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Possible health dangers from exposure to x-rays were cited during recent testimony in support of legislation that would give the federal government authority to step up research and set limits for standards of radiation in medical and dental diagnosis. Karl Z. Morgan, director of the health physics division of the Oak Ridge (Tenn) National Laboratory for Atomic Research, told the Senate Commerce Committee that possibly between 3,500 and 29,000 persons may die in the United States each year from exposure to diagnostic radiation.
The American College of Radiology promptly called the testimony "unnecessarily alarming," and said no such deaths have been documented.
Dr. Morgan displayed a chart showing that between 2,000 and 26,000 deaths could be attributed to genetic mutation—damage to the genes of parents that results in offspring who die; 350 to 1,100 to leukemia; between 50 and 400 to thyroid tumors from dental x-rays; between 5 and 40
WASHINGTON NEWS. JAMA. 1967;201(13):35–36. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130130019004
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