Puskin, J. S. What Can Epidemiology Tell Us about Risks at Low Doses? Radiat. Res. 169, 122–124 (2008).
Limitations on statistical power preclude direct detection and quantification of radiogenic cancer risks at very low (environmental) levels of low-LET radiation through epidemiological studies. Given this limitation and our incomplete understanding of cellular processes leading to radiation carcinogenesis, an “effective threshold” in the dose range of interest for radiation protection cannot yet be ruled out. Ongoing epidemiological studies of chronically exposed individuals receiving very low daily doses of radiation can be used, however, together with radiobiological data, to critically test whether such a threshold is plausible.