Compendium of evidence

4) Animal studies

We do not propose to analyse animal studies in this summary, since it is a huge and complex area. Busby 1995 (pp.158 - 160) discusses some of the problems of applying animal data to human beings. Briefly, most low dose effects take years to be expressed as disease, and the life spans of animals are too short to reveal such effects. However, the following studies show low dose mechanisms no-one understands.

Luning and Frolen 1963
foetal deaths in offspring of female mice mated to males exposed to Sr-90.
Effects were found in individuals three times removed from the exposure.


Smirnova et al 1969 Heart development of Sr-90 injured rats links the Sr-90 to foetal deaths from heart and circulatory system defects, a phenomenon also seen in human babies (Bramhall 1997)
Ellegren Moller et al. 1997


Genetic mutation in birds from contaminated area near Chernobyl feeds through to somatic changes and reduced survival.
DeSante 1987 a catastrophic reduction in fertility in birds some thousands of miles from Chernobyl. Similarly in December 1986 it was reported that Brent geese returning to UK from Siberia had failed to raise offspring.


Eyring and Stover 1970 lifetime study of beagles


Study of effects of injecting various isotopes into beagles reveals a difference between a natural nuclide and a man-made one (Radium had a threshold below which there was no life-shortening; Plutonium was associated with early death right down to the lowest doses See Busby 1995 pp181 - 185 for further discussion.

Other categories of evidence:
1) studies on which radiation protection standards are based, and those which undermine them:
2) epidemiological studies showing a risk not accounted for by NRPB/ ICRP model
3) studies which are said to demonstrate that there is no unappreciated risk but which have demonstrable flaws or which do, in fact, show an excess risk.
    " Publication, peer review, and credibility" and

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This page was last updated May 2001