Front cover image for Radiation and human health

Radiation and human health

John W. Gofman, Jon Goodchild (Illustrator)
There is a very large fund of accumulated knowledge concerning the effects of low doses of radiation on human health. Yet, the information available is not very useful in its crude, unintegrated form. A major goal of this book is to present and analyze the evidence concerning effects of low doses of radiation upon humans, and to demonstrate that a systematic and consistent evaluations of the evidence is now possible, with very useful practical results
Print Book, English, ©1981
Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, ©1981
xiv, 908 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
9780871562753, 0871562758
1. Introduction to radiation and human health:
Whose concerns does this book address?
An assurance about numbers
An intention to demystify
The kinds of practical questions answered in this book
Full disclosure of how answers were found
When experts disagree, whom shall we believe? 2. Energy interchanges and health:
The relationship of ionizing radiation to other forms of energy
How ionizing radiation interacts with living tissue
The nature of radioactive decay and its measurement
Doses: an energy transfer is an energy transfer. 3. Origins of human cancer: implications for radiation causation:
What is meant by 'radiation causes cancer'?
The issue of very low radiation doses;
What is cancer?
Chromosomes: an introduction
Chromosome abnormalities in human cancer cells
Ionizing radiation injury to somatic cells and the development of cancer
Chromosomes in the hereditary transmission of cancer risk. 4. Induction of cancer and leukemia by ionizing radiation:
The nature of the latent period
The 'ideal' study to assess the risk of radiation-induced cancer
Application of the whole-body cancer dose to an individual. 5. Systematic approach to the quantitative aspects of radiation carcinogenesis, with personal and public-health risk estimates:
Coping with inadequate follow-up periods by use of peal percents:
Diverging curves:observed versus expected
The basis for the conversion factors. 6. Human epidemiological evidence concerning radiation carcinogenesis : the studies involving external exposure:
Combined tumors in the Hiroshima-Nagasaki series
Cancer-by-cancer analysis of the Ankylosing Spondylitis series
Malignant lymphoma and multiple myeloma in Japan
Cancer of the thyroid and adenoma of the thyroid
Salivary-gland tumors
Brain tumors induced by ionizing radiation
Skin cancer
Pelvic cancers
Radiation-induced cancers from job-related exposures:
The Hanford Death Study;
Synthesis of peak percents from all human evidence, by age groups
A potential increase in the carcinogenic effect per rad in the Hiroshima-Nagasaki experience:
The problem of 'built-in, ' fraudulent thresholds;
What is the effect of natural and medical radiation on cancer calculations? 7. Induction of human breast cancer by ionizing radiation:
Quantitative analysis of radiation-induced breast cancer
Integration of all the breast-cancer data. 8. From peak percents to whole-body cancer doses, by age at irradiation:
Composite values for peak percents, by age
Derivation of the whole-body cancer doses, by age. 9. Practical applications of the whole-body cancer dose:
Exposure of individuals
Exposure of populations:
Derivation of the whole-body cancer dose for a population of mixed ages
Who really bears the brunt of population exposures?
The whole-body cancer dose: applicability in different countries;
Comparison of the estimates of radiation-induced cancer in this book with those of other scientific groups. 10. Partial-body irradiation and cancer doses for specific kinds of cancers:
The evidence supporting a common peak percent for all kinds of cancer:
Three generalizations about radiation carcinogenesis
Pitfalls in analyzing the evidence;
Calculation of various individual-organ cancer doses
Practical applications of the specific-organ cancer doses
Assessing risk from multiple-organ and partial-organ irradiation
The procedure for changing whole-body cancer doses and specific-organ cancer doses if future evidence requires
Comparison of cancer incidence rates with cancer death rates
The meaning and calculation of doubling doses. 11. Evidence for a linear or supralinear dose-effect relationship and for the nonexistence of a "threshold" dose:
Linearity and supralinearity
Diminishing effect per rad at low doses?
