a reply to: theNLBS
Hey Joe! Glad to see the good work is continuing to be done!
Now, to the meat of it...
Joe, my main concern, upon reading of these vans, and watching your episode, is not specifically about the dose of radiation that the vans put out,
although it relates to it. In a large city, or even a mega city like New York, there are going to be a great many people who have had CT, CAT, or just
plain old X-Ray images taken of them, for legitimate medical purposes. Emergency rooms treat uncountable numbers of broken bones every year, and
dental X-Rays are taken by dentists on a pretty regular basis. Not only that, but CT and CAT scans are used with great frequency as well. There is
ALREADY a risk associated with those practices, but the risks are outweighed by the diagnostic benefits to patients requiring treatment, and so they
are carried out anyway. The risks, it must be said, from a person having one X-Ray or other scan involving radiological sources, in a given time
period is relatively minimal.
However, sometimes one scan is not enough, and here's a kicker... Radiological damage to the body is cumulative. The more you get over a period of
time, the worse it is. It's not like getting shot, which has drastic effects immediately and after a single dose. The effect builds up over time, and
there is an upper limit on the number of times one can be scanned or X-Rayed over a given period.
Now, given that there are people wandering the streets of EVERY major city, many people wandering those streets, who will have been given CT scans,
CAT scans, and X-Rays, that means that adding these vans to the mix will make it more likely that people will suffer health problems as a result of
over exposure to radiological sources. Think about it. Let's say there is a person walking around out there who has had the maximum number of CAT
scans for the year, already absorbed the maximum allowable number of rems. If that person happens to live in an area where these vans are prevalent,
then they will be collect extra rems from those vans, and that could lead to all sorts of complications.
Further to that, it will mean that radiologists will be at a loss to know how best to approach persons living in areas where these vans are most
often used, because no one will know how many rems the patient has ACTUALLY absorbed. The estimates will be out of date.
Unless the NYPD provides data to the medical institutions about the system, and where it is most often used, they will wind up making medical
decisions harder, and that could cost lives indirectly. It could also cause some of the individuals who have had many broken bones, or much dental
work, to become over exposed to radiation sources, and suffer radiation related illnesses. Until the people are made aware of the output of the
system, it should not be cleared for use on the streets, and even then, only if it can be proven to be safe for everyone.