Federal agency adds x-rays to carcinogen warning list
Ionizing radiation has been listed for the first time as a known human carcinogen in a report prepared by the National Toxicology Program, an interagency group coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The report has been published every two years for more than two decades.
According to the "Report on Carcinogens, Eleventh Edition" released on Jan. 28, studies show that exposure to x-rays and gamma rays causes many types of cancer. Childhood exposure is linked to an increased risk for leukemia and thyroid cancer, while exposure during reproductive years increases the risk for breast cancer. Exposure later in life increases risk for lung cancer.
The report cites evidence that exposure to ionizing radiation is linked to cancer of the salivary glands, stomach, colon, bladder, ovaries, central nervous system, and skin.
The American College of Radiology will petition the NTP to have ionizing radiation removed from the list. The ACR fears that patients will be inappropriately alarmed.
The U.S. National Toxicology Program has added ionizing radiation to its list of known carcinogens. Do you believe this step will deter patients from getting needed x-ray and CT exams, or that it is a legitimate warning against overuse of radiological procedures?
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