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June 3, 1961

Radiation Hysteria

Author Affiliations

Vanderbilt Medical School, Nashville, Tenn.

JAMA. 1961;176(9):826. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040220074029

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  The present cycle of "radiation hysteria" is doing more damage than any of the others. The laity are asking "Will this x-ray of my chest do me or my offspring any harm?" Articles appearing in nonprofessional periodicals have the public and some professional men wondering if the routine x-ray examination is safe. After 42 years' experience, I feel that I can answer that question up to the present. What might happen a hundred years from now, no one knows. The human race has received small amounts of x-ray since time began. Beginning 42 years ago, I was called on many times to x-ray possible cases of pregnancy in young suspects. Many positive diagnoses were made and I am now x-raying the grandchildren of those babies and have yet to see my first case of genetic mutation in a single one. All radiologists have seen their share of

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