Environment News Service

Almost $7 Million Funds Radiation Research

WASHINGTON, DC, October 4, 2002 (ENS) - The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have funded six basic research projects on the health effects of low doses of ionizing radiation.

The six three year projects will be funded for a total of $6.69 million. The research teams will apply similar experimental techniques and research designs to study problems that are relevant to both the DOE Low Dose Radiation Research Program and the NASA Space Radiation Health Program.

The goal of DOE's program is to help determine human health risks from exposures to low levels of radiation encountered in work and cleanup environments. The goal of NASA's program is to pinpoint health risks from radiation exposure to astronauts working in the space environment.

DOE's research focuses on very low doses of x-rays and gamma rays, whereas NASA studies low levels of particulate ionizing radiation - alpha particles, protons and high energy heavy ions - that comprise the solar wind and cosmic rays. In both cases, this information is needed to determine adequate and appropriate protective measures for personnel.

Brookhaven National Laboratory will use its grant to study how low level radiation damages clusters of DNA in human cells. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will explore the effects of low doses of radiation on DNA repair.

The University of Texas will look at chromosome responses to low doses of ionizing radiation, while the Texas Engineering Experiment Station at Texas A & M will research the responses of respiratory cells.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will investigate how a genetic defect may account for some people's higher susceptibility to low dose radiation. Loma Linda University will look at whether low doses of gamma radiation to thyroid tissue increases risks from additional exposure to gamma rays or other radiation.

The projects will be funded by the DOE Office of Science's Office of Biological and Environmental Research and by NASA's Space Radiation Health Program, Office of Biological and Physical Research.

More information on the funded projects is available at: http://lowdose.tricity.wsu.edu

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2002. All Rights Reserved.

COMMENTS:

More money to be wasted by the Department of Energy (DOE)! Oh well, what else is new? They're winners when it comes to spending money and not getting much done.

All they have to do is talk to the Linde/Praxair hourly employees and check their health records and death certificates. We worked in low-level ionizing radiation (Uranium) for many years.

Seems that they're going to study the same problems that the workers ran into. We were told that 'you can't prove that' when we questioned and challenged DOE on the same subjects as they're now going to study.

But then, I guess that astronauts' lives are more important than yours and mine.

Don

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