Reconsideration by several leading scientific institutions of the danger from radioactive fallout has led a group of scientists to suggest the possibility that sections of the world are already beyond the radioactive danger point.
One member of this group, Walter Selove, assistant professor of Physics and currently at the Brookhaven National Laboratories, said that in the light of certain conservative estimates, "One is forced to the conclusion that one should stop all tests that release large amounts of radioactive strontium."
But he noted that Adlai E. Stevenson had misinterprated the scientists' suggestion in his recent Rock Island speech when he said that several areas in the world had "already passed the danger point."
Selove explained last night that this condition was possible but by no means certain and also emphasized that the information to which Stevenson erroneously referred has been volunteered in an entirely non-partisan and non-political report by the Radiation Hazard Committee of the American Federation of Scientists.
Difference in Saftey Factor
However, he told the CRIMSON that the British Medical Society and the International Committee on Radiological Protection have decided on a minimum safety factor which is one-tenth of the one currently accepted by the AEC. That is, these organizations feel that the human body can tolerate only ten percent of the radio-strontium which the AEC currently deems safe.
Selove also said that the danger from cancer-causing radio-strontium depends partly on the concentration of natural calcium in a particular area. Thus some areas, particularly low in calcium, will have a very high relative content of strontium which tends to mix with the calcium and be consumed by human beings.
Since the world wide distribution of calcium is far from uniform and the distribution of radioactive fallout is fairly even, it is not safe to assume a regular world-wide concentration.
Consideration of these more conservative estimates makes it appear that "A danger to health is with us right now," Selove said.