run-of-the-mill Chief Medical Officer in the UK). The ordinary ones don’t appear on TV.
      On a completely different subject, I came across an article about French tabacologist Professor Pierre Molimard today. It was in French, unsurprisingly. A sample:
      Mais l’opération est ratée sur le plan du marketing. En effet, non seulement les fumeurs, stigmatisés et pourchassés, ne se sont pas précipités vers les pharmacies en réponse aux interdictions, mais les ventes de tous les médicaments dits “de sevrage tabagique” sont en chute libre. Et ceci malgré une intense publicité télévisée indirecte qui devrait être interdite, car il est cousu de fil blanc que le fumeur saura quel médicament, remboursé par la sécurité sociale, il lui faudra insister pour que son médecin le lui prescrive.
      Mais le plus grave, pour qui se préoccupe de la santé des fumeurs, est que ces mesures drastiques se montrent contreproductives vis-à-vis du tabagisme. Les ventes officielles de tabac augmentent, sans que baisse la contrebande. La prévalence du tabagisme des jeunes s’accroît. Les consultations de tabacologie sont désertées. Les DIU de tabacologie n’attirent plus les étudiants. Par défense identitaire, les fumeurs se replient dans un “tabagisme retranché”. Ils deviennent inaccessibles aux messages de santé publique.

      And here’s the Google translation:
      But the operation is unsuccessful in terms of marketing. Indeed, not only smokers, stigmatized and persecuted, have not rushed to pharmacies in response to the bans, but sales of all drugs known as “cessation” are plummeting. And despite intense indirect television advertising should be banned because it is sewn with white thread that smokers will know which drug reimbursed by social security, he will insist that your doctor prescribes it to him.
      But more importantly, who cares about the health of smokers, is that such drastic measures to show counterproductive vis-à-vis smoking. The official sales of tobacco increased, without reduction in smuggling. The prevalence of smoking among youth is increasing. Smoking cessation consultations are deserted. IUDs smoking cessation attract more students. For defense identity, smokers are folded in a “cut tobacco”. They become inaccessible to the public health messages.

      This English almost needs to be further translated from English into… English.

    • richwhite09 says:

      If you haven’t yet seen it, Frank’s comments just above this with links to studies on Pubmed adequately demonstrate polonium in tobacco from high-phosphate fertilisers, and the final link also mentions the equivelant of x-ray exposure, which is in keeping with the statements from the other website. So Koop’s statement itself is rather trivial, as scientific literature does exist to show that the crux of the argument is true – radioactive materials exist in tobacco smoke from the soil in which it is grown, and levels are higher in high-phosphate soils used by big tobacco companies.

      • cjsnowdon says:

        But, as the original website Frank linked to said, the levels of polonium are tiny. And when it suits his argument, Rich happily admits this. For example, it’s interesting to contrast his comments in this thread with what he said on his website when a news story mentioned the polonium ‘threat’:
        “Clearly this journalist is unfamiliar with doses – undiluted vinegar, acetic acid, can kill us. Shall I run to the papers and warn people of the dangers of vinegar? No, because vinegar is actually very beneficial to us. Too much water will kill us. Too much anything can kill us.
        What the journalist fails to mention is that polonium-210 is in tobacco not because it is added, but because tobacco grows in the ground, polonium-210 is found worldwide in every crop harvested. So no more eating carrots, broccoli, potatoes, or anything else from the ground. Worried about the benzene in cigarettes? Oops, better lay off the tap water then – there’s more benzene in one glass of water than one cigarette. Televisions emit radiation, but we all happily watch them. The simple fact is that the amount of any chemicals in cigarette smoke is absolutely tiny, they are bearly measurable. As for the Polonium-210, they neglect to mention that it is in all earth-grown produces, including vegetables. It appears in tobacco smoke simply because tobacco is a plant, and as such receives the Polonium-210 content from the soil and fertilisers used to help it grow.”
        http://www.smokescreens.org/thirdhandsmoke.htm

        • richwhite09 says:

          that’s not at all out of step with what i have said here. I have said at least twice in this debate i don’t believe polonium to be a causative agent; what I said was i offered it as an example of something that that should be examined but hasn’t.
          I have no ‘argument’ to ‘suit’ on this matter. I dare say actually that such a claim is on you; you’re the one who said such quantities i speak of are SHS not active smoke, you’re the one who said the whole radiation idea was rubbish with no attempt to find a study, and while i, and Frank, endeavour to respond to all the comments that respond to our arguments, there is a hell of a lot here directed at you that has gone unanswered, half answered or seen you go silent when a response that disagrees with you arises. Not everything, not by any means, but a fair amount. So please, stop throwing around such statements; it appears you’re employing the famed tobacco control trick of going for a personal remark rather than dealing with the content.

        • richwhite09 says:

          Also Chris, that article of mine doesn’t mention quantity.You say it contrasts with my comments here – no it doesn’t, for my comments here have been about high-phosphate fertiliser and potential differing levels across brands or countries. I have made no claim that the quantities will be very big, large, or threatening.

        • cjsnowdon says:

          So you don’t believe polonium is a risk factor but you think someone should investigate it. You don’t think stress is a risk factor but you think someone should investigate it. You don’t think showering is a risk factor but you think it’s worth ‘throwing out there’.
          You’re just wasting everyone’s time really, aren’t you?

        • richwhite09 says:

          Is that the best you can do? You stated earlier in the debate every avenue has been investigated; i’m just showing otherwise.

        • richwhite09 says:

          And what’s more, it seems everyone else is perfectly capable of reading my posts without being confused or finding them contradictory. So far, you’re the only one to take exception to them, but you’re also the only one to level personal digs, display false evidence as evidence, claim i haven’t read a study that you yourself either didn’t read or didn’t grasp, and rely heavily on tricky language and slippery arguments like ‘well, well, i can’t accept smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer until you tell me what does’. The more CATCH goes on, the more it appears you’re not willing to engage in an actual debate, but just to ramrod your ideas and beliefs to others.

        • cjsnowdon says:

          What earthly reason would a scientist have to study third variables that even you admit couldn’t plausibly offer any fruitful study? The fact is that every plausible alternative – and plenty of implausible ones – have been studied by people who have a much better grasp of science than you. I’ll come to some of these in my next post, but ‘throwing things out there’ when a child can see that they offer no insight at all is a waste of everyone’s time.

        • richwhite09 says:

          “What earthly reason would a scientist have to study third variables that even you admit couldn’t plausibly offer any fruitful study?”
          When did i admit they wouldn’t offer a fruitful study? I said I wasn’t offering them, here and now, as demonstrative proof of causing lung cancer, but i didn’t say they weren’t at all possible. Once again you’re twisting words.
          “The fact is that every plausible alternative – and plenty of implausible ones – have been studied by people who have a much better grasp of science than you.”
          That’s not the fact at all. Every alternative has been studied? Pull the other one Chris.
          “but ‘throwing things out there’ when a child can see that they offer no insight at all is a waste of everyone’s time”
          So is proposing a debate and then not really debating it very well.
          And what child can see that, to use but one example, radiation has no bearing on lung cancer? The animal studies certainly proved it does, the devastation from the atom bombs in Japan also showed it, and the global dispersion of radioactive particles around the world could even answer your point about smoking rates in different countries.
          It’s all a bit bemusing this anyway, because you come across as though other factors don’t exst so don’t warrant investigation. But other factors do exist, but even the most ardent anti-smoker’s admissions, and other factors, causes or knowledge about cancer will develop as time goes on. You’re on another planet if you think we know it all right now.

        • cjsnowdon says:

          Go on then. Give us an avenue of research that hasn’t been explored which you think could explain the lung cancer epidemic of the last 80 years. One that you’re actually prepared to defend and not run away in a few hours saying ‘I was only throwing it out there’.

        • richwhite09 says:

          I have no need to, i stated in a comment within the last 15 minutes that the point of this debate isn’t to provide an answer to the cause of lung cancer. And as i said i think yesterday, i haven’t run away from anything and haven’t offered anything as a bonafide proposal or explanation, i have just offered suggestions of research that, contrary to your claims, hasn’t been explored. There is a big difference, and if you can’t comprehend that then maybe this debate isn’t for you.

        • richwhite09 says:

          And what’s more, it seems everyone else is perfectly capable of reading my posts without being confused or finding them contradictory. So far, you’re the only one to take exception to them, but you’re also the only one to level personal digs, display false evidence as evidence, claim i haven’t read a study that you yourself either didn’t read or didn’t grasp, and rely heavily on tricky language and slippery arguments like ‘well, well, i can’t accept smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer until you tell me what does’. The more CATCH goes on, the more it appears you’re not willing to engage in an actual debate, but just to ramrod your ideas and beliefs to others.

