Since the publication of the BEIR VI report in 1999 on health risks from radon, a significant amount of new data has been published showing various mechanisms that may affect the ultimate assessment of radon as a carcinogen, at low domestic and workplace radon levels, in particular the Bystander Effect (BE) and the Adaptive Response radio-protection (AR). We analyzed the microbeam and broadbeam alpha particle data of Miller et al. (1995, 1999), Zhou et al. (2001, 2003, 2004), Nagasawa and Little (1999, 2002), Hei et al. (1999), Sawant et al. (2001a) and found that the shape of the cellular response to alphas is relatively independent of cell species and LET of the alphas. The same alpha particle traversal dose response behavior should be true for human lung tissue exposure to radon progeny alpha particles. In the Bystander Damage Region of the alpha particle response, there is a variation of RBE from about 10 to 35. There is a transition region between the Bystander Damage Region and Direct Damage Region of between one and two microdose alpha particle traversals indicating that perhaps two alpha particle “hits” are necessary to produce the direct damage. Extrapolation of underground miners lung cancer risks to human risks at domestic and workplace levels may not be valid.
Leonard, Bobby E; Thompson, Richard E; and Beecher, Georgia C
"HUMAN LUNG CANCER RISKS FROM RADON – PART I - INFLUENCE FROM BYSTANDER EFFECTS - A MICRODOSE ANALYSIS,"
Dose-Response: An International Journal:
2, Article 7.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dose_response/vol9/iss2/7