BEIR VII report

What is the BEIR VII report?

The Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR) VII report was issued by the National Research Council in 2006. It describes the relationship between low doses of radiation exposure and the associated risk of solid cancers [3] . Data from Japanese atomic bomb survivors, Chernobyl survivors, patients who underwent radiation therapy for lung and breast cancers, radiation workers (including pilots, medical professionals, and nuclear workers), and individuals living at high altitudes were reviewed in developing the model. The data from the radiation workers showed a protective effect, while the individuals living at high altitudes did not show an increased cancer incidence; data from the former were not included in the model. The report states that “At doses less than . . . 100 mSv, statistical limitations make it difficult to evaluate cancer risk in humans,” and the committee felt that the safest conclusion was that the risk would continue linearly toward zero. This resulted in the so-called linear no-threshold model for cancer risk estimation.

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