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RADON TREATMENT CONTROVERSY

Abstract
In spite of long traditions, treatments utilizing radon-rich air or water have not been unequivocally embraced by modern medicine. The objective of this work is to examine factors that contribute to this continuing controversy. While the exact mechanism of radon’s effect on human body is not completely understood, recent advances in radiobiology offer new insights into biochemical processes occurring at low-level exposures to ionizing radiation. Medical evidence and patients’ testimonials regarding effectiveness of radon spa treatments of various ailments, most notably rheumatoid arthritis are accumulating worldwide. They challenge the premise of the Linear-No-Threshold (LNT) theory that the dose-effect response is the same per unit dose regardless of the total dose. Historically, such inference overshadowed scientific inquiries into the low-dose region and lead to a popular belief that no amount of radiation can be good. Fortunately, the LNT theory, which lacks any scientific basis, did not remain unchallenged. As the reviewed literature suggests, a paradigm shift, reflected in the consideration of hormetic effects at low-doses, is gaining momentum in the scientific community worldwide. The impetus comes from significant evidence of adaptive and stimulatory effects of low-levels of radiation on human immune system.
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Date
2006-06-01
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