Expert Report

Health Risks From Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation: BEIR VII Phase 2 (2006)

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BEIR VII develops the most up-to-date and comprehensive risk estimates for cancer and other health effects from exposure to low-level ionizing radiation. It is among the first reports of its kind to include detailed estimates for cancer incidence in addition to cancer mortality. In general, BEIR VII supports previously reported risk estimates for cancer and leukemia, but the availability of new and more extensive data have strengthened confidence in these estimates. A comprehensive review of available biological and biophysical data supports a "linear-no-threshold" (LNT) risk model -- that the risk of cancer proceeds in a linear fashion at lower doses without a threshold and that the smallest dose has the potential to cause a small increase in risk to humans. The report is from the Board on Radiation Research Effects that is now part of the newly formed Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board.