Since we know ionizing radiation can cause cancer we must minimize the risk to the general population and concentrate particularly on those for whom there is special concern, such as workers in the radiation industry. In general, the science of radiation protection is now well developed. The historical examples of occupational exposure, like the painters of watch faces mentioned above, serve as chilling warnings of the consequences of relaxing radiation protection, but in general most workers in the radiation industry are working at levels of exposure which are associated with only negligible increases in cancer risk. There is no cause for complacency and even more strict radiation protection regulations are now being imposed. The new regulations in the United Kingdom for substances hazardous to health will help to document, strengthen and enforce the regulations.
The risk of nuclear accident or the deliberate use of nuclear radiation in warfare remains with us. Minimizing this risk is perhaps one of the most crucial roles of government in cancer prevention.
If exposure to large doses of irradiation, in occupations or accidents or warfare, are now avoidable, the focus of radiation protection comes down to the low doses of irradiation which are present in everyday life.
At present, little can be done about the exposure to natural irradiation in the environment. It probably contributes a relatively small amount to the total cancer risk and certainly is very much less important than major factors like smoking or diet. Medical exposure to ionizing radiation in diagnostic X-rays should be kept to a minimum. Hew techniques and new machines are aimed at minimizing dose levels and reducing the amount of tissue X-rayed. It is pretty clear that, within these technical limitations, the benefits of irradiation are much greater than the risk of increased cancer, if any, at such low doses.
People should not, however, have X-rays too frequently. Dental X-rays should not be given to people with normal and healthy teeth and gums more often than once every two years. It is important to wear a special apron when having a dental X-ray and your dentist will provide this for you. It is particularly important to avoid the irradiation of the unborn child and babies in the first year of life. All doctors are concerned to minimize the use of X-rays in pregnancy and in early life, and X-rays should only be used when there is a very clear need for the information that they generate.
*80\194\4*

PREVENTION OF RADIATION-INDUCED CANCERSince we know ionizing radiation can cause cancer we must minimize the risk to the general population and concentrate particularly on those for whom there is special concern, such as workers in the radiation industry. In general, the science of radiation protection is now well developed. The historical examples of occupational exposure, like the painters of watch faces mentioned above, serve as chilling warnings of the consequences of relaxing radiation protection, but in general most workers in the radiation industry are working at levels of exposure which are associated with only negligible increases in cancer risk. There is no cause for complacency and even more strict radiation protection regulations are now being imposed. The new regulations in the United Kingdom for substances hazardous to health will help to document, strengthen and enforce the regulations.The risk of nuclear accident or the deliberate use of nuclear radiation in warfare remains with us. Minimizing this risk is perhaps one of the most crucial roles of government in cancer prevention.If exposure to large doses of irradiation, in occupations or accidents or warfare, are now avoidable, the focus of radiation protection comes down to the low doses of irradiation which are present in everyday life.At present, little can be done about the exposure to natural irradiation in the environment. It probably contributes a relatively small amount to the total cancer risk and certainly is very much less important than major factors like smoking or diet. Medical exposure to ionizing radiation in diagnostic X-rays should be kept to a minimum. Hew techniques and new machines are aimed at minimizing dose levels and reducing the amount of tissue X-rayed. It is pretty clear that, within these technical limitations, the benefits of irradiation are much greater than the risk of increased cancer, if any, at such low doses.People should not, however, have X-rays too frequently. Dental X-rays should not be given to people with normal and healthy teeth and gums more often than once every two years. It is important to wear a special apron when having a dental X-ray and your dentist will provide this for you. It is particularly important to avoid the irradiation of the unborn child and babies in the first year of life. All doctors are concerned to minimize the use of X-rays in pregnancy and in early life, and X-rays should only be used when there is a very clear need for the information that they generate.*80\194\4*

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