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September 5, 1977

Genetic Damage From Diagnostic Radiation

JAMA. 1977;238(10):1023. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280110027005

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To the Editor.—  Among the highly questionable theses and assertions in the article by Bross and Natarajan is the following: "These findings refute a dogma that is often cited by radiologists who claim that diagnostic radiation is harmless." No responsible radiologist is "dogmatic" regarding the hazards of diagnostic procedures. While most of us feel that the margin of safety in these procedures is comfortable, we constantly strive to reduce further the already very low levels of radiation involved. After all, we have the enduring examples of the x-ray pioneers in the early years of this century who died because of their complete ignorance of radiation safety. In conjunction with our scientific and engineering colleagues, we are responsible for the many innovations in equipment and techniques that have resulted in the present low levels of exposure and attendant vanishingly small risks.I might also point out that while we radiologists as