Biological Effects of Radiation

Within a year after Roentgen's discovery of X-rays in 1895, it was learned that exposure to ionizing radiation could lead to biological damage. Since that time, a tremendous amount of research has been done attempting to interpret the reactions that take place from the moment that radiation enters a living cell until some permanent damage is produced. From beginning to end, these initial reactions are probably completed in a millionth of a second, making them very difficult to study. For this reason, it is still not known which of the many chemical or biochemical reactions brought about by ionizing radiation are responsible for initiating biological damage.

  • Anonymous

    Who wrote this last sentence?  We know more about radiation's negative and positive effects than any other stressor. Unfortunately, the EPA and others make it a practice to ignore low-level radiation damage that produces beneficial health effects. The quotation from a 2004 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) document on its practices stating: " the purpose of a risk assessment is to identify risk (harm, adverse effect, etc.), effects that appear to be adaptive, non-adverse, or beneficial may not be mentioned", appears to be strongly biased, unacceptable to science, and a disservice to society.

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