Why don’t we all have cancer?
Among the most remarkable evolutionary adoptions of the meme termed ‘the Precautionary Principle’ is the assertion oft repeated by researchers and the media alike, that there is no such thing as a safe concentration of a carcinogen. This view emphasizes that one atom or molecule of such a toxic substance acting upon one DNA molecule is all it takes to trigger the unregulated cell reproduction that leads to fatal metastasis (cancer).
This view is widely credenced, and millions believe in the medical importance of even fractions of an atom or molecule for they patronize homeopathic physicians, and purchase billions of dollars worth of homeopathic remedies certified to contain their active ingredients at subatomic or submolecular concentrations. Clearly, an entire atom or molecule must constitute an enormous dose in their considered opinion.
This leads to a potentially efficient research strategy for fulfilling proposals that all chemicals, elements, compounds, and molecules encountered in the technical economy of industrial nations be assessed for biological activity and human toxicity. With the advent of such advances in analytical chemistry as mass spectrometric analysis of chromatograph column effluents, and single atom spectroscopy, it is now possible to detect and quantitatively determine the concentration of all the stable elements of the periodic table in ambient samples such as tap water or human plasma, and to identify literally millions of compounds, organic and inorganic found unconcentrated in such samples as well.
This combines with advances in chemical and physical constant data base mining to make it readily possible to infer from the measurement of a finite number of elements and compounds in body fluids the equilibrium concentration of the remainder. This is because picomole or, increasingly, femto and even zeptomole sensitivity corresponds to counting atoms one at a time. It is now possible to find in a litre of human blood, which contains millions of billions of billions of atoms, virtually all of the elements all of the time, along with the vast majority of all the different molecules thus far recorded in the scientific literature.
Given that a litre of practically anybody’s body fluid contains the plenum of chemicals of regulatory interest to the Eurocracy, anybody is qualified as a test subject to check the one-molecule equals one cancer victim hypothesis. For now that molecules can be counted individually, we can recognize that everyone contains, depending on the rate constants of dissociation and recombination for the compounds of acute interest, anywhere from tens to trillions of molecules of everything on the EU list. The three-way combinations of the elements in organic compounds alone afford the first few billion chemicals in circulation in your bloodstream.
So while the odds of an individual developing a cancer from one molecule may be one in a million, someone with millions of molecules of millions of different suspect compounds ought to be floridly cancerous if the advocates of a universal chemical labelling standard are correct. Thus the president of the European Parliament is as good a medical proxy as any for the populace at large, as are his colleagues, and as long as any remain alive and well, Europe’s nations can dispense with any thought of homeodoxic standards of product labeling.
Russell Seitz, USA
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