Cancer risk was studied in 10,552 Swedish hyperthyroid patients treated with 131I between 1950 and 1975. Patients were followed for an average of 15 years (range 1-35 years) and were matched with the Swedish Cancer Register (SCR) and the Swedish Cause of Death Register (SCDR). The overall standardized incidence ratio (SIR) was 1.06 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.01-1.11], and the overall standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was 1.09 (95% CI = 1.03-1.16). The stomach was the only site for which cancer risk increased over time (p < 0.05) and with increasing activity of 131I administered (p = not significant). No increased incidence of leukemia was found, which adds further support to the view that a radiation dose delivered gradually over time is less carcinogenic than the same total dose received over a short time. A possible excess owing to radiation was suggested only for stomach cancer.
Health agencies throughout the world have evaluated the safety of irradiated foods by considering the likelihood that irradiation would induce radioactivity, produce toxic radiolytic products, destroy nutrients, or change the microbiological profile of organisms in the food. After years of study, researchers have concluded that foods irradiated under the proper conditions will not produce adverse health effects when consumed.
Epidemiologic data from underground miners confirm that radon decay products are carcinogenic, but evidence for the quantitative risks of these exposures, especially for indoor air, is less conclusive. Experimental animal studies, in conjunction with dosimetric modeling and molecular-cellular level studies, are particularly valuable for understanding the carcinogenicity of human radon exposures and the modifying effects of exposure rate, the physical characteristics of the inhaled decay products, and associated exposures to such agents as cigarette smoke. Similarities in animal and human data, including comparable lung cancer risk coefficients, tumor-related dosimetry, and tumor pathology, presently outweigh their differences. The animal models, therefore, appear to be reasonable substitutes for studying the health effects of human radon exposures.
A Test of the Linear-No-Threshold Model of Radiation Carcinogenesis
Bernard L. Cohen and , Graham A. Colditz Radiation and Public Perception
Chapter 6, pp 67–77
Pub Date : May, 1995
American Chemical Society
The linear-no-threshold theory used to estimate the cancer risk of low level radiation from the known risks of high-level radiation is tested by studying the variation of lung cancer mortality rates (m) with average exposure to radon (r) in various U.S. states and counties. The data indicate a strong tendency form to decrease with increasing r, in sharp contrast to the theory prediction of a strong increase of m with increasing r. To explain this discrepancy by a strong tendency for areas of high radon to have low smoking prevalence, and vice versa, would require almost 100% negative correlation between radon and smoking, whereas current information indicates a correction of only a few percent. Several other possible explanations for the discrepancy are explored, but none seem to be effective in substantially reducing it.
Some of the most common units, concepts, and models in use today dealing with radiation exposures and their associated risks will be presented. Discussions toward a better understanding of some of the basic difficulties in quantifying risks associated with low levels of radiation will be presented. The main thrust of this chapter will be on laying a foundation for better understanding and appreciation of the chapters to follow.
Editor(s): Jack P. Young1, Rosalyn S. Yalow2
Publication Date (Print): May 05, 1995
American Chemical Society
Radiation and Public Perception
Public Perception of Radiation Risks
Basic Units and Concepts in Radiation Exposures
Department of Energy Radiation Health Studies
The U.S. Transuranium and Uranium Registries
Lung Cancer Mortality and Radon Exposure
Evidence of Cancer Risk from Experimental Animal Radon Studies
Evaluating the Safety of Irradiated Foods
Cancer Incidence and Mortality after Iodine-131 Therapy for Hyperthyroidism
The Genetic Effects of Human Exposures to Ionizing Radiation
Studies of Children In Utero during Atomic Bomb Detonations
Cancer Risks among Atomic Bomb Survivors
A Health Assessment of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Accident
Health Studies of U.S. Women Radium Dial Workers
Evaluating Health Risks in Communities near Nuclear Facilities
Health Effects on Populations Exposed to Low-Level Radiation in China
Health and Mortality among Contractor Employees at U.S. Department of Energy Facilities
Does Nuclear Power Have a Future?
Science, Society, and U.S. Nuclear Waste
The evolution of advanced civilization has yielded works of art and science, complex financial and political systems, and technology-driven societies such as the United States. Yet as the sophistication of these societies has increased, human self-perception has diminished. One consequence of this suppressed self-image has been a growing distrust of science and certain technologies such as nuclear energy and radiation. This apprehension has been nurtured by the news and entertainment media and has partially compromised the benefits that these technologies offer. Realization of these benefits requires a restoration of self-confidence in our ability to use technologies beneficially.
This comprehensive resource is filled with ‘go to’ information for new and seasoned biomedical professionals.
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