• Published : 2008.12.31


Lung cancer is the most prevalent global cancer, ${\sim}90%$ of which is caused by cigarette smoking. The LNT hypothesis has been inappropriately applied to estimate lung cancer risk due to ionizing radiation. A threshold of ${\sim}1\;Gy$ for lung cancer has been observed in never smokers. Lung cancer risk among nuclear workers, radiologists and diagnostically exposed patients was typically reduced by ${\sim}40%$ following exposure to <100 mSv low LET radiation. The consistency and magnitude of reduced lung cancer in nuclear workers and occurrence of reduced lung cancer in exposed non-worker populations could not be explained by the HWE. Ecologic studies of indoor radon showed highly significant reductions in lung cancer risk. A similar reduction in lung cancer was seen in a recent well designed case-control study of indoor radon, indicating that exposure to radon at the EPA action level is associated with a decrease of ${\sim}60%$ in lung cancer. A cumulative whole-body dose of ${\sim}1\;Gy$ gamma rays is associated with a marked decrease in smoking-induced lung cancer in plutonium workers. Low dose, low LET radiation appears to increase apoptosis mediated removal of $\alpha$-particle and cigarette smoke transformed pulmonary cells before they can develop into lung cancer.


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