The Evidence for Excess Risk of Cancer and Non-Cancer Disease at Low Doses and Dose Rates

S. L. Simon, G. M. Kendall, S. D. Bouffler, M. P. Little*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The question of whether there are excess radiation-associated health risks at low dose is controversial. We present evidence of excess cancer risks in a number of (largely pediatrically or in utero exposed) groups exposed to low doses of radiation (<0.1 Gy). Moreover, the available data on biological mechanisms do not provide support for the idea of a low-dose threshold or hormesis for any of these endpoints. There are emerging data suggesting risks of cardiovascular disease and cataract at low doses, but this is less well established. This large body of evidence does not suggest and, indeed, is not statistically compatible with any very large threshold in dose (>10 mGy), or with possible beneficial effects from exposures. The presented data suggest that exposure to low-dose radiation causes excess cancer risks and quite possibly also excess risks of various non-cancer endpoints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-624
Number of pages10
JournalRadiation Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work of SLS and MPL was funded by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. The authors are grateful for the detailed and helpful comments of the Associate Editor and of the three referees, also to Professor Dudley Goodhead for provision of extra data.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by Radiation Research Society.


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