        • richwhite09 says:

          Is that the best you can do? You stated earlier in the debate every avenue has been investigated; i’m just showing otherwise.

        • cjsnowdon says:

          So you don’t believe polonium is a risk factor but you think someone should investigate it. You don’t think stress is a risk factor but you think someone should investigate it. You don’t think showering is a risk factor but you think it’s worth ‘throwing out there’.
          You’re just wasting everyone’s time really, aren’t you?

        • richwhite09 says:

          Also Chris, that article of mine doesn’t mention quantity.You say it contrasts with my comments here – no it doesn’t, for my comments here have been about high-phosphate fertiliser and potential differing levels across brands or countries. I have made no claim that the quantities will be very big, large, or threatening.

        • richwhite09 says:

          that’s not at all out of step with what i have said here. I have said at least twice in this debate i don’t believe polonium to be a causative agent; what I said was i offered it as an example of something that that should be examined but hasn’t.
          I have no ‘argument’ to ‘suit’ on this matter. I dare say actually that such a claim is on you; you’re the one who said such quantities i speak of are SHS not active smoke, you’re the one who said the whole radiation idea was rubbish with no attempt to find a study, and while i, and Frank, endeavour to respond to all the comments that respond to our arguments, there is a hell of a lot here directed at you that has gone unanswered, half answered or seen you go silent when a response that disagrees with you arises. Not everything, not by any means, but a fair amount. So please, stop throwing around such statements; it appears you’re employing the famed tobacco control trick of going for a personal remark rather than dealing with the content.

      • cjsnowdon says:

        But, as the original website Frank linked to said, the levels of polonium are tiny. And when it suits his argument, Rich happily admits this. For example, it’s interesting to contrast his comments in this thread with what he said on his website when a news story mentioned the polonium ‘threat’:
        “Clearly this journalist is unfamiliar with doses – undiluted vinegar, acetic acid, can kill us. Shall I run to the papers and warn people of the dangers of vinegar? No, because vinegar is actually very beneficial to us. Too much water will kill us. Too much anything can kill us.
        What the journalist fails to mention is that polonium-210 is in tobacco not because it is added, but because tobacco grows in the ground, polonium-210 is found worldwide in every crop harvested. So no more eating carrots, broccoli, potatoes, or anything else from the ground. Worried about the benzene in cigarettes? Oops, better lay off the tap water then – there’s more benzene in one glass of water than one cigarette. Televisions emit radiation, but we all happily watch them. The simple fact is that the amount of any chemicals in cigarette smoke is absolutely tiny, they are bearly measurable. As for the Polonium-210, they neglect to mention that it is in all earth-grown produces, including vegetables. It appears in tobacco smoke simply because tobacco is a plant, and as such receives the Polonium-210 content from the soil and fertilisers used to help it grow.”
        http://www.smokescreens.org/thirdhandsmoke.htm

    • richwhite09 says:

      If you haven’t yet seen it, Frank’s comments just above this with links to studies on Pubmed adequately demonstrate polonium in tobacco from high-phosphate fertilisers, and the final link also mentions the equivelant of x-ray exposure, which is in keeping with the statements from the other website. So Koop’s statement itself is rather trivial, as scientific literature does exist to show that the crux of the argument is true – radioactive materials exist in tobacco smoke from the soil in which it is grown, and levels are higher in high-phosphate soils used by big tobacco companies.

  9. cjsnowdon says:

    I “rubbished” it because anyone who knows anything about this issue, or Koop, would know that he would never say anything so insane. And if he did, it would be documented somewhere other on a Mickey Mouse website written by God knows who. Like a newspaper, for example, or the countless government documents available online. Instead we have a link to a cranky website which links to a dead link of a equally cranky website. http://www.acsa2000.net/HealthAlert/radioactive_tobacco.html
    The site Frank links to says it best: “Nothing in the world, DM, is so powerful as an idea that tells people exactly what they want to hear”
    Ain’t that the truth?

  10. Frank Davis says:

    Koop was a bit of a strange character, though. He used to wear his Surgeon-General’s uniform to work. And he brought his Christianity too. I’m not sure if subsequent SGs do the same. The general impression I have of him is that he’s the sort of guy who was quite capable of speaking his own mind, and not the party line, and so could have made that remark on TV even if it wasn’t the official medical view. But I’m speculating… He certainly doesn’t seem to have been an ordinary, run-of-the-mill SG (a bit like Sir Liam Donaldson wasn’t an ordinary run-of-the-mill Chief Medical Officer in the UK). The ordinary ones don’t appear on TV.
    On a completely different subject, I came across an article about French tabacologist Professor Pierre Molimard today. It was in French, unsurprisingly. A sample:
    Mais l’opération est ratée sur le plan du marketing. En effet, non seulement les fumeurs, stigmatisés et pourchassés, ne se sont pas précipités vers les pharmacies en réponse aux interdictions, mais les ventes de tous les médicaments dits “de sevrage tabagique” sont en chute libre. Et ceci malgré une intense publicité télévisée indirecte qui devrait être interdite, car il est cousu de fil blanc que le fumeur saura quel médicament, remboursé par la sécurité sociale, il lui faudra insister pour que son médecin le lui prescrive.
    Mais le plus grave, pour qui se préoccupe de la santé des fumeurs, est que ces mesures drastiques se montrent contreproductives vis-à-vis du tabagisme. Les ventes officielles de tabac augmentent, sans que baisse la contrebande. La prévalence du tabagisme des jeunes s’accroît. Les consultations de tabacologie sont désertées. Les DIU de tabacologie n’attirent plus les étudiants. Par défense identitaire, les fumeurs se replient dans un “tabagisme retranché”. Ils deviennent inaccessibles aux messages de santé publique.

    And here’s the Google translation:
    But the operation is unsuccessful in terms of marketing. Indeed, not only smokers, stigmatized and persecuted, have not rushed to pharmacies in response to the bans, but sales of all drugs known as “cessation” are plummeting. And despite intense indirect television advertising should be banned because it is sewn with white thread that smokers will know which drug reimbursed by social security, he will insist that your doctor prescribes it to him.
    But more importantly, who cares about the health of smokers, is that such drastic measures to show counterproductive vis-à-vis smoking. The official sales of tobacco increased, without reduction in smuggling. The prevalence of smoking among youth is increasing. Smoking cessation consultations are deserted. IUDs smoking cessation attract more students. For defense identity, smokers are folded in a “cut tobacco”. They become inaccessible to the public health messages.

    This English almost needs to be further translated from English into… English.

  11. junican says:

    Catch 13
    I have searched high and low on the internet for actual pictures of lung cancers. At last, I have found what I wanted. The pictures are ‘slices’ cut through damaged lungs, showing the site, size and extent of various lung conditions. One of them actually shows an ‘asbestos needle’ embedded in a lung. Each picture has a description, but of course the language is ‘medical speak’ and therefore mostly incomprehensible to most of us. The pictures are mostly highly magnified.
    There are 110 pictures of 110 different lung conditions and diseases. The site does not seem to be a specific ‘tobacco control’ site. Some conditions do say ‘due to smoking’, without elaboration.
    I really haven’t studied the pictures or tried to translate the terminology properly, but even with just a cursory glance, one thing stood out, and that is the lack of actual physical evidence of tobacco smoke remnants. Asbestos has asbestos needles, silicosis has bits of silicon (sand?), ‘black lung’ has accumulations of coal dust. There is bacterial and viral ‘evidence’ – but no ‘tobacco smoke’ evidence. It is all very, very odd.
    Anyway, here is the URL for those who wish to see these pictures:
    http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/LUNGHTML/LUNGIDX.html#8

  12. junican says:

    Catch 13
    I have searched high and low on the internet for actual pictures of lung cancers. At last, I have found what I wanted. The pictures are ‘slices’ cut through damaged lungs, showing the site, size and extent of various lung conditions. One of them actually shows an ‘asbestos needle’ embedded in a lung. Each picture has a description, but of course the language is ‘medical speak’ and therefore mostly incomprehensible to most of us. The pictures are mostly highly magnified.
    There are 110 pictures of 110 different lung conditions and diseases. The site does not seem to be a specific ‘tobacco control’ site. Some conditions do say ‘due to smoking’, without elaboration.
    I really haven’t studied the pictures or tried to translate the terminology properly, but even with just a cursory glance, one thing stood out, and that is the lack of actual physical evidence of tobacco smoke remnants. Asbestos has asbestos needles, silicosis has bits of silicon (sand?), ‘black lung’ has accumulations of coal dust. There is bacterial and viral ‘evidence’ – but no ‘tobacco smoke’ evidence. It is all very, very odd.
    Anyway, here is the URL for those who wish to see these pictures:
    http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/LUNGHTML/LUNGIDX.html#8

