Fear of diagnostic low-dose radiation exposure is overstated, experts assert

January 9, 2017

In an article published in the January 2017 issue of "The Journal of Nuclear Medicine," researchers assert that exposure to medical radiation does not increase a person's risk of getting cancer. The long-held belief that even low doses of radiation, such as those received in diagnostic imaging, increase cancer risk is based on an inaccurate, 70-year-old hypothesis, according to the authors.

"We have shown that the claim made by Hermann Muller during his 1946 Nobel Lecture that all radiation is harmful, regardless of how low the dose and dose rate -- known as the linear no-threshold hypothesis (LNTH) -- was a non sequitur unrecognized by the radiation science community," states Jeffry A. Siegel, PhD, president and CEO of Nuclear Physics Enterprises, Marlton, New Jersey. "Since then, it has repeatedly been shown that the dose-response relationship may reasonably be considered to be linear but only down to a threshold, below which there is no demonstrable harm and even often benefit. Yet, the LNTH still rules radiation regulatory policy."

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