Aug. 23, 2002 MADISON -- A recent article published by University of Wisconsin-Madison emeritus professor John R. Cameron suggests that we all need more radiation for good health.
Cameron's article in the July issue of the British Journal of Radiology outlines evidence that a moderate annual dose of radiation increases longevity. He also outlined his findings last week at the Armed Forces Radiobiological Research Institute in Bethesda, Md.
According to Cameron, British radiologists who entered the field between 1955 and 1979 had a 29 percent lower cancer death rate compared to all other male English physicians of the same age. Radiologists also had a 36 percent lower death rate from non-cancer causes and a 32 percent lower death rate from all causes.
The chances of such a health improvement being accidental is less than one in a thousand, Cameron says. The lower death rate from all causes results in more than a three-year increase in longevity -- the same increase in longevity that would result if all cancer were curable.
In addition, Cameron discussed similar news from a U.S. government sponsored study that he participated in which shows that the 28,000 nuclear shipyard workers with the greatest radiation doses, when compared to 32,500 shipyard workers who had no on-the-job radiation, had significantly less cancer and a 24 percent lower death rate from all causes. That is, the nuclear workers had an almost three-year increase in longevity, Cameron says. The chance of that health improvement being accidental is less than one in 10 million billion.
Cameron has been recognized for his contributions in the fields of radiation and radiology by various national and international organizations. In 1960, he was the inventor of the bone densitometer to detect and accurately measure bone density, which indicates the presence or absence of osteoporosis. There are now about 50,000 such instruments in the world.
To read the British Journal of Radiology article, visit: http://bjr.birjournals.org/cgi/content/full/75/895/637
For another Cameron article on the subject, in Physics and Society (October 2001), visit: http://www.aps.org/units/fps/oct01/a5oct01.html
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