  13. junican says:

    Catch 13
    I have searched high and low on the internet for actual pictures of lung cancers. At last, I have found what I wanted. The pictures are ‘slices’ cut through damaged lungs, showing the site, size and extent of various lung conditions. One of them actually shows an ‘asbestos needle’ embedded in a lung. Each picture has a description, but of course the language is ‘medical speak’ and therefore mostly incomprehensible to most of us. The pictures are mostly highly magnified.
    There are 110 pictures of 110 different lung conditions and diseases. The site does not seem to be a specific ‘tobacco control’ site. Some conditions do say ‘due to smoking’, without elaboration.
    I really haven’t studied the pictures or tried to translate the terminology properly, but even with just a cursory glance, one thing stood out, and that is the lack of actual physical evidence of tobacco smoke remnants. Asbestos has asbestos needles, silicosis has bits of silicon (sand?), ‘black lung’ has accumulations of coal dust. There is bacterial and viral ‘evidence’ – but no ‘tobacco smoke’ evidence. It is all very, very odd.
    Anyway, here is the URL for those who wish to see these pictures:
    http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/LUNGHTML/LUNGIDX.html#8

  14. Anonymous says:

    Re: Catch 13
    I, too, cannot find ‘tobacco smoke evidence’ but it is statements like this:
    “…. Smoking increases the risk for lung cancer by a factor of ten. Thus, smokers with a history of asbestos exposure have a risk 50 fold greater likelihood of for developing lung cancer.”
    http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/LUNGHTML/LUNG081.html
    which raise a few of the usual questions.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Chuckles
    I haven’t read every word of every post and comment during this discussion so I may have missed such, but I am not aware of any evidence that we conclusively know what ’causes’ any form of cancer. At best we can in some instances say that we are pretty certain that XYZ is a contributing factor.
    e.g. machine some polonium in a lathe and inhale the dust produced, and it’s a fair bet you’ll develop tumours in the lungs pretty sharpish. Swallow the same amount and nothing happens…
    So getting the stuff into the lungs seems to trigger a fairly savage reaction from the body, but can we call that a disease, and even if we do, does our labelling make it so?
    Bradford Hill gave his criteria for causation, or perhaps better, the criteria that would satisfy him as to causation, and which he attempted to satisfy. I’m not sure that any of the laughable ‘evidence’ touted around satisfies all of these, quite apart from the zero statistical validity.
    I’m also not sure that the list is definitive, almost certainly not, but it is way better than the batting average of most of the current crop.
    They were –
    1. Strength (is the risk so large that we can easily rule out other factors?)
    2. Consistency (have the results been replicated by different researchers and under different conditions?)
    3. Specificity (is the exposure associated with a very specific disease as opposed to a wide range of diseases?)
    4. Temporality (did the exposure precede the disease?)
    5. Biological gradient (are increasing exposures associated with increasing risks of disease?)
    6. Plausibility (is there a credible scientific mechanism that can explain the association?)
    7. Coherence (is the association consistent with the natural history of the disease?)
    8. Experimental evidence (does a physical intervention show results consistent with the association?)
    9. Analogy (is there a similar result that we can draw a relationship to?)

  16. Anonymous says:

    Chuckles
    I haven’t read every word of every post and comment during this discussion so I may have missed such, but I am not aware of any evidence that we conclusively know what ’causes’ any form of cancer. At best we can in some instances say that we are pretty certain that XYZ is a contributing factor.
    e.g. machine some polonium in a lathe and inhale the dust produced, and it’s a fair bet you’ll develop tumours in the lungs pretty sharpish. Swallow the same amount and nothing happens…
    So getting the stuff into the lungs seems to trigger a fairly savage reaction from the body, but can we call that a disease, and even if we do, does our labelling make it so?
    Bradford Hill gave his criteria for causation, or perhaps better, the criteria that would satisfy him as to causation, and which he attempted to satisfy. I’m not sure that any of the laughable ‘evidence’ touted around satisfies all of these, quite apart from the zero statistical validity.
    I’m also not sure that the list is definitive, almost certainly not, but it is way better than the batting average of most of the current crop.
    They were –
    1. Strength (is the risk so large that we can easily rule out other factors?)
    2. Consistency (have the results been replicated by different researchers and under different conditions?)
    3. Specificity (is the exposure associated with a very specific disease as opposed to a wide range of diseases?)
    4. Temporality (did the exposure precede the disease?)
    5. Biological gradient (are increasing exposures associated with increasing risks of disease?)
    6. Plausibility (is there a credible scientific mechanism that can explain the association?)
    7. Coherence (is the association consistent with the natural history of the disease?)
    8. Experimental evidence (does a physical intervention show results consistent with the association?)
    9. Analogy (is there a similar result that we can draw a relationship to?)

    • Frank Davis says:

      Re: Chuckles
      it’s a fair bet you’ll develop tumours in the lungs pretty sharpish.
      That’s another thing that bothers me about the cigarette hypothesis: the disease takes so long to appear. 40 or 50 years, in many cases.
      I sometimes imagine going to my doctor, with a swelling on my arm, and the doctor asking me how I managed to get that. And I reply:
      “Oh, Nancy Siddons did that. She hit me with a Coca Cola bottle. In the playground near the swings. 53 years ago.”

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: Chuckles
        It bothers me too.
        When a lady I knew suffered a serious injury to her shin which turned cancerous, it was all over within a couple of years.
        The theory also assumes that our bodies have no immune system and no automatic cleaning systems.
        Which they do and which work constantly.
        Solanesol will stick to a wall because its dry, but not to put to fine a point on it, our internals are slimy.
        From Nightlight
        Normal alveolar epithelial lining fluid contains high levels of glutathione.
        “The epithelial cells on the alveolar surface of the human lower respiratory tract are vulnerable to toxic oxidants derived from inhaled pollutants or inflammatory cells. Although these lung cells have intracellular antioxidants, these defenses may be insufficient to protect the epithelial surface against oxidants present at the alveolar surface
        “The total glutathione (the reduced form GSH and the disulfide GSSG) concentration of normal ELF was 140-fold higher than that in plasma of the same individuals, and 96% of the glutathione in ELF was in the reduced form.
        Compared with nonsmokers, cigarette smokers had 80% higher levels of ELF total glutathione, 98% of which was in the reduced form.”
        Studies of cultured lung epithelial cells and fibroblasts demonstrated that these concentrations of reduced glutathione were sufficient to protect these cells against the burden of H2O2 in the range released by alveolar macrophages removed from the lower respiratory tract of nonsmokers and smokers, respectively, suggesting that the glutathione present in the alveolar ELF of normal individuals likely contributes to the protective screen against oxidants in the extracellular milieu of the lower respiratory tract.”
        http://tinyurl.com/3ao2cog
        And then we cough as a reflex to get rid of all the nastiness our lungs have collected while walking down the High Street.
        I don’t remember any discussions of disposal mechanisms for getting rid of tiny particles of thin white smoke.
        But there must be or I would have choked to death years ago from inhaling the fine white paint dust that falls gently from my ceiling.
        Rose

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: Chuckles
        It bothers me too.
        When a lady I knew suffered a serious injury to her shin which turned cancerous, it was all over within a couple of years.
        The theory also assumes that our bodies have no immune system and no automatic cleaning systems.
        Which they do and which work constantly.
        Solanesol will stick to a wall because its dry, but not to put to fine a point on it, our internals are slimy.
        From Nightlight
        Normal alveolar epithelial lining fluid contains high levels of glutathione.
        “The epithelial cells on the alveolar surface of the human lower respiratory tract are vulnerable to toxic oxidants derived from inhaled pollutants or inflammatory cells. Although these lung cells have intracellular antioxidants, these defenses may be insufficient to protect the epithelial surface against oxidants present at the alveolar surface
        “The total glutathione (the reduced form GSH and the disulfide GSSG) concentration of normal ELF was 140-fold higher than that in plasma of the same individuals, and 96% of the glutathione in ELF was in the reduced form.
        Compared with nonsmokers, cigarette smokers had 80% higher levels of ELF total glutathione, 98% of which was in the reduced form.”
        Studies of cultured lung epithelial cells and fibroblasts demonstrated that these concentrations of reduced glutathione were sufficient to protect these cells against the burden of H2O2 in the range released by alveolar macrophages removed from the lower respiratory tract of nonsmokers and smokers, respectively, suggesting that the glutathione present in the alveolar ELF of normal individuals likely contributes to the protective screen against oxidants in the extracellular milieu of the lower respiratory tract.”
        http://tinyurl.com/3ao2cog
        And then we cough as a reflex to get rid of all the nastiness our lungs have collected while walking down the High Street.
        I don’t remember any discussions of disposal mechanisms for getting rid of tiny particles of thin white smoke.
        But there must be or I would have choked to death years ago from inhaling the fine white paint dust that falls gently from my ceiling.
        Rose

    • Frank Davis says:

      Re: Chuckles
      it’s a fair bet you’ll develop tumours in the lungs pretty sharpish.
      That’s another thing that bothers me about the cigarette hypothesis: the disease takes so long to appear. 40 or 50 years, in many cases.
      I sometimes imagine going to my doctor, with a swelling on my arm, and the doctor asking me how I managed to get that. And I reply:
      “Oh, Nancy Siddons did that. She hit me with a Coca Cola bottle. In the playground near the swings. 53 years ago.”

