Current understanding of risk associated with low-dose radiation exposure has for many years been embedded in the linear-no-threshold (LNT) approach, based on simple extrapolation from the Japanese atomic bomb survivors. Radiation biology research has supported the LNT approach although much of this has been limited to relatively high-dose studies. Recently, with new advances for studying effects of low-dose exposure in experimental models and advances in molecular and cellular biology, a range of new effects of biological responses to radiation has been observed. These include genomic instability, adaptive responses and bystander effects. Most have one feature in common in that they are observed at low doses and suggest significant non-linear responses. These new observations pose a significant challenge to our understanding of low-dose exposure and require further study to elucidate mechanisms and determine their relevance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health