Protection by dose fractionation:
The human evidence on dose fractionation
The myth of slow energy transfer;
The proposition that there exists a threshold dose:
The evidence pertaining to existence of a threshold
The logic against the existence of a threshold;
Public-health implications. 12. Handling the internal emitters : dosimetry and applications:
Dosimetry for internally deposited beta-emitters
Dosimetry for internally deposited alpha-emitters
Dosimetry for internally deposited gamma-emitters
Combined radioactive and biological loss from tissue
Tritium: a radionuclide of public concern. 13. Internal alpha-particle emitters : radium and radon-daughters:
Cancer production by the famous 226Radium
Bone cancer from 224/88Radium, another radium nuclide
Radon carcinogenesis: lung cancer in the uranium miners
Radon and radon-daughter-product exposure in the general population
Building materials, ventilation, and exposure to radon and radon-daughter products
The long-term radon-exposure problem associated with nuclear power
The lung-cancer hazard for local residents in the vicinity of tailing piles. 14. Biologically important, man-made alpha-particle-emitting nuclides : plutonium and other transuranics:
Production of the plutonium radionuclides
Health considerations: the transuranics as a group
Health hazards of 239Plutonium and of reactor-pu
Lung-cancer production by plutonium nuclides. 15. Lung cancers already produced by plutonium inhalation:
The consequences of fallout from atmospheric bomb testing
Ongoing studies of two sets of workers exposed to plutonium. 16. Plutonium-induced lung cancers in a plutonium energy economy. 17. Likely radiation doses and their effects in a nuclear-power economy. 18. Ionizing-radiation exposures from natural sources, consumer products, and particular occupations:
Natural sources of ionizing-radiation exposure, and their effects:
Will home-building materials become an issue?
Personal versus public-health risk: the genocidal potential of 'small risks'
Efforts to measure cancer and leukemia produced by natural radiation;
Industrial and consumer products incorporating radionuclides:
Two ethical issues
Proliferating products (a partial listing);
Occupational exposures to ionizing radiation and their effects:
Some principles concerning occupational exposure
Some actual doses reported for various major industries
Occupational-risk calculations for workers, lawyers and compensation-court judges. 19. Ionizing-radiation exposures from medical diagnostic and therapeutic irradiation:
X-Rays: uncertainties about the doses received
X-Rays: What physicians and patients might do in view of uncertainties:
Two recommended means of approximation
A gall-bladder examination: irradiation of multiple organs
Calculation of the risk of cancer for a specific diagnostic procedure
Is there such a thing as a meaningful average dose for x-ray procedures?
Dental x-rays and brain cancer;
The use of radioiodine in nuclear medicine. 20. Induction of human leukemia by ionizing radiation:
The prospective study: the Japanese bomb survivors
Some serious questions about the Hiroshima-Nagasaki dosimetry
Retrospective studies of radiation induction of human leukemia: positive and negative findings:
The nature of retrospective studies;
The Tri-State Study of leukemia from medical irradiation
The linos and co-workers study of leukemia from medical irradiation. 21. Congenital (in utero, teratogenic) effects of ionizing radiation:
The nonstochastic in utero effects: defects in the central nervous system, skeleton, organs, metabolism, etc.:
The chromosomal mechanism of congenital abnormality formation
The Hiroshima and Nagasaki evidence;
The stochastic in utero effects: cancer and leukemia induction. 22. Genetic and chromosomal effects of ionizing radiation:
Types of genetic injuries:
Chromosomal disease: monosomy and trisomy
Chromosomal disease: deletions and translocations
The sex chromosomes and the x-linked diseases
The autosomal dominant diseases
Definitions: dominant, recessive, and irregularly inherited diseases
Chromosome loss versus abnormal gene;
Quantitative importance of genetic and chromosomal diseases
The simplified quantitative relationships between mutation rate and equilibrium incidence:
What happens when the mutation rate is changed, by radiation, for example?
Potential pitfalls in epidemiological studies of genetic effects of radiation;
Early death in the descendants of the Atom-bomb survivors
The problem of radiation-induced trisomies in human beings
An evaluation of recent estimates of the genetic-chromosomal cost of adding one rad of ionizing radiation per generation
An alternative explanation for irregularly inherited disorders;
Appendix: Some simple rules for handling small and large numbers and units