  17. Anonymous says:

    Chuckles
    I haven’t read every word of every post and comment during this discussion so I may have missed such, but I am not aware of any evidence that we conclusively know what ’causes’ any form of cancer. At best we can in some instances say that we are pretty certain that XYZ is a contributing factor.
    e.g. machine some polonium in a lathe and inhale the dust produced, and it’s a fair bet you’ll develop tumours in the lungs pretty sharpish. Swallow the same amount and nothing happens…
    So getting the stuff into the lungs seems to trigger a fairly savage reaction from the body, but can we call that a disease, and even if we do, does our labelling make it so?
    Bradford Hill gave his criteria for causation, or perhaps better, the criteria that would satisfy him as to causation, and which he attempted to satisfy. I’m not sure that any of the laughable ‘evidence’ touted around satisfies all of these, quite apart from the zero statistical validity.
    I’m also not sure that the list is definitive, almost certainly not, but it is way better than the batting average of most of the current crop.
    They were –
    1. Strength (is the risk so large that we can easily rule out other factors?)
    2. Consistency (have the results been replicated by different researchers and under different conditions?)
    3. Specificity (is the exposure associated with a very specific disease as opposed to a wide range of diseases?)
    4. Temporality (did the exposure precede the disease?)
    5. Biological gradient (are increasing exposures associated with increasing risks of disease?)
    6. Plausibility (is there a credible scientific mechanism that can explain the association?)
    7. Coherence (is the association consistent with the natural history of the disease?)
    8. Experimental evidence (does a physical intervention show results consistent with the association?)
    9. Analogy (is there a similar result that we can draw a relationship to?)

  18. Frank Davis says:

    Re: Chuckles
    it’s a fair bet you’ll develop tumours in the lungs pretty sharpish.
    That’s another thing that bothers me about the cigarette hypothesis: the disease takes so long to appear. 40 or 50 years, in many cases.
    I sometimes imagine going to my doctor, with a swelling on my arm, and the doctor asking me how I managed to get that. And I reply:
    “Oh, Nancy Siddons did that. She hit me with a Coca Cola bottle. In the playground near the swings. 53 years ago.”

  19. Anonymous says:

    Chuckles
    I forgot to directly address this point by Chris –
    ‘My point was—and I think this is crystal clear as it was the point of the whole post—that all studies have flaws and we must decide whether the flaws are big enough to invalidate the study’s finding.’
    No, the flaws utterly invalidate the studies, it is not a matter of deciding that we like that particular bit of received wisdom, because it buttresses our prejudices, so we will overlook the shortcomings.
    Here is an overview of epidemiology which rather raises the question – ‘would you buy a used survey when done like this? –
    http://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2010/10/scope-and-nature-of-epidemiology.html

  20. Anonymous says:

    Chuckles
    I forgot to directly address this point by Chris –
    ‘My point was—and I think this is crystal clear as it was the point of the whole post—that all studies have flaws and we must decide whether the flaws are big enough to invalidate the study’s finding.’
    No, the flaws utterly invalidate the studies, it is not a matter of deciding that we like that particular bit of received wisdom, because it buttresses our prejudices, so we will overlook the shortcomings.
    Here is an overview of epidemiology which rather raises the question – ‘would you buy a used survey when done like this? –
    http://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2010/10/scope-and-nature-of-epidemiology.html

  21. Anonymous says:

    Chuckles
    I forgot to directly address this point by Chris –
    ‘My point was—and I think this is crystal clear as it was the point of the whole post—that all studies have flaws and we must decide whether the flaws are big enough to invalidate the study’s finding.’
    No, the flaws utterly invalidate the studies, it is not a matter of deciding that we like that particular bit of received wisdom, because it buttresses our prejudices, so we will overlook the shortcomings.
    Here is an overview of epidemiology which rather raises the question – ‘would you buy a used survey when done like this? –
    http://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2010/10/scope-and-nature-of-epidemiology.html

  22. Anonymous says:

    Re: Chuckles
    It bothers me too.
    When a lady I knew suffered a serious injury to her shin which turned cancerous, it was all over within a couple of years.
    The theory also assumes that our bodies have no immune system and no automatic cleaning systems.
    Which they do and which work constantly.
    Solanesol will stick to a wall because its dry, but not to put to fine a point on it, our internals are slimy.
    From Nightlight
    Normal alveolar epithelial lining fluid contains high levels of glutathione.
    “The epithelial cells on the alveolar surface of the human lower respiratory tract are vulnerable to toxic oxidants derived from inhaled pollutants or inflammatory cells. Although these lung cells have intracellular antioxidants, these defenses may be insufficient to protect the epithelial surface against oxidants present at the alveolar surface
    “The total glutathione (the reduced form GSH and the disulfide GSSG) concentration of normal ELF was 140-fold higher than that in plasma of the same individuals, and 96% of the glutathione in ELF was in the reduced form.
    Compared with nonsmokers, cigarette smokers had 80% higher levels of ELF total glutathione, 98% of which was in the reduced form.”
    Studies of cultured lung epithelial cells and fibroblasts demonstrated that these concentrations of reduced glutathione were sufficient to protect these cells against the burden of H2O2 in the range released by alveolar macrophages removed from the lower respiratory tract of nonsmokers and smokers, respectively, suggesting that the glutathione present in the alveolar ELF of normal individuals likely contributes to the protective screen against oxidants in the extracellular milieu of the lower respiratory tract.”
    http://tinyurl.com/3ao2cog
    And then we cough as a reflex to get rid of all the nastiness our lungs have collected while walking down the High Street.
    I don’t remember any discussions of disposal mechanisms for getting rid of tiny particles of thin white smoke.
    But there must be or I would have choked to death years ago from inhaling the fine white paint dust that falls gently from my ceiling.
    Rose

  23. richwhite09 says:

    There’s some very interesting stuff from Fisher’s essay ‘cancer, cigarettes and statistics’ which can relate to almost everything in this debate so far.
    On evidence beyond Hill and Doll:
    “I read a recent article to the effect that nineteen different investigations in different parts of the world had all concurred in confirming Dr. Hill’s findings. I think they had concurred, but I think they were mere repetitions of evidence of the same kind, and it is necessary to try to examine whether that kind is sufficient for any scientific conclusion.”
    The politics of the time (i.e. Chris’s ascertion that it would be inconvenient to discover smoking caused lung cancer at that time)
    “The need for such scrutiny was brought home to me very forcibly about a year ago in an annotation published by the British Medical Association’s Journal, leading up to the almost shrill conclusion that it was necessary that every device of modern publicity should be employed to bring home to the world at large this terrible danger. When I read that, I wasn’t sure I liked “all the devices of modern publicity” and it seemed to me that a moral distinction outght to be drawn at this point. There is the attitude of a man…who says, “There seems to be some danger – I can’t assess whether it is infinitesimal or serious. This habit of mine of smoking isn’t very important to me. I will give up smoking as a kind of insurance against a danger which I am quite unable to assess.”…what is not quite so much the work of a good citizen is to plant fear in the minds of perhaps a hundred million smokers throughout the world…with the aid of all the means of modern publicity backed by public money.”
    “…the scientific evidence – the exact weight of the evidence free from emotion – should be rather carefully examined.”
    “[Hill] was entirely unwilling to claim that causation had been proved…he was certainly unwilling to make the claim which is being made vociferously during the last year or two by committees reporting to the medical Research Council…and to the American Cancer Society.”
    (Interesting that Hill was loathe to say ’cause’ had been found, but Doll and, according to Fisher, others of the time were all too quick to run to the press and medical groups with the opposite. Fisher also goes into misclassification, saying pipe smokers will smoke cigarettes when time is pressing, for instance)
    On what myself and others have said about exploring all avenues:
    “It is also known that the tobacco used as pipe tobacco and for cigars is more thoroughly fermented before use than is that used in cigarettes, or at least in the predominant source of cigarette tobacco, in Virginia…you could claim even-as a special pleading, that it was the unfermented condition of the Virginia tobacco…that was responsible for the supposedly noxious fumes which the burning of such tobacco produces. Discussion is full of such things.”

