“Acceptable” Radiation Exposure Standards & Gender Bias: Mary Olson + In Memorium: Mary Oscko, N. St. Louis Activist – NH #612

Mary Oscko (l) and Kay Drey at the Atoms Next Door Symposium, St. Louis, 2016.

This Week’s Featured Interviews

  • Mary Oscko was a North St. Louis activist in the campaign to clean up Coldwater Creek from WWII Manhattan Project radiation contamination. Mary grew up around the stream and played in in as a child. As an adult, she and her husband bought a house backing up to the stream and she ate vegetables from her garden that were watered by the stream. She was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer despite ever having smoked cigarettes. She fought the cancer and defied the odds, living another seven years until she passed away on February 20, 2023, at the age of 63. We spoke on February 20, 2016, at the Atoms Next Door symposium in North St. Louis, when she’d already been diagnosed. This interview is presented as a memorium.

  • Reference Man is the standard first developed in 1949 to establish maximum permissible amounts of radioactive materials in the human body.  BUT because humans are so diverse in age, gender, weight, height, lifestyles, geographic locations and other factors, no Reference Man definition can possibly reflect anything other than a scant few individuals from the total population, however he is defined.  But there is a better standard that can be developed to protect the health of us all, and that’s what this week’s interviewee talks about.
Compare the sizes: adult male Reference Man vs. Little Girl
Given their relative body mass, should they be using the same standards to measure suceptibility to radiation damage

Nuclear Hotseat Hot Story with Linda Pentz Gunter:

There’s an ominous shift toward silencing those deemed not qualified to speak out. But you don’t need an engineering degree to understand that nuclear power is unacceptably dangerous.