PDF The Myth of the Linear, No-Threshold Dose-Response Relationship for Carcinogens

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This manuscript takes a hard look at the origins of the LNT hypothesis and concludes that it is a myth. Literally, the LNT hypothesis was created by application of inappropriate assumptions to questionable data. Basically, the LNT theory never should have been accepted as "science" and should be required to meet a burden-of-proof standard itself in any scientific comparisons.

In this manuscript, I will show that the methodology for cancer risk assessment used by regulatory agencies was arbitrarily parsed from the body of scientific literature available circa , because it is simple to apply and inherently over conservative, not because it provided realistic scientific results. This manuscript has citations of the literature. Read more Read less. No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers.

It Is Time to Move Beyond the Linear No-Threshold Theory for Low-Dose Radiation Protection

Write a customer review. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations. View or edit your browsing history. Back to top. In a study [25] cancer rates among UK radiation workers were found to increase with higher recorded occupational radiation doses. The doses examined varied between 0 and mSv received over their working lives.


The cancer risk for these radiation workers was still less than the average for persons in the UK due to the healthy worker effect. A study focusing on the naturally high background radiation region of Karunagappalli , India concluded: "our cancer incidence study, together with previously reported cancer mortality studies in the HBR area of Yangjiang , China, suggests it is unlikely that estimates of risk at low doses are substantially greater than currently believed.

In an in vitro time-lapse study of the cellular response to low doses of radiation showed a strongly non-linear response of certain cellular repair mechanisms called radiation-induced foci RIF.

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The study found that low doses of radiation prompted higher rates of RIF formation than high doses, and that after low-dose exposure RIF continued to form after the radiation had ended. The authors conclude that their results were generally consistent with the linear no threshold theory. The LNT model has been contested by a number of scientists. It is been claimed that the early proponent of the model Hermann Joseph Muller intentionally ignored an early study that did not support the LNT model when he gave his Nobel Prize address advocating the model. It is also argued that LNT model had caused an irrational fear of radiation.

In the wake of the Chernobyl accident in Ukraine , Europe-wide anxieties were fomented in pregnant mothers over the perception enforced by the LNT model that their children would be born with a higher rate of mutations. As no Chernobyl impacts were detected, the researchers conclude "in retrospect the widespread fear in the population about the possible effects of exposure on the unborn was not justified".

In very high dose radiation therapy , it was known at the time that radiation can cause a physiological increase in the rate of pregnancy anomalies, however, human exposure data and animal testing suggests that the "malformation of organs appears to be a deterministic effect with a threshold dose " below which, no rate increase is observed. Ramsar , located in Iran , is often quoted as being a counter example to LNT. Based on preliminary results, it was considered as having the highest natural background radiation levels on Earth, several times higher than the ICRP -recommended radiation dose limits for radiation workers, whilst the local population did not seem to suffer any ill effects.

A research of the cellular repair mechanisms support the evidence against the linear no-threshold model. Several expert scientific panels have been convened on the accuracy of the LNT model at low dosage, and various organizations and bodies have stated their positions on this topic:. The assumption that any stimulatory hormetic effects from low doses of ionizing radiation will have a significant health benefit to humans that exceeds potential detrimental effects from the radiation exposure is unwarranted at this time.

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The scientific research base shows that there is no threshold of exposure below which low levels of ionizing radiation can be demonstrated to be harmless or beneficial. Until the [ However, a strictly linear dose response should not be expected in all circumstances. Underlying the risk models is a large body of epidemiological and radiobiological data. In general, results from both lines of research are consistent with a linear, no-threshold dose LNT response model in which the risk of inducing a cancer in an irradiated tissue by low doses of radiation is proportional to the dose to that tissue.

A number of organisations disagree with using the Linear no-threshold model to estimate risk from environmental and occupational low-level radiation exposure:. In accordance with current knowledge of radiation health risks, the Health Physics Society recommends against quantitative estimation of health risks below an individual dose of 5 rem 50 mSv in one year or a lifetime dose of 10 rem mSv above that received from natural sources.

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Doses from natural background radiation in the United States average about 0. A dose of 5 rem 50 mSv will be accumulated in the first 17 years of life and about 25 rem mSv in a lifetime of 80 years. Estimation of health risk associated with radiation doses that are of similar magnitude as those received from natural sources should be strictly qualitative and encompass a range of hypothetical health outcomes, including the possibility of no adverse health effects at such low levels. There is substantial and convincing scientific evidence for health risks at high dose. Below 10 rem or mSv which includes occupational and environmental exposures risks of health effects are either too small to be observed or are non-existent.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission takes the intermediate position that "accepts the LNT hypothesis as a conservative model for estimating radiation risk", but noting that "public health data do not absolutely establish the occurrence of cancer following exposure to low doses and dose rates — below about 10, mrem mSv. Studies of occupational workers who are chronically exposed to low levels of radiation above normal background have shown no adverse biological effects. The consequences of low-level radiation are often more psychological than radiological.

Because damage from very-low-level radiation cannot be detected, people exposed to it are left in anguished uncertainty about what will happen to them. Many believe they have been fundamentally contaminated for life and may refuse to have children for fear of birth defects. They may be shunned by others in their community who fear a sort of mysterious contagion.

Forced evacuation from a radiation or nuclear accident may lead to social isolation, anxiety, depression, psychosomatic medical problems, reckless behavior, even suicide. Such was the outcome of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Ukraine. A comprehensive study concluded that "the mental health impact of Chernobyl is the largest public health problem unleashed by the accident to date". Such great psychological danger does not accompany other materials that put people at risk of cancer and other deadly illness.

Visceral fear is not widely aroused by, for example, the daily emissions from coal burning, although, as a National Academy of Sciences study found, this causes 10, premature deaths a year in the US. It is "only nuclear radiation that bears a huge psychological burden — for it carries a unique historical legacy".


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. See also: Health effects of sun exposure. Further information: Radiophobia. Emerg Med Clin North Am. Archived from the original PDF on 5 August Retrieved 3 February April Kathren December University of New Hampshire Law Review. Bibcode : Sci Muller - Nobel Lecture".

Nobel Prize. Congdon Robert Schweisthal 1 February Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The National Academy. August Calabrese April Environmental Research. Bibcode : ER Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Bibcode : PNAS..

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