  24. richwhite09 says:

    There’s some very interesting stuff from Fisher’s essay ‘cancer, cigarettes and statistics’ which can relate to almost everything in this debate so far.
    On evidence beyond Hill and Doll:
    “I read a recent article to the effect that nineteen different investigations in different parts of the world had all concurred in confirming Dr. Hill’s findings. I think they had concurred, but I think they were mere repetitions of evidence of the same kind, and it is necessary to try to examine whether that kind is sufficient for any scientific conclusion.”
    The politics of the time (i.e. Chris’s ascertion that it would be inconvenient to discover smoking caused lung cancer at that time)
    “The need for such scrutiny was brought home to me very forcibly about a year ago in an annotation published by the British Medical Association’s Journal, leading up to the almost shrill conclusion that it was necessary that every device of modern publicity should be employed to bring home to the world at large this terrible danger. When I read that, I wasn’t sure I liked “all the devices of modern publicity” and it seemed to me that a moral distinction outght to be drawn at this point. There is the attitude of a man…who says, “There seems to be some danger – I can’t assess whether it is infinitesimal or serious. This habit of mine of smoking isn’t very important to me. I will give up smoking as a kind of insurance against a danger which I am quite unable to assess.”…what is not quite so much the work of a good citizen is to plant fear in the minds of perhaps a hundred million smokers throughout the world…with the aid of all the means of modern publicity backed by public money.”
    “…the scientific evidence – the exact weight of the evidence free from emotion – should be rather carefully examined.”
    “[Hill] was entirely unwilling to claim that causation had been proved…he was certainly unwilling to make the claim which is being made vociferously during the last year or two by committees reporting to the medical Research Council…and to the American Cancer Society.”
    (Interesting that Hill was loathe to say ’cause’ had been found, but Doll and, according to Fisher, others of the time were all too quick to run to the press and medical groups with the opposite. Fisher also goes into misclassification, saying pipe smokers will smoke cigarettes when time is pressing, for instance)
    On what myself and others have said about exploring all avenues:
    “It is also known that the tobacco used as pipe tobacco and for cigars is more thoroughly fermented before use than is that used in cigarettes, or at least in the predominant source of cigarette tobacco, in Virginia…you could claim even-as a special pleading, that it was the unfermented condition of the Virginia tobacco…that was responsible for the supposedly noxious fumes which the burning of such tobacco produces. Discussion is full of such things.”

    • richwhite09 says:

      Continued…
      On inhalation:
      ‘[less inhalers having cancer] I think, is an exceedingly important finding. I don’t think Hill and Doll thought it an important finding. They said that probably the patients didn’t understand what inhaling meant. And what makes it far more exasperating, when they put into effect an exceedingly important research, based on the habits of the medical profession, by asking about 60,000 doctors in Great Britain to register their smoking habits, and about 40,000 of them did so cooperatively, I am sorry to say that the question about inhaling was not in that questionnaire. I suppose the subject of inhaling had become distasteful to the research workers, and they just wanted to hear as little about it as possible. But it is serious because the doctors could have known whether they were inhalers or not; they could have known what the word meant…At any rate, there would have been no alibi if the question had been put to a body of 40,000 physicians.”
      “If inhaling is found to be strongly associated with lung cancer, it would be consonant with the view that the products of combustion, wafted over the surface of the bronchus, might induce a pre-cancerous and thence a cancerous condition.”
      That last point is something I touched upon in Smoke Screens, with the assertion that if cigarette smoke causes lung cancer, we should see far higher rates of oral cancers not only in smokers but in relation to lung cancers because that area gets higher exposure to smoke and in higher concentrations than the lungs. But, alas, we don’t see that at all.
      Chris said that in the 1950s there was no class divide on smoking habits. Fisher said:
      “I know that there are families in which there would be some pressure on a growing boy or girl to be a nonsmoker because his father and mother firmly believe that smoking is an objectionable habit, or perhaps an irreligious habit”
      Fisher also touches on genetics and the desire/need to smoke, as also explored by Eysenck:
      “It is not, then, a very long shot to guess that there is a genetic component which distinguishes the different smoking classes. And that is the second piece of research which I think is extremely urgent.”
      “The change over recent decades gives not the least evidence of being due to increasing consumption of tobacco. We can’t tell much about the absolute magnitude of this secular change. It is certain that radiology has facilitated the detection of lung cancer enormously, that radiological apparatus and radiologists are much more abundantly available…than they formerly were… the attention of the medical profession has been forcibly drawn to lung cancer, and it invariably happens that when the attention of the medical profession is drawn to any disease, that disease begins to take up more space in the official reports – it is more often seen and more often diagnosed with confidence…Consequently it is not easy to say how much of the increase is real…You might say that the whole population during the last twenty, thirty, forty years has been becoming considerably urbanized, and as the urban rate for lung cancer is considerably greater than the rural rate, in my country as in yours, we must recognize here the of one real cause of the increase in lung cancer. There may be others.”
      It’s a very interesting read and it’s quite sad that what Fisher wanted to be investigated urgently still hasn’t been – instead the same ‘shrill’ reporting is being conducted as it was 60 years ago.

    • richwhite09 says:

      Continued…
      On inhalation:
      ‘[less inhalers having cancer] I think, is an exceedingly important finding. I don’t think Hill and Doll thought it an important finding. They said that probably the patients didn’t understand what inhaling meant. And what makes it far more exasperating, when they put into effect an exceedingly important research, based on the habits of the medical profession, by asking about 60,000 doctors in Great Britain to register their smoking habits, and about 40,000 of them did so cooperatively, I am sorry to say that the question about inhaling was not in that questionnaire. I suppose the subject of inhaling had become distasteful to the research workers, and they just wanted to hear as little about it as possible. But it is serious because the doctors could have known whether they were inhalers or not; they could have known what the word meant…At any rate, there would have been no alibi if the question had been put to a body of 40,000 physicians.”
      “If inhaling is found to be strongly associated with lung cancer, it would be consonant with the view that the products of combustion, wafted over the surface of the bronchus, might induce a pre-cancerous and thence a cancerous condition.”
      That last point is something I touched upon in Smoke Screens, with the assertion that if cigarette smoke causes lung cancer, we should see far higher rates of oral cancers not only in smokers but in relation to lung cancers because that area gets higher exposure to smoke and in higher concentrations than the lungs. But, alas, we don’t see that at all.
      Chris said that in the 1950s there was no class divide on smoking habits. Fisher said:
      “I know that there are families in which there would be some pressure on a growing boy or girl to be a nonsmoker because his father and mother firmly believe that smoking is an objectionable habit, or perhaps an irreligious habit”
      Fisher also touches on genetics and the desire/need to smoke, as also explored by Eysenck:
      “It is not, then, a very long shot to guess that there is a genetic component which distinguishes the different smoking classes. And that is the second piece of research which I think is extremely urgent.”
      “The change over recent decades gives not the least evidence of being due to increasing consumption of tobacco. We can’t tell much about the absolute magnitude of this secular change. It is certain that radiology has facilitated the detection of lung cancer enormously, that radiological apparatus and radiologists are much more abundantly available…than they formerly were… the attention of the medical profession has been forcibly drawn to lung cancer, and it invariably happens that when the attention of the medical profession is drawn to any disease, that disease begins to take up more space in the official reports – it is more often seen and more often diagnosed with confidence…Consequently it is not easy to say how much of the increase is real…You might say that the whole population during the last twenty, thirty, forty years has been becoming considerably urbanized, and as the urban rate for lung cancer is considerably greater than the rural rate, in my country as in yours, we must recognize here the of one real cause of the increase in lung cancer. There may be others.”
      It’s a very interesting read and it’s quite sad that what Fisher wanted to be investigated urgently still hasn’t been – instead the same ‘shrill’ reporting is being conducted as it was 60 years ago.

