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January 12, 1963


JAMA. 1963;183(2):133. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700020083018

With the increased use in many fields of ionizing radiations, interest in the associated hazards has grown. Radiation may cause somatic damage or it may damage the germ cells and cause undesirable mutations in the offspring. In either case, regardless of the cause, many persons are avidly clamoring for workmen's compensation because of injuries allegedly attributable to undue exposure incurred while employed. Proof of such an association is very difficult but the Radiation Committee and the Workmen's Compensation Committee of the Industrial Medical Association working together have made a monumental effort to clarify some of the problems involved in the diagnosis of radiation injuries related to working conditions.1

Industrial exposures to ionizing radiations account for only a small fraction of the total exposure of a population. Other sources include fallout from atomic explosions which in spite of continued testing is still relatively unimportant, the diagnostic use of x-rays and