Mouse and hamster skin was irradiated with either accelerator-produced (BEVALAC)${}^{20}{\rm neon}$ ions at 375 MeV/nucleon energy, or with 230 kV X-rays. Single- dose exposures to${}^{20}{\rm neon}$ ions were performed in the plateau region of ionization. Comparison of responses after neon ion exposures to responses produced by X-irradiation indicate an increased relative biological effectiveness of about 1.7 at low doses (750-1250 rad) to about 1.4 at high doses (1750-2750 rad) as determined by comparing average skin responses for mice over the period of 8-30 days postirradiation. For hamsters, the average 8-30 day postirradiation skin reactions indicate RBE values of about 1.8 at low doses (500-1000 rad) to about 1.3 at higher doses (1500-2500 rad).

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