Low-dose Radiation: A Problem or a Solution?



MON, 02/08/2016 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
Spring 2016 Colloquium Series

The carcinogenic effect of low-dose radiation (LDR) has been debated intensely in the scientific community over the past several decades, with many publications supporting the linear no-threshold (LNT) model for radiation-induced cancers and others supporting the opposite concept of radiation hormesis, i.e. reduction of cancers with LDR. Since the 1950s, international and national advisory bodies have overwhelmingly recommended the use of the LNT model as a conservative approach to radiation safety. The atomic bomb survivor data, which are generally considered to be the most important data for determining the health effects of radiation, were until recently consistent with the LNT model, and have been used to justify the LDR cancer concerns based on the LNT model. However, following the 2012 update, these data are no longer consistent with the LNT model but are compatible with radiation hormesis. In addition, considerable amount of evidence supporting radiation hormesis has accumulated over the years, and major flaws have been identified in the publications supporting the LNT model, negating their conclusions. Thus, a resolution of the contentious issue of LDR health effects appears to be emerging in favor of radiation hormesis. If the validity of radiation hormesis is confirmed and recognized by the scientific community, it would reduce the fear and concerns regarding LDR exposures and result in rescinding of the present LNT model-based stringent radiation safety regulations. This would reduce objections to nuclear power plants and reduce the cost of nuclear power considerably enabling resurgence of clean, safe, reliable, and inexpensive nuclear power to meet the growing energy requirements of the world. Also, considering the slow progress in reducing cancer mortality rates over the past five decades in spite of tremendous efforts in the war on cancer, and considering the significant decrease in cancers observed following incidental or accidental LDR exposures, LDR may indeed turn out to be an important part of the solution to the cancer problem

About the Speaker:

Dr Mohan Doss received his B.Sc. degree in Physics from Madras University, India and his M.Sc. degree in Physics from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India. He obtained M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from Carnegie-Mellon University, with his thesis work in the area of medium energy nuclear physics.
SPRING 2016 University of California, Berkele y
After post-doctoral research positions at Nuclear Physics Laboratory of University of Washington, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and Saskatchewan Accelerator Laboratory, he became a Medical Physicist providing physics support for Nuclear Medicine Department of Regina General Hospital in Regina, Canada. He has certification as a Member of Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine. Presently, he is a Medical Physicist in the Diagnostic Imaging Department of Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia providing physics support. His research interests include optimization of PET imaging in oncology, biodistribution and dosimetry of novel PET imaging agents, PET imaging of Y-90 microspheres, control of non-cancer diseases using low-dose radiation, and prevention and treatment of cancer using low-dose radiation. He is one of the founding members of the international group Scientists for Accurate Radiation Information which aims to reduce the harm from radiophobia by providing accurate information on the health effects of radiation. He was the recipient of the Outstanding Leadership Award by the International Dose-Response Society in 2014.