  25. richwhite09 says:

    There’s some very interesting stuff from Fisher’s essay ‘cancer, cigarettes and statistics’ which can relate to almost everything in this debate so far.
    On evidence beyond Hill and Doll:
    “I read a recent article to the effect that nineteen different investigations in different parts of the world had all concurred in confirming Dr. Hill’s findings. I think they had concurred, but I think they were mere repetitions of evidence of the same kind, and it is necessary to try to examine whether that kind is sufficient for any scientific conclusion.”
    The politics of the time (i.e. Chris’s ascertion that it would be inconvenient to discover smoking caused lung cancer at that time)
    “The need for such scrutiny was brought home to me very forcibly about a year ago in an annotation published by the British Medical Association’s Journal, leading up to the almost shrill conclusion that it was necessary that every device of modern publicity should be employed to bring home to the world at large this terrible danger. When I read that, I wasn’t sure I liked “all the devices of modern publicity” and it seemed to me that a moral distinction outght to be drawn at this point. There is the attitude of a man…who says, “There seems to be some danger – I can’t assess whether it is infinitesimal or serious. This habit of mine of smoking isn’t very important to me. I will give up smoking as a kind of insurance against a danger which I am quite unable to assess.”…what is not quite so much the work of a good citizen is to plant fear in the minds of perhaps a hundred million smokers throughout the world…with the aid of all the means of modern publicity backed by public money.”
    “…the scientific evidence – the exact weight of the evidence free from emotion – should be rather carefully examined.”
    “[Hill] was entirely unwilling to claim that causation had been proved…he was certainly unwilling to make the claim which is being made vociferously during the last year or two by committees reporting to the medical Research Council…and to the American Cancer Society.”
    (Interesting that Hill was loathe to say ’cause’ had been found, but Doll and, according to Fisher, others of the time were all too quick to run to the press and medical groups with the opposite. Fisher also goes into misclassification, saying pipe smokers will smoke cigarettes when time is pressing, for instance)
    On what myself and others have said about exploring all avenues:
    “It is also known that the tobacco used as pipe tobacco and for cigars is more thoroughly fermented before use than is that used in cigarettes, or at least in the predominant source of cigarette tobacco, in Virginia…you could claim even-as a special pleading, that it was the unfermented condition of the Virginia tobacco…that was responsible for the supposedly noxious fumes which the burning of such tobacco produces. Discussion is full of such things.”

  26. richwhite09 says:

    Continued…
    On inhalation:
    ‘[less inhalers having cancer] I think, is an exceedingly important finding. I don’t think Hill and Doll thought it an important finding. They said that probably the patients didn’t understand what inhaling meant. And what makes it far more exasperating, when they put into effect an exceedingly important research, based on the habits of the medical profession, by asking about 60,000 doctors in Great Britain to register their smoking habits, and about 40,000 of them did so cooperatively, I am sorry to say that the question about inhaling was not in that questionnaire. I suppose the subject of inhaling had become distasteful to the research workers, and they just wanted to hear as little about it as possible. But it is serious because the doctors could have known whether they were inhalers or not; they could have known what the word meant…At any rate, there would have been no alibi if the question had been put to a body of 40,000 physicians.”
    “If inhaling is found to be strongly associated with lung cancer, it would be consonant with the view that the products of combustion, wafted over the surface of the bronchus, might induce a pre-cancerous and thence a cancerous condition.”
    That last point is something I touched upon in Smoke Screens, with the assertion that if cigarette smoke causes lung cancer, we should see far higher rates of oral cancers not only in smokers but in relation to lung cancers because that area gets higher exposure to smoke and in higher concentrations than the lungs. But, alas, we don’t see that at all.
    Chris said that in the 1950s there was no class divide on smoking habits. Fisher said:
    “I know that there are families in which there would be some pressure on a growing boy or girl to be a nonsmoker because his father and mother firmly believe that smoking is an objectionable habit, or perhaps an irreligious habit”
    Fisher also touches on genetics and the desire/need to smoke, as also explored by Eysenck:
    “It is not, then, a very long shot to guess that there is a genetic component which distinguishes the different smoking classes. And that is the second piece of research which I think is extremely urgent.”
    “The change over recent decades gives not the least evidence of being due to increasing consumption of tobacco. We can’t tell much about the absolute magnitude of this secular change. It is certain that radiology has facilitated the detection of lung cancer enormously, that radiological apparatus and radiologists are much more abundantly available…than they formerly were… the attention of the medical profession has been forcibly drawn to lung cancer, and it invariably happens that when the attention of the medical profession is drawn to any disease, that disease begins to take up more space in the official reports – it is more often seen and more often diagnosed with confidence…Consequently it is not easy to say how much of the increase is real…You might say that the whole population during the last twenty, thirty, forty years has been becoming considerably urbanized, and as the urban rate for lung cancer is considerably greater than the rural rate, in my country as in yours, we must recognize here the of one real cause of the increase in lung cancer. There may be others.”
    It’s a very interesting read and it’s quite sad that what Fisher wanted to be investigated urgently still hasn’t been – instead the same ‘shrill’ reporting is being conducted as it was 60 years ago.

  27. Frank Davis says:

    Re: Radioactive Tobacco
    Pubmed

    South Med J. 1986 Feb;79(2):145-50.
    Lung cancer: is the increasing incidence due to radioactive polonium in cigarettes?
    Marmorstein J.
    Abstract
    This paper presents clinical, experimental, and epidemiologic evidence to help explain the rapidly increasing incidence of primary lung cancer, with recently observed reversal in leading cell type from squamous cell to adenocarcinoma. It postulates that this may be due to changes in modern cigarettes, with or without filters, which allow inhalation of increased amounts of radioactive lead and polonium and decreased amounts of benzopyrene. This hypothesis is based upon measurements of increased concentrations of radioactive polonium in the lungs of cigarette smokers, in modern tobaccos grown since 1950, and in high-phosphate fertilizers used for tobacco farming in industrialized countries. Critical support for this thesis is based upon experimental animal studies in which lung cancers that resemble adenocarcinomas are induced with as little as 15 rads of radioactive polonium, equal to one fifth the dosage inhaled by cigarette smokers who average two packs a day during a 25-year period.

    Pubmed2

    Radiol Technol. 1996 Jan-Feb;67(3):217-22.
    Cancer risk in relation to radioactivity in tobacco.
    Kilthau GF.
    Aston Academy, Houston, Texas, USA.
    Abstract
    Leaf tobacco contains minute amounts of lead 210 (210Pb) and polonium 210 (210Po), both of which are radioactive carcinogens and both of which can be found in smoke from burning tobacco. Tobacco smoke also contains carcinogens that are nonradioactive. People who inhale tobacco smoke are exposed to higher concentrations of radioactivity than nonsmokers. Deposits of 210Pb and alpha particle-emitting 210Po form in the lungs of smokers, generating localized radiation doses far greater than the radiation exposures humans experience from natural sources. This radiation exposure, delivered to sensitive tissues for long periods of time, may induce cancer both alone and synergistically with nonradioactive carcinogens. This article explores the relationship between the radioactive and nonradioactive carcinogens in leaf tobacco and tobacco smoke and the risk of cancer in those who inhale tobacco smoke.

  28. Frank Davis says:

    Re: Radioactive Tobacco
    Pubmed3

    J Environ Radioact. 2001;57(3):221-30.
    Inhalation of 210Po and 210Pb from cigarette smoking in Poland.
    Skwarzec B, Ulatowski J, Struminska DI, Boryło A.
    University of Gdansk, Faculty of Chemistry, Sobieskiego, Poland. bosk@chemik.chem.univ.gda.pl
    Abstract
    The carcinogenic etfect of 210Po and 210Pb with respect to lung cancer is an important problem in many countries with very high cigarette consumption. Poland has one of the highest consumptions of cigarettes in the world. The results of 210Po determination on the 14 most frequently smoked brands of cigarettes which constitute over 70% of the total cigarette consumption in Poland are presented and discussed. Moreover, the polonium content in cigarette smoke was estimated on the basis of its activity in fresh tobaccos, ash, fresh filters and post-smoking filters. The annual effective doses were calculated on the basis of 210Po and 210Pb inhalation with the cigarette smoke. The results of this work indicate that Polish smokers who smoke one pack (20 cigarettes) per day inhale from 20 to 215 mBq of 210Po and 210Pb each. The mean values of the annual effective dose for smokers were estimated to be 35 and 70 microSv from 210Po and 210Pb, respectively. For persons who smoke two packs of cigarettes with higher radionuclide concentrations, the effective dose is much higher (471 microSv yr(-1)) in comparison with the intake in diet. Therefore, cigarettes and the absorption through the respiratory system are the main sources and the principal pathway of 210Po and 210Pb intake of smokers in Poland.
    PMID: 11720371 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    lycaeum.org

    The alpha emitters polonium-210 and lead-210 are highly concentrated on tobacco trichomes and insoluble particles in cigarette smoke (1). The major source of the polonium is phosphate fertilizer, which is used in growing tobacco. The trichomes of the leaves concentrate the polonium, which persists when tobacco is dried and processed.
    Levels of Po-210 were measured in cigarette smoke by Radford and Hunt (2) and in the bronchial epithelium of smokers and nonsmokers by Little et al. (3) After inhalation, ciliary action causes the insoluble radioactive particles to accumulate at the bifurcation of segmental bronchi, a common site of origin of bronchogenic carcinomas.
    In a person smoking 1 1/2 packs of cigarettes per day, the radiation dose to the bronchial epithelium in areas of bifurcation is 8000 mrem per year — the equivalent of the dose to the skin from 300 x-ray films of the chest per year. This figure is comparable to total-body exposure to natural background radiation containing 80 mrem per year in someone living in the Boston area.

