Author Topic: Radon in Giants  (Read 2432 times)

Offline Mark

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2020, 06:18:03 am »

"At what point does the risk of lung cancer from Radon exposure get similar to the risk from smoking?"


Doug Nash would have been the man to ask on this one, he smoked cigarettes from the age of 11, started smoking a pipe 18hrs a day in his 50s, because cigarettes were bad for him.

He spent most of his life in Radon riddled mines (work and play) and lived in a high radon area in Eyam

Lived to 95

Online Pete K

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2020, 07:24:57 am »
"At what point does the risk of lung cancer from Radon exposure get similar to the risk from smoking?"

Although I can't give you the answer you want, I can point you at the section of the BCA's new Radon Underground document that refers to health risk.
https://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=publications_information:bca_radon_underground_2nd_ed.pdf
Section 1.3 & 1.4 page 8.
Mark is right to highlight that exposure to radon does not necessarily increase the risk to the individual, as in Doug's case perhaps, although anecdotally, there is seemingly a high correlation between lung cancer and cavers. I just hope I fall on the Doug side of the genetic spectrum on this.

Online andrewmc

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2020, 07:34:52 am »
I believe the most common assumption with hazard due to low levels of radiation exposure is the linear no-threshold model, which basically says the risk is directly proportional to the exposure all the way down to zero dose, zero risk. Obviously the smaller the dose, the harder it is to demonstrate outcomes, so it's an assumption that the behaviour observed at higher doses continues at lower doses. Various people have proposed that at some arbitrary low dose the hazard suddenly disappears, or radiation even becomes helpful, but there's not really good evidence for that.

At higher doses, things are a bit different (e.g. the same dose in a shorter time is more dangerous than spread out over time) but I suspect that isn't relevant? Someone with radiological experience would probably know.

So the mainstream assumption is that there is no 'safe' dose of ionising radiation: you could go in Giant's once, be very unlucky and get lung cancer. Although equally there is background radiation everywhere, so you could just get lung cancer outside the cave if you were unlucky.

The dose limits are just to keep individual risks extremely low, I think, not because there is a 'safe' dose.

Offline mikem

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2020, 08:02:42 am »
The correlation of lung cancer to cavers may also be due to dust inhalation, rather than radon, or it may just be because the majority of those now over 60 smoked when they were younger (or were subjected to it passively in huts, pubs & underground).

Genetics are also more important than (reasonable) dose levels, as some people are much more susceptible than others, but government can't legislate on that.

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2020, 09:29:21 am »
The effect of radon on smokers is synergistic ie smoking amplifies the risk of lung cancer with co exposure many fold (cannot recall how many). I have always maintained that with the number of active cavers in the UK it would be very difficult to establish a link once you have removed all the cavers who smoke. Nowadays the numbers of cavers who smoke has dropped (if they behave like the general population) so perhaps a caving epidemiologist could look at this again.

Offline Speleotron

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #30 on: October 02, 2020, 09:31:48 am »

"At what point does the risk of lung cancer from Radon exposure get similar to the risk from smoking?"


Doug Nash would have been the man to ask on this one, he smoked cigarettes from the age of 11, started smoking a pipe 18hrs a day in his 50s, because cigarettes were bad for him.

He spent most of his life in Radon riddled mines (work and play) and lived in a high radon area in Eyam

Lived to 95

You do get survivorship bias with this kind of story though!
In search of taverns measureless to man

Offline Brains

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #31 on: October 02, 2020, 11:53:26 am »
The effect of radon on smokers is synergistic ie smoking amplifies the risk of lung cancer with co exposure many fold (cannot recall how many). I have always maintained that with the number of active cavers in the UK it would be very difficult to establish a link once you have removed all the cavers who smoke. Nowadays the numbers of cavers who smoke has dropped (if they behave like the general population) so perhaps a caving epidemiologist could look at this again.
Back in the days of carbide and ladders, smoking underground was a common thing. Sparking up from a stinky was almost a pleasure in itself. In these enlightened times electrons, stinkies and smokes are generally frowned upon everywhere. In some backwards places fireworks etc. are still seen as acceptable to a minority...
The image a beardy caver in grots on a ladder, hiding under a texolex and stinky with a dog end glued to a lip is not that out of date in some respects  ;D

Offline Fulk

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #32 on: October 02, 2020, 02:12:03 pm »
Quote
The image a beardy caver in grots on a ladder, hiding under a texolex and stinky with a dog end glued to a lip is not that out of date in some respects  ;D

Really? I don't hink I've seen such a creature this century (and for several years before).

