Edward J. Calabrese in the Financial Post debunks linear no-threshold (LNT) one more time.
The first Earth Day, in 1970, was celebrated after a wave of environmentalism swept the nation. Many give credit to Rachel Carson’s 1962 book, Silent Spring, which popularized the notion of large-scale chemical pollution, for igniting the movement.
But she was really feeding off of a concept developed a few years earlier. The “precautionary principle” was conceptualized when the National Academy of Sciences proposed a radical change in the risk assessment of exposure to radiation and carcinogens. It recommended changing the regulatory paradigm from a “threshold dose” model to a linear one.
The threshold paradigm was what one might call common sense. It held that humans could tolerate small doses of things that, in larger doses, could be harmful.
Sunlight is a perfect example. Low doses are actually required…
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