U.S. Water News Online
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- New studies on radon in drinking
indicate a lower cancer threat than previously believed. In
fact, substantial evidence has been presented that low-level
radiation actually stimulates the body's immune system.
"The cancer risk from low-level radiation is normally
estimated by use of a linear no-threshold theory which is a
logical consequence of the view that a single particle of
radiation hitting a single biological cell can initiate
cancer," writes Jay Lehr in an article published by
Environmental Education Enterprises, Inc., of Columbus. Lehr
presents his observations of a five-year study at the
University of Pittsburgh in an editorial entitled "The Good
News About Radon."
The linear no-threshold theory, taken at face value, holds
that cancer is proportional to the dose of radiation. "This
theory, however, ignores the obvious biological defense
mechanisms that prevent numerous initiating events from
developing into cancers each day of our lives," says Lehr.
Data from the University of Pittsburgh research, he notes,
clearly show there is a strong tendency for lung cancer
rates to decrease with increasing radon exposure. "It
therefore appears that the linear no-threshold theory for
carcinogenesis from inhaled radon decay products is
invalid," he states.
Copies of the study and/or the complete editorial are
available from Lehr by Fax request at (614) 792-0006.
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