Chromosome damage in liver cells from low dose rate alpha, beta, and gamma irradiation: derivation of RBE

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Science  12 Dec 1975:
Vol. 190, Issue 4219, pp. 1090-1092
DOI: 10.1126/science.1188384


Relative biological effectiveness (RBE) for chromosome damage in liver cells was determined after low dose rate exposures to alpha, beta, or gamma irradiation. Protracted exposures to beta and gamma irradiation were equally effective, whereas low dose rate exposures to alpha emitters were 15 to 20 times more damaging than exposures to beta or gamma irradiation. These data support the use of the quality factor of 10 recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection and the National Council on Radiation Protection for estimating the biological hazard from internally deposited alpha emitters. When the dose rates were low, all types of chromosome damage observed were produced by single-hit processes.