Document Type: Short Communication

Authors

1 School of Midwifery and Nursing, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Ionizing and Non-ionizing Radiation Protection Research Center (INIRPRC), Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Biophotonics Lab, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, 53211 USA

4 School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

There is no place on the Earth, the planet we live on, where the natural background radiation level is zero. Since the birth and even in our fetal stage, we have been exposed to different sources of natural radiation. Life, in fact, evolved in a radiation environment that was much more harsh than today. Earth serves as a source of terrestrial radiation. Uranium, thorium, and radium are among the radioactive materials that naturally exist in soil and rock. Moreover, the air, we breathe, contains radon, a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that is created naturally by the radioactive decay of uranium and radium. The crucial importance of the studies on the health effects of living in areas with high levels of background radiation for understanding the biological impact of exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation is well documented. Despite the undeniable need for accurate information about the health effects of exposure to high levels of background radiation, many published papers suffer from methodological and other common types of errors. In this paper, we review three articles published on high background radiation areas. The first paper has addressed the frequencies of unstable (dicentrics& rings), stable (translocations & inversions), and other types of chromosome aberration in adult men from both high background radiation areas of Kerala and areas with normal background radiation. The second paper has addressed different aspects of the world’s high background natural radiation areas. Finally, the third paper has tried to address the role of background radiation on males to females’ ratio at birth. The author has mainly referred to the studies performed on the impact of radiation exposures from nuclear testing (worldwide) and Chernobyl fallout (in Europe).The major shortcomings of these three papers, especially methodological errors, which affected the accuracy of their findings and conclusions are discussed.

Keywords