  29. richwhite09 says:

    If you haven’t yet seen it, Frank’s comments just above this with links to studies on Pubmed adequately demonstrate polonium in tobacco from high-phosphate fertilisers, and the final link also mentions the equivelant of x-ray exposure, which is in keeping with the statements from the other website. So Koop’s statement itself is rather trivial, as scientific literature does exist to show that the crux of the argument is true – radioactive materials exist in tobacco smoke from the soil in which it is grown, and levels are higher in high-phosphate soils used by big tobacco companies.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Well, I did the obvious thing and looked for the most exposed workers to inhalation of radioactive fumes and dust in the making of phosphate fertilizers.
    Wouldn’t you just know it, they allowed for smoking.
    So any possible excess mortality to radiation from processing the rock, is covered.
    Just as the asbestos companies did.
    Asbestos vs. tobacco.
    “Standard Asbestos Manufacturing and Insulating Co. of Kansas City has filed suit against major U.S. tobacco companies, arguing that the tobacco companies are responsible for the lung damage suffered by asbestos workers.
    Thousands of suits have been filed against Standard and other asbestos-related companies by “workers who claim that asbestos is responsible for their injuries and disabilities.
    An attorney for Standard said that “Asbestos workers who smoke have approximately 92 times the risk of death from lung cancer as asbestos workers who do not smoke.’”
    http://tobaccodocuments.org/nysa_indexed/TI36310931.html
    The “92 times the risk” might have sounded good and saved some compensation payments, but was meaningless.
    “Those most at risk are ordinary workers and their families. Whether it was dockyard workers who unloaded the lethal cargoes, or those in the factories exposed to the fibres, or the carpenters, laggers, plumbers, electricians and shipyard workers who routinely used asbestos for insulation – all suffered.
    So did the wives who washed the work overalls and the children who hugged their parents or played in the dust-coated streets.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/asbestos-a-shameful-legacy-1825554.html
    “There was no evidence to support causal associations with exposures characteristic of the phosphate industry.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4087055
    Rose

  31. Anonymous says:

    Well, I did the obvious thing and looked for the most exposed workers to inhalation of radioactive fumes and dust in the making of phosphate fertilizers.
    Wouldn’t you just know it, they allowed for smoking.
    So any possible excess mortality to radiation from processing the rock, is covered.
    Just as the asbestos companies did.
    Asbestos vs. tobacco.
    “Standard Asbestos Manufacturing and Insulating Co. of Kansas City has filed suit against major U.S. tobacco companies, arguing that the tobacco companies are responsible for the lung damage suffered by asbestos workers.
    Thousands of suits have been filed against Standard and other asbestos-related companies by “workers who claim that asbestos is responsible for their injuries and disabilities.
    An attorney for Standard said that “Asbestos workers who smoke have approximately 92 times the risk of death from lung cancer as asbestos workers who do not smoke.’”
    http://tobaccodocuments.org/nysa_indexed/TI36310931.html
    The “92 times the risk” might have sounded good and saved some compensation payments, but was meaningless.
    “Those most at risk are ordinary workers and their families. Whether it was dockyard workers who unloaded the lethal cargoes, or those in the factories exposed to the fibres, or the carpenters, laggers, plumbers, electricians and shipyard workers who routinely used asbestos for insulation – all suffered.
    So did the wives who washed the work overalls and the children who hugged their parents or played in the dust-coated streets.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/asbestos-a-shameful-legacy-1825554.html
    “There was no evidence to support causal associations with exposures characteristic of the phosphate industry.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4087055
    Rose

  32. Anonymous says:

    Well, I did the obvious thing and looked for the most exposed workers to inhalation of radioactive fumes and dust in the making of phosphate fertilizers.
    Wouldn’t you just know it, they allowed for smoking.
    So any possible excess mortality to radiation from processing the rock, is covered.
    Just as the asbestos companies did.
    Asbestos vs. tobacco.
    “Standard Asbestos Manufacturing and Insulating Co. of Kansas City has filed suit against major U.S. tobacco companies, arguing that the tobacco companies are responsible for the lung damage suffered by asbestos workers.
    Thousands of suits have been filed against Standard and other asbestos-related companies by “workers who claim that asbestos is responsible for their injuries and disabilities.
    An attorney for Standard said that “Asbestos workers who smoke have approximately 92 times the risk of death from lung cancer as asbestos workers who do not smoke.’”
    http://tobaccodocuments.org/nysa_indexed/TI36310931.html
    The “92 times the risk” might have sounded good and saved some compensation payments, but was meaningless.
    “Those most at risk are ordinary workers and their families. Whether it was dockyard workers who unloaded the lethal cargoes, or those in the factories exposed to the fibres, or the carpenters, laggers, plumbers, electricians and shipyard workers who routinely used asbestos for insulation – all suffered.
    So did the wives who washed the work overalls and the children who hugged their parents or played in the dust-coated streets.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/asbestos-a-shameful-legacy-1825554.html
    “There was no evidence to support causal associations with exposures characteristic of the phosphate industry.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4087055
    Rose

  33. Anonymous says:

    I’m not picking up on exposed farmers either, except for the more speculative and sensationalist sites.
    2003
    “FIPR is currently conducting a study to evaluate the health risks to workers in the phosphate industry resulting from chronic inhalation of particulates containing radioactive material and/or potentially toxic chemicals.
    The study builds on two previous FIPR studies and is quantifying particle size, shape and chemical composition. It focuses on the solubility of inhaled radioactive particles in the lung fluids, which is a key factor in accurately assessing the internal dose to phosphate workers.
    Radioactive particles embedded deep in the lungs are more likely to cause a health risk. Those particles can either stay there for a long time, emitting radiation into sensitive lung tissues, or dissolve to be distributed to other parts of the body. While in the lungs, particles are bathed in lung fluids. Some particles may dissolve slowly while others dissolve quickly depending upon things like particle shape and chemistry.”
    “In some areas of the phosphate granulated fertilizer facilities, there is some dust-bearing radioactivity suspended in the work environment air almost all the time. Our studies are designed to find out how much dust the workers breathe, what portion is the right size to stay in the lungs, how much of the dust dissolves in lung fluid and how fast, and the total radiation dose to the entire body during a worker’s lifetime.
    With the information this study may provide, the Radiological Health and Safety staffs of each phosphate company can develop informed policies with respect to respiratory protection in the workplace. Regulators in the State of Florida who are currently reviewing the need for respiratory protection programs in the phosphate industry can also use the information to provide realistic estimates of workers’ doses.”
    http://www.fipr.state.fl.us/fiprreport2003/research-highlights-radiation.htm
    Rose

  34. Anonymous says:

    I’m not picking up on exposed farmers either, except for the more speculative and sensationalist sites.
    2003
    “FIPR is currently conducting a study to evaluate the health risks to workers in the phosphate industry resulting from chronic inhalation of particulates containing radioactive material and/or potentially toxic chemicals.
    The study builds on two previous FIPR studies and is quantifying particle size, shape and chemical composition. It focuses on the solubility of inhaled radioactive particles in the lung fluids, which is a key factor in accurately assessing the internal dose to phosphate workers.
    Radioactive particles embedded deep in the lungs are more likely to cause a health risk. Those particles can either stay there for a long time, emitting radiation into sensitive lung tissues, or dissolve to be distributed to other parts of the body. While in the lungs, particles are bathed in lung fluids. Some particles may dissolve slowly while others dissolve quickly depending upon things like particle shape and chemistry.”
    “In some areas of the phosphate granulated fertilizer facilities, there is some dust-bearing radioactivity suspended in the work environment air almost all the time. Our studies are designed to find out how much dust the workers breathe, what portion is the right size to stay in the lungs, how much of the dust dissolves in lung fluid and how fast, and the total radiation dose to the entire body during a worker’s lifetime.
    With the information this study may provide, the Radiological Health and Safety staffs of each phosphate company can develop informed policies with respect to respiratory protection in the workplace. Regulators in the State of Florida who are currently reviewing the need for respiratory protection programs in the phosphate industry can also use the information to provide realistic estimates of workers’ doses.”
    http://www.fipr.state.fl.us/fiprreport2003/research-highlights-radiation.htm
    Rose

    • Anonymous says:

