Society News Archive

29 June 2005

The newly released BEIR VII Phase 2 report, "Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation," concludes that current scientific evidence is consistent with the "linear no-threshold" (LNT) risk model. The report also presents risk models for exposure to low-level ionizing radiation based on a sex and age distribution similar to that of the entire US population and refers to the risk that an individual would face over his or her life span. The BEIR VII lifetime risk model predicts that approximately one individual in 100 persons would be expected to develop cancer (solid cancer or leukemia) from a dose of 100 mSv while approximately 42 of the 100 individuals would be expected to develop solid cancer or leukemia from other causes. Roughly half of these cancers would result in death.

A press release summarizing the report, the full report, and a report brief are available on the National Academies website. The BEIR VII committee was chaired by Richard R. Monson, MD, ScD, School of Public Health, Harvard University. Other committee members are listed in the National Academies' press release.