Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Lung cancer and rain - is there a link?

I recently discovered that a down loadable weather map for the US exists and that it could be obtained as a shape file  . This is handy because a shape file of weather patterns is just the ticket if you just happen to want to compare precipitation data with X over time and space .
227. "The radioactive fall-out is cleared, sooner or later, from the air by deposition. Rain contains the bulk of deposited activity and continuing measurements have been made since 1951 of the radioactivity of rain water collected from specially treated roofs. Any radioactive dust deposited on the roofs in spells of dry weather is washed off and included with the next sample of rainwater. From these measurements the amount of radioactivity deposited per square mile can be determined for each explosion." - Medical Research Council report to UK government 1956

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Russians cure their lung cancer epidemic by smoking cigarettes

I remember reading somewhere once that Russia had seen a massive fall in lung cancer despite continuing with very high smoker prevalence. The point being that the tobacco control industry insists that lung cancer rates have fallen , in countries such as the US, due to the the fall in smoker prevalence but in Russia there was no tobacco control industry to speak of , they carried on smoking and their lung cancer rate went down anyway.

But the article I read did not actually show any data to back up this claim so I have had a look and sure enough it's all completely true.


Clearly, Russians are champion smokers 60.7 % of men and 21.7 % of women

I simply don't understand how anyone can look at these data and come to the conclusion that smoking prevalence drives lung cancer. Any objective analysis would conclude that what drives lung cancer in Russia probably drives lung cancer in the US too and it is not smoking rates . The theory that smoking is the main cause of lung cancer can not explain these data.

However, if we look at global lung cancer rates in the context of nuclear fallout then we find the two highly correlated. The theory that atomic weapons testing would cause lung cancer deaths as proposed by people such as John Gofman is not new but we now have decades of data to test the theory and the theory is holding up very well. And crucially nuclear fallout can explain why there was a 30 fold increase in lung cancer among people who have never smoked cigarettes  .

More on this from Frank Davis