Determining Radiation Dangers

Archive Report

Debate Over Safety Questions

Recent Incidents Causing Public Alarm

More than half a century has elapsed since women laced their eye shadow with radium to make their eyelids glow, and today any educated person would regard such a practice with horrified condescension. Yet 50 years from now, if some experts are to be believed, the routine diagnostic X-ray may be seen — like radioactive mascara — as the barbaric custom of a bygone era. According to these experts, accumulating evidence suggests radiation is much more dangerous at low levels of exposure than generally appreciated, and the U.S. government therefore should lose no time in tightening standards.

Other equally reputable experts remain convinced that low-level radiation poses a negligible health hazard, and these experts advocate retention of current ...

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