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Comment I worry about the form and entry route of lead. (Score 1) 101

I have a several pound block of lead sitting here on my workbench next to me.

It's no more of a health hazard to me than the block of tungsten I have somewhere here in my shop, or the blocks of steel that I use for supporting work on the hydraulic press a couple of feet from me. Any of them can injure my foot if it falls on it (but I wear steel toe boots). Their toxic effects in that form are nil.

Lead in many forms is not a hazard.

Dissolved in water, or in the air from leaded fuel is quite a different matter.

What form, entry route to the body, and amount the element has can make large differences.

Comment Re: Only lead?? Try something radioactive (Score 2) 101

How dare you bring science into something that is fundamentally a political question? ;)

More seriously: There is a lot of questioning of the linear, no threshold, model, but it's difficult to do studies with decent statistics at low radiation levels. It would take millions of mice (if mice were what you used) and even then the increases you'd expect would be small. See, for example: Alvin Weinberg's 1972 article in Mineva
Weinberg argue that it's an example of a question that is conceptually scientific but practically beyond scientific inquiry.

There's evidence that in some cases elevated background rates aren't correlated well with increased cancer risk, but there are many confounding factors that are difficult to sort out.

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