Environmental and industrial developments in radiation cataractogenesis
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PURPOSE: This review discusses recent developments in our understanding of biological and physiological mechanisms underlying radiation cataractogenesis. The areas discussed include effects of low-dose exposures to the lens including potential relevance of non-targeted effects, the development of new personal-protective equipment (PPE) and standards in clinical and nuclear settings motivated by the updated ICRP recommendations to mitigate exposures to the lens of the eye. The review also looks at evidence from the field linking cataracts in birds and mammals to low dose exposures. CONCLUSIONS: The review suggests that there is evidence that cataractogenesis is not a tