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Mitchel, Ron E. J. (2015)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Journal: Dose-Response
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: Adaptive response, Radiation protection, Protective thresholds, Article, Ionizing radiation
The procedures and dose limitations used for radiation protection in the nuclear industry are founded on the assumption that risk is directly proportional to dose, without a threshold. Based on this idea that any dose, no matter how small, will increase risk, radiation protection regulations generally attempt to reduce any exposure to ?as low as reasonably achievable? (ALARA). We know however, that these regulatory assumptions are inconsistent with the known biological effects of low doses. Low doses induce protective effects, and these adaptive responses are part of a general response to low stress. Adaptive responses have been tightly conserved during evolution, from single celled organisms up to humans, indicating their importance. Here we examine cellular and animal studies that show the influence of radiation induced protective effects on diverse diseases, and examine the radiation dose range that is effective for different tissues in the same animal. The concept of a dose window, with upper and lower effective doses, as well as the effect of multiple stressors and the influence of genetics will also be examined. The effect of the biological variables on low dose responses will be considered from the point of view of the limitations they may impose on any revised radiation protection regulations.

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