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April 29, 1950


JAMA. 1950;142(17):1364-1365. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910350034013

In recent years much confusion has arisen concerning the effects of ionizing radiations. There is, on the one hand, the irresponsible optimism with which occasional unqualified persons handle x-ray apparatus and radioactive substances; there is, on the other hand, the unreasoning dread that can be engendered by accounts of pain, mutilation and slow death following overexposure.

Attention has been focused on the subject because of developments during the war. At the same time, new research tools and treatments were being born with the preparation of radioactive iodine, iron, phosphorus and other substances. And yet, the fact that a considerable mass of knowledge has existed for many years often was overlooked. The use of radiation and its possible harmful effects are not new subjects to the many who are acquainted with this field of activity. Ingram recently presented a discussion of the health hazards in radiation work.1 The term radiation

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