A colleague of mine and I had an interesting discussion recently. The conversation regarded radiation and it was instigated when I brought up the radiation levels around the Fukushima nuclear plants, or what I felt was lack of information. The conversation moved into a discussion about hormesis.

For those of you that are naive to this concept as I was, radiation hormesis is the theory that exposure to low levels of radiation (in addition to background radiation) can actually have a positive effect.  It has been the general belief that low doses of ionizing radiation produce detrimental effects proportional to the effects produced by high-level radiation. However, according to my colleague, over the past few decades, some pioneer scientists report that low-dose ionizing radiation is not only a harmless agent but often has a beneficial or hormetic effect.

Intrigued by the discussion, I have started my own investigation. I will add additional posts as I find some reliable studies.

I’d like to hear what others think about this theory.

Radiation Hormesis: Fact or Fiction?