The Basis for the Limit on Whole-body Exposure-experience of Radiologists

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Since 1929 the maximum permissible dose for radiologists and others occupationally exposed to ionizing radiation has been progressively reduced to the present levels, which have stood since 1949. These rest on a great body of experimental data in animals plus data from radiologists, data from the Japanese at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a few patients who have received whole-body radiation, the Marshallese islanders, those who have ingested radium and those involved in radiation accidents. The end points for these observations have been life shortening, induction of leukemia, bone tumors, skin cancers and sterility. In 1956 I pointed out that life span of radiologists was shortened. This was first criticized, later partially confirmed, and I am presenting additional data not only confirming the earlier observations but pointing out that as radiologists have followed the MPD guides more effectively, their lives are lengthening, as shown in the accompanying data, derived from AMA mortality data and other sources. The unduly high incidence of leukemia in radiologists is well known. It appears now to be less of a hazard.

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