When it comes to radiation, most of us think it will harm the biological organism. Nuclear decay chemicals that release energy that can damage our DNA and cause cancer.
But those are high doses of radiation. As for background radiation from space, environmental radiation from natural materials such as radon gas, medical X-rays or a small amount of radioactive dust from nuclear tests, the scientists said. : Relatively high exposure to background radiation can make you healthier.
This conclusion is drawn from a study by Israeli scientists working at Ben-Gurion University. In it, they examined background radiation data in 3,129 US counties from the 1960s.
These data were recorded using an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) meter. They were then cross-referenced to cancer rates from the US Cancer Statistics and life expectancy data from the Institute of Health Metrology and Evaluation at the University of Washington Medical Center.
The background radiation on the Earth is natural radiation coming from space, environmental radiation from materials such as radon, or artificial sources such as medical X-rays or a small amount of radioactive dust from nuclear test.
The results showed that people living in places with higher background radiation had significantly lower rates of lung, pancreatic, colon and rectal cancers.
Besides, “We also find that life expectancy – the most integrated indicator of population health – of people living in relatively high background radiation areas will be about 2.5 years longer than in areas with background radiation. short“, the researchers write in their papers.”Exposure to a high background radiation has clearly had beneficial effects on human health “.
Why could that happen?
The explanation could come from an effect known as “Hormesis“In it, when an organism is exposed to a small amount of a toxin or stress factor, it triggers beneficial biological responses, including the body’s self-repair and repair effects.”
This is something you may have experienced after intense exercise, fasting, or a cold. High background radiation can also be a stress effect that triggers hormoneesis, which helps cells produce membrane-repairing enzymes or mutated DNA, bringing them back to their original healthy state.
This has been observed in a number of low-dose radioactive fungi, plants, protozoa, algae and insects since 1940. In humans, low-dose radiation has been used to treat pneumonia for patients in the first half of the 20th century, but were later restricted because of fears it could lead to cancer.
Scientists are proposing a threshold under which low-dose radiation could benefit the body.
Since then, the study of low dose radiation exposure has resumed the animal experiments. Many studies in rats have found that low-dose radiation can protect them from DNA damage and lead to a longer lifespan.
Observational studies of mouse populations around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant area after the 1986 disaster also found that mice exposed to radiation had higher levels of white blood cells in the body, a factor suggesting that they have a stronger immunity.
Several studies in recent years have found that diabetic rats heal more quickly when they are exposed to low-dose radiation. They also experienced less kidney damage than other diabetic rats often encountered due to a common complication of the disease.
Natural background radiation is all around us
Based on these evidence, scientists are proposing a threshold under which low-dose radiation could benefit the body. “It is plausible to assume that such a threshold does exist. And it is certainly higher than the upper limit of the current natural background radiation level in the United States.“they write in the new research report.
According to Doug Seserman, Executive Director at the American Association of Universities: “Decades of scientific theories are likely to be rejected by researchers at Ben-Gurion University. These findings may even give relief to people living in areas where the pictures are affected. the background radiation is higher than the average in the US “.
Currently, the average background radiation in the US is recorded to be 3.1 mrem (milli rem) per year. In comparison, the lethal dose of radiation is about 500 rem. 100 rem exposure can cause acute reactions such as nausea or redness of the skin. The 25 rem threshold could make you temporarily infertile. One chest X-ray exposes you only to a dose of 10 mrem.
Refer to Futurism
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