      Ok, now I am confused.
      Why do they appear to know so much about the radiation exposure of smokers, when they appear to know so little about any health risk to the phosphate workers who inhale lung fulls of it daily?
      “FIPR is currently conducting a study to evaluate the health risks to workers in the phosphate industry resulting from chronic inhalation of particulates containing radioactive material and/or potentially toxic chemicals.”
      And apparently they have been using phosphate fertilizers in America since 1925.
      TC putting the cart before the horse?
      Nothing surprises me these days.
      Rose

    • Anonymous says:

      Ok, now I am confused.
      Why do they appear to know so much about the radiation exposure of smokers, when they appear to know so little about any health risk to the phosphate workers who inhale lung fulls of it daily?
      “FIPR is currently conducting a study to evaluate the health risks to workers in the phosphate industry resulting from chronic inhalation of particulates containing radioactive material and/or potentially toxic chemicals.”
      And apparently they have been using phosphate fertilizers in America since 1925.
      TC putting the cart before the horse?
      Nothing surprises me these days.
      Rose

  35. Anonymous says:

    I’m not picking up on exposed farmers either, except for the more speculative and sensationalist sites.
    2003
    “FIPR is currently conducting a study to evaluate the health risks to workers in the phosphate industry resulting from chronic inhalation of particulates containing radioactive material and/or potentially toxic chemicals.
    The study builds on two previous FIPR studies and is quantifying particle size, shape and chemical composition. It focuses on the solubility of inhaled radioactive particles in the lung fluids, which is a key factor in accurately assessing the internal dose to phosphate workers.
    Radioactive particles embedded deep in the lungs are more likely to cause a health risk. Those particles can either stay there for a long time, emitting radiation into sensitive lung tissues, or dissolve to be distributed to other parts of the body. While in the lungs, particles are bathed in lung fluids. Some particles may dissolve slowly while others dissolve quickly depending upon things like particle shape and chemistry.”
    “In some areas of the phosphate granulated fertilizer facilities, there is some dust-bearing radioactivity suspended in the work environment air almost all the time. Our studies are designed to find out how much dust the workers breathe, what portion is the right size to stay in the lungs, how much of the dust dissolves in lung fluid and how fast, and the total radiation dose to the entire body during a worker’s lifetime.
    With the information this study may provide, the Radiological Health and Safety staffs of each phosphate company can develop informed policies with respect to respiratory protection in the workplace. Regulators in the State of Florida who are currently reviewing the need for respiratory protection programs in the phosphate industry can also use the information to provide realistic estimates of workers’ doses.”
    http://www.fipr.state.fl.us/fiprreport2003/research-highlights-radiation.htm
    Rose

  36. Anonymous says:

    Ok, now I am confused.
    Why do they appear to know so much about the radiation exposure of smokers, when they appear to know so little about any health risk to the phosphate workers who inhale lung fulls of it daily?
    “FIPR is currently conducting a study to evaluate the health risks to workers in the phosphate industry resulting from chronic inhalation of particulates containing radioactive material and/or potentially toxic chemicals.”
    And apparently they have been using phosphate fertilizers in America since 1925.
    TC putting the cart before the horse?
    Nothing surprises me these days.
    Rose

  37. cjsnowdon says:

    But, as the original website Frank linked to said, the levels of polonium are tiny. And when it suits his argument, Rich happily admits this. For example, it’s interesting to contrast his comments in this thread with what he said on his website when a news story mentioned the polonium ‘threat’:
    “Clearly this journalist is unfamiliar with doses – undiluted vinegar, acetic acid, can kill us. Shall I run to the papers and warn people of the dangers of vinegar? No, because vinegar is actually very beneficial to us. Too much water will kill us. Too much anything can kill us.
    What the journalist fails to mention is that polonium-210 is in tobacco not because it is added, but because tobacco grows in the ground, polonium-210 is found worldwide in every crop harvested. So no more eating carrots, broccoli, potatoes, or anything else from the ground. Worried about the benzene in cigarettes? Oops, better lay off the tap water then – there’s more benzene in one glass of water than one cigarette. Televisions emit radiation, but we all happily watch them. The simple fact is that the amount of any chemicals in cigarette smoke is absolutely tiny, they are bearly measurable. As for the Polonium-210, they neglect to mention that it is in all earth-grown produces, including vegetables. It appears in tobacco smoke simply because tobacco is a plant, and as such receives the Polonium-210 content from the soil and fertilisers used to help it grow.”
    http://www.smokescreens.org/thirdhandsmoke.htm

  38. richwhite09 says:

    that’s not at all out of step with what i have said here. I have said at least twice in this debate i don’t believe polonium to be a causative agent; what I said was i offered it as an example of something that that should be examined but hasn’t.
    I have no ‘argument’ to ‘suit’ on this matter. I dare say actually that such a claim is on you; you’re the one who said such quantities i speak of are SHS not active smoke, you’re the one who said the whole radiation idea was rubbish with no attempt to find a study, and while i, and Frank, endeavour to respond to all the comments that respond to our arguments, there is a hell of a lot here directed at you that has gone unanswered, half answered or seen you go silent when a response that disagrees with you arises. Not everything, not by any means, but a fair amount. So please, stop throwing around such statements; it appears you’re employing the famed tobacco control trick of going for a personal remark rather than dealing with the content.

  39. richwhite09 says:

    Also Chris, that article of mine doesn’t mention quantity.You say it contrasts with my comments here – no it doesn’t, for my comments here have been about high-phosphate fertiliser and potential differing levels across brands or countries. I have made no claim that the quantities will be very big, large, or threatening.

  40. cjsnowdon says:

    So you don’t believe polonium is a risk factor but you think someone should investigate it. You don’t think stress is a risk factor but you think someone should investigate it. You don’t think showering is a risk factor but you think it’s worth ‘throwing out there’.
    You’re just wasting everyone’s time really, aren’t you?

  41. richwhite09 says:

    Is that the best you can do? You stated earlier in the debate every avenue has been investigated; i’m just showing otherwise.

  42. richwhite09 says:

    And what’s more, it seems everyone else is perfectly capable of reading my posts without being confused or finding them contradictory. So far, you’re the only one to take exception to them, but you’re also the only one to level personal digs, display false evidence as evidence, claim i haven’t read a study that you yourself either didn’t read or didn’t grasp, and rely heavily on tricky language and slippery arguments like ‘well, well, i can’t accept smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer until you tell me what does’. The more CATCH goes on, the more it appears you’re not willing to engage in an actual debate, but just to ramrod your ideas and beliefs to others.

  43. cjsnowdon says:

    What earthly reason would a scientist have to study third variables that even you admit couldn’t plausibly offer any fruitful study? The fact is that every plausible alternative – and plenty of implausible ones – have been studied by people who have a much better grasp of science than you. I’ll come to some of these in my next post, but ‘throwing things out there’ when a child can see that they offer no insight at all is a waste of everyone’s time.

  44. richwhite09 says:

    “What earthly reason would a scientist have to study third variables that even you admit couldn’t plausibly offer any fruitful study?”
    When did i admit they wouldn’t offer a fruitful study? I said I wasn’t offering them, here and now, as demonstrative proof of causing lung cancer, but i didn’t say they weren’t at all possible. Once again you’re twisting words.
    “The fact is that every plausible alternative – and plenty of implausible ones – have been studied by people who have a much better grasp of science than you.”
    That’s not the fact at all. Every alternative has been studied? Pull the other one Chris.
    “but ‘throwing things out there’ when a child can see that they offer no insight at all is a waste of everyone’s time”
    So is proposing a debate and then not really debating it very well.
    And what child can see that, to use but one example, radiation has no bearing on lung cancer? The animal studies certainly proved it does, the devastation from the atom bombs in Japan also showed it, and the global dispersion of radioactive particles around the world could even answer your point about smoking rates in different countries.
    It’s all a bit bemusing this anyway, because you come across as though other factors don’t exst so don’t warrant investigation. But other factors do exist, but even the most ardent anti-smoker’s admissions, and other factors, causes or knowledge about cancer will develop as time goes on. You’re on another planet if you think we know it all right now.

  45. cjsnowdon says:

    Go on then. Give us an avenue of research that hasn’t been explored which you think could explain the lung cancer epidemic of the last 80 years. One that you’re actually prepared to defend and not run away in a few hours saying ‘I was only throwing it out there’.

  46. richwhite09 says:

    I have no need to, i stated in a comment within the last 15 minutes that the point of this debate isn’t to provide an answer to the cause of lung cancer. And as i said i think yesterday, i haven’t run away from anything and haven’t offered anything as a bonafide proposal or explanation, i have just offered suggestions of research that, contrary to your claims, hasn’t been explored. There is a big difference, and if you can’t comprehend that then maybe this debate isn’t for you.

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