Protection of man and the environment

Low radiation dose risks: radiobiological research

There is still too little known about the long term effects of low radiation doses, for example, following recurring medical treatment, diagnostic imaging or a nuclear accident. Science also still has much to discover about the influence of individual genetic factors on developing cancer or not. Together with institutions at home and abroad, we studied the role of genetic factors on the development of thyroid cancer.

In combination with other research projects, we hope to create a model that describes the link between thyroid cancer and low radiation doses. Repeated exposure to low radiation doses not only increases the risk of developing cancer, it is also thought to affect the development of unborn babies.

Research conducted with mice has shown that radiation of the embryo can lead to deformities and DNA instability, with an increased risk of cancer as a result. For years we have been trying to find the genetic factors that provoke these effects. We are also trying to establish whether these genetic defects can be transferred to subsequent generations as a result of radiation.

Our current studies demonstrate that the risk of problems in human embryos as a result of low X-ray doses during early pregnancy is relatively low, in relation to the spontaneous risk of a congenital deformity.