Occupational Hazards

Adverse Health Effects of Sustained Low-Level Radiation Exposure

Collection of data on the risk of adverse health effects caused by exposure to ionizing radiation is in an early stage, with most of the data coming from the studied effect on interventional cardiology teams. Mounting evidence shows a link to a series of significant stochastic health effects, including left-sided brain tumors, posterior subcapsular lens changes (a precursor to cataracts), skin cancers, thyroid disease, and neuro-degenerative disease. More generalized adverse health effects, such as cardiovascular disease and diminishment of reproductive capacity, also may be linked to general chronic, low-dose radiation exposure.1 Significant recent findings in these areas include:

Career Exposure in the Cath Lab

  1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Radiation Protection Programs Home Page; Health Effects, http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/understand/health_effects.html (Accessed on November 10, 2014).
  2. E Picano, et al, 2012.
  3. A. Roguin, et al. Brain and neck tumors among physicians performing interventional procedures. 111 American Journal of Cardiology 9:1368-72 (May 2013).
  4. E. Vano, et al. Radiation-associated lens opacities in catheterization personnel:results of a survey and direct assessments. 24 Journal of Vascular Interventional Radiology 2:197-204(2013).
  5. D. Miller et al., Occupational Radiation Protection in Interventional Radiology:A Joint Guideline of the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology Society of Europe and Society of Interventional Radiology, ardiovascular and Interventional Society of Europe & the Society of Interventional Radiology (2010).
  6. LW Klein, et al. Occupational Health Hazards in the Interventional Laboratory:Time for a Safer Environment, 20 Vasc Interv Radiol 147, 147 (2009).
  7. E. Ron, R. Brenner, Non-malignant thyroid diseases after a wide range of radiation exposures. Radiation Research, 174:877-888 (2010).
  8. E. Picano, Cancer and non-cancer brain and eye effects of chronic low-dose ionizing radiation exposure, BMC Cancer, 12:157 (2012).
  9. A. Budorf, Effects of occupational exposure on the reproductive system:core evidence and practical implications, Occupational Medicine 56:516-520 (2006).
  10. P. Best, et al, SCAI Consensus Document on Occupational Radiation Exposure to the Pregnant Cardiologist and Technical Personnel, 77 Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, 232-241 (2011).