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The dangers of radiation are overrated - Nathan
December 14th, 2006
11:28 am
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The dangers of radiation are overrated
Today I came across a Christmastime staple: a list of the "ten most dangerous children's toys of all time".. I'm not in possession of the numbers to claim that they're wrong about 9 of them - lawn darts leading the list, of course - but their #2 choice stands out as remarkable fear-mongering. Unlike the others, there are no reports of injuries or deaths or even a recall of the product, though it was only sold for one year. That product is the "Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab", which included some uranium ore samples and some cool detection equipment, including a cloud chamber. The article just says that "U-238—has been linked to Gulf War syndrome, cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma, among other serious ailments". Nevermind that that's in refined, metallic form, or that the quantites involved typically include shells larger than the entire toy kit. This seems like a close cousin of the paranoia that relabeled NMR as MRI. Bah.

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