[ RadSafe ] Low Dose Radiation Benefits

Otto G. Raabe ograabe at ucdavis.edu
Fri Jul 22 11:56:26 CDT 2011

It has become increasing apparent that the popular models of cancer 
induction risk from exposure to ionizing radiation are flawed.

The risk of radiation-induced cancer is not proportional to 
cumulative dose and there is a virtual threshold at  low dose rates ( 
Raabe, Health Phys. 98: 515-536;2010; and Raabe, Health Phys. 101: 84-93;2011).

Radon in homes is a special case.  The national lung cancer epidemic 
is caused by smoking and exposure to smoke and not by radon. In fact, 
at lower radon levels the alpha radiation exposure to the bronchial 
epithelium of the lung apparently interferes with the development of 
lung cancer, presumably by stimulating DNA repair mechanisms.

Earlier epidemiological studies of radon in homes failed to do a 
satisfactory dosimetric analysis of the smoking component of the risk 
of lung cancer.  The study  by Thompson et al. Health Phys. 
94:228-341; 2008, handled this problem and found that Cohen's 
ecological studies were correct (Cohen, Health Phys. 68: 157-174; 
1995). Low levels of radon in homes are not harmful and may be 
beneficial for smokers and their family members who may develop lung 
cancer from inhaling cigarette smoke.


Prof. Otto G. Raabe, Ph.D., CHP
Center for Health & the Environment
University of California
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
E-Mail: ograabe at ucdavis.edu
Phone: (530) 752-7754   FAX: (530) 758-6140

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