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View Diary: Radiation, Cancer, and the Linear No-Threshold Model (143 comments)

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  •  A doubling of cancer risk (5+ / 0-)

    would likely not occur due to radiation - if 100 mSv increases your risk by 0.5%, 1 Sv then would be 1% and 10 Sv would only be a 10% increase - but you'd die of acute radiation sickness much sooner than you could develop cancer from a 10 Sv dose.  

    There simply isn't enough statistical power and population groups to look at these low dose numbers, so the LNT model predicts these effects for doses below what we can statistically detect.

    These high dose areas, like in Iran, should see statistical increases in cancer risk, but even then, since the population is relatively low, and cancer risk is already quite high, the signal-to-noise ratio puts the increase below the detection limit.  

    •  The Kerala, India "high" radiation region (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raoul78, OtherDoug, Ice Blue

      seems to have been subject to a bit more rigorous study:

      abstract from PUBMED

      The coastal belt of Karunagappally, Kerala, India, is known for high background radiation (HBR) from thorium-containing monazite sand. In coastal panchayats, median outdoor radiation levels are more than 4 mGy y-1 and, in certain locations on the coast, it is as high as 70 mGy y-1. Although HBR has been repeatedly shown to increase the frequency of chromosome aberrations in the circulating lymphocytes of exposed persons, its carcinogenic effect is still unproven. A cohort of all 385,103 residents in Karunagappally was established in the 1990's to evaluate health effects of HBR. Based on radiation level measurements, a radiation subcohort consisting of 173,067 residents was chosen. Cancer incidence in this subcohort aged 30-84 y (N = 69,958) was analyzed. Cumulative radiation dose for each individual was estimated based on outdoor and indoor dosimetry of each household, taking into account sex- and age-specific house occupancy factors. Following 69,958 residents for 10.5 years on average, 736,586 person-years of observation were accumulated and 1,379 cancer cases including 30 cases of leukemia were identified by the end of 2005. Poisson regression analysis of cohort data, stratified by sex, attained age, follow-up interval, socio-demographic factors and bidi smoking, showed no excess cancer risk from exposure to terrestrial gamma radiation. The excess relative risk of cancer excluding leukemia was estimated to be -0.13 Gy-1 (95% CI: -0.58, 0.46).

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