Hormesis and the Fukushima Radiation

Many people around the world have a tremendous fear right now of the radiation that is leaking from the Fukushima Nuclear reactor in Japan.  This Fukushima radiation fear is being propagated by the media and by a general misunderstanding of radiation and its effect on humans.  The majority of this fear is spawned by the LNT Model of radiation exposure.  This Linear No-Threshold model is a predictive model used by regulatory agencies that measure the risks from radiation exposure.  Essentially, the model predicts death and cancer rates in a linear fashion from exposure to atomic bomb fallout.  The LNT assumes that any radiation exposure increases the risk of sickness, cancer and death.

Whilst no one would want to be within a few miles of the reactor if it were to undergo a complete meltdown, the effects of the radiation diminish significantly with distance away from the site.  With distance away from the site, the risks of adverse health effects drop significantly.  The Hormesis model, an alternative to the LNT model, gives data to demonstrate that although high doses of radiation have an adverse effect, low doses actually have no effect or a beneficial effect. The literature supporting the Hormesis model of is significant and I would encourage you to see the chiropractic perspective at www.pccrp.org.  The hormesis model indicates that low doses of radiation not only have little to no adverse risk, but may even have a possible benefit. This gives a totally different perspective on the radiation releases from the Fukushima reactors.

Data has shown that wind currents moving radiation from Japan to the west coast of the US will arrive approximately 36 hours after release. It was reported this morning that a measurable increase in background radiation has been detected in Alaska.  This would be daunting if the radiation levels remained as high as they are at the reactor site, but, because the radiation is dispersed, little if any effect would be demonstrated on the West coast. Furthermore, the increased levels of radiation would possibly be in the ranges of beneficial effect.

The levels measured are not expected to go beyond the low dose range and are not even expected to go beyond what one would be exposed to during a flight from LA to New York.  The fear expressed by some and the run on potassium iodide would then appear to be completely unfounded.  It does not appear that the fukushima radiation will exceed doeses that would be considered pathologic.

What does this have to do with our facility? Well, not much really; but it should put into perspective any fears that people may have regarding exposure to radiation such as during x-rays of the spine. The doses from a routine spinal x-ray examination would be in the ranges of very low dose and would therefore fit the hormesis model of no adverse effect and possibly a beneficial one, plus, the information we get from the films can be the first step in improving overall health and wellbeing!

Dr. Jason W. Haas