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Study: Even Low-Dose Radiation is Dangerous

Time to get out the attack weapons again!  This was published tonight 
on Reuters News Service:

Wednesday October 8 7:54 PM EDT 

Study: Even Low-Dose Radiation is Dangerous

LONDON (Reuter) - Radiation, even in very small doses, is far more
damaging to health than previously thought, a leading science magazine
said Thursday. 

Most scientists now believe radiation below the
internationally-accepted level of one millisievert per year can damage
DNA in a new way that could harm the gene pool, wreck future
generations and kill, the New Scientist said. 

"It's a horrifying concept. But we now have early indications that it
may be happening," Eric Wright of Britain's Medical Research Council
(MRC) told the magazine. 

The deadly effects of the atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese cities
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or of the world's worst nuclear accident at
Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1996, are well documented. 

But Wright says radiation can also damage cells in a way that cannot
be detected until they have divided several times, in what he calls
radiation-induced genomic instability. 

"I regard the phenomenon as established," he said. "There is no doubt
that genomic instability is a real consequence of radiation exposure."

The magazine said Wright's studies on mice and in humans, and at least
six other projects around the world, showed the progeny of cells
exposed to low-dose radiation had more chromosome aberrations than
normal cells. 

The research also revealed that some people are more vulnerable to
genetic instability than others. 

Although not yet proven, Wright believes induced genomic instability
causes cancers like leukemia and may result in small increases in many
other diseases. 

It could also aid the development of brain disorders such as
Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases and increase developmental
defects in fetuses. 

Dudley Goodhead, also of the MRC, supports the theory and says just a
tiny particle can damage a cell and boost the risk of disease. 

But David Cox of Britain's National Radiological Protection Board,
citing the medical surveillance of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims,
told the New Scientist there was no evidence to support the theory
that genomic instability can increase the risk of diseases or kill. 

But although irrefutable proof is still lacking, the magazine said the
genomic instability theory was already causing other scientists
working in radiation protection to question the existing safeguards. 
Sandy Perle
Technical Director
ICN Dosimetry Division
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Office: (800) 548-5100 x2306 
Fax:    (714) 668-3149

Personal Homepage:

ICN Dosimetry Website:

"The object of opening the mind, as of opening 
the mouth, is to close it again on something solid"
              - G. K. Chesterton -