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

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  •  Great diary. Thank you. (2+ / 0-)
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    raoul78, worldlotus

    There is of course a serious risk of radiation levels getting higher.

    I also wonder about 2 things:
    1.) Predisposition.  I wonder if increased radiation levels have an effect on certain members of the population? and even if they do will there be a direct causality,or will those people have gotten cancer by hook or by crook?

    2.) Cumulative exposure. Will certain residents of the affected area reach the maximum allowable dose in their lifetimes, due to this event (which is on going)

    Unfortunately Japan will become an open lab for testing human exposure to radiation yet again.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. - Poor Richard's Almanac 1755

    by mungley on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 08:15:42 AM PDT

    •  Some thoughts (0+ / 0-)

      With regards to point 1, I don't know in general.  However, in my own work, mutations in the DNA repair genes I study lead to increased cancer risk, and I would be surprised if exposure to additional radiation didn't further increase that risk.

      For your second question, the simple answer is we don't know.  If the levels continue to fall, and they don't discover large quantities of cesium, uranium, or plutonium have been released, the low dose exposure people have and are receiving will be not greatly affect the total amount they are exposed to over their lifetime.

      If the contamination is higher than is being reported, or gets worse, cumulative contamination could be an issue.  Following Chernobyl, they relocated anyone who was at risk of receiving 350 mSv over the course of their lifetime (sorry, I don't remember where I read that number).  The numbers reported at the moment are much much less than this.

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