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Medical x-rays double leukemia risk in children
About the author: 
WDDTY Team

Medical x-rays are a major cause of leukemia in children

Medical x-rays are a major cause of leukemia in children. Just three x-rays are enough to double the risk - even though doctors have always insisted that the dose is so low that they are safe.
Exposure to the standard medical x-ray - usually used as a diagnostic tool - was the one difference that researchers noticed between children with acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL) and healthy children. The children who had had three or more x-rays were twice as likely to develop the cancer.
Researchers from the Northern California Childhood Leukemia Study admitted they did not expect to see any link. One medical x-ray emits ionizing radiation equivalent to the level we experience from 10 days' exposure from the radiation in our environment - and yet it seems to be the tipping point.
The researchers said they did not screen for dental x-rays as they emit too low a radiation dose.
(Source: International Journal of Epidemiology, 2010; 1 October; doi: 10.1093/ije/dyq162).


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