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #33 on: October 02, 2020, 03:50:34 pm »

"At what point does the risk of lung cancer from Radon exposure get similar to the risk from smoking?"


Doug Nash would have been the man to ask on this one, he smoked cigarettes from the age of 11, started smoking a pipe 18hrs a day in his 50s, because cigarettes were bad for him.

He spent most of his life in Radon riddled mines (work and play) and lived in a high radon area in Eyam

Lived to 95

But didn't Doug suffer throat cancer long before he passed away from other causes? He was one of the lucky ones who was successfully treated for it. It seems likely that the pipe was to blame, together with the cigarettes before it.

Offline bograt

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #34 on: October 02, 2020, 06:01:29 pm »

"The image a beardy caver in grots on a ladder, hiding under a texolex and stinky with a dog end glued to a lip is not that out of date in some respects  ;D"

I've retired from active caving now  ;D ;D ;D
Aim low, achieve your goals, avoid disappointment

Offline pwhole

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #35 on: October 02, 2020, 10:47:28 pm »
Lurking on someone's phone is a photo of me at the top of Rowter Hole shaft waiting to go down, with a rather large cone in my mouth. And I'd shaved only that morning. I honestly don't know what to think about it - I smoke, and I cave primarily in Castleton, though I try to avoid 'pointless' trips generally. I guess I too have to hope for genetic benefits, as it's probably too late to make that much difference now. I smoke less than I used to, and I've certainly caved less since lockdown, but I suspect one or two trips a week for a lot of years is hard to wipe out.

Offline adep

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #36 on: October 16, 2020, 10:37:20 pm »
I did some Radon measurements for Manchester university about 12 years ago, we didn’t find Giants that bad at the time, although as stated it can vary a lot, knowing what I know I would be far more wary of Oxlow, especially in the large chambers at the bottom, we found very high readings there, to the point where I won’t go into Oxlow/ Maskill more than a couple of times a year

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #37 on: October 17, 2020, 08:31:35 am »
What time of year was that Giants study done Adep, out of interest?

I try not to think what sort of dose we must have got on all the round the clock trips in Peak Cavern's Far Sump Extension before the JH and Titan surface connections were made, allowing draughts to begin. Thank goodness I don't smoke.

Offline adep

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2020, 01:06:42 am »
What time of year was that Giants study done Adep, out of interest?

I try not to think what sort of dose we must have got on all the round the clock trips in Peak Cavern's Far Sump Extension before the JH and Titan surface connections were made, allowing draughts to begin. Thank goodness I don't smoke.

I. would have to check, but i think it would have been about March time

Offline Groundhog

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #39 on: October 30, 2020, 09:54:50 am »
Quote
The image a beardy caver in grots on a ladder, hiding under a texolex and stinky with a dog end glued to a lip is not that out of date in some respects  ;D

Really? I don't think I've seen such a creature this century (and for several years before).



From 2007   ;D

Offline Fulk

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #40 on: October 30, 2020, 11:13:35 am »
Thank you Groundhog . . . I stand corrected!

Offline T pot 2

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #41 on: October 30, 2020, 01:57:14 pm »
 :stunning photo of AG in the middle

Offline Wardy

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #42 on: October 30, 2020, 07:10:19 pm »
And that T-Pot sort of reinforces the how long ago it was!

Agree it is a good shot of him indulging in a typical activity

Offline Dickie

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Re: Radon in Giants
« Reply #43 on: October 31, 2020, 12:47:22 am »
I recall Tim Lewis coming through the first (short) sump in KMC with a lit fag end on his tongue in his mouth. Got a couple of puffs out of it before it got dripped on.
Amazin Razin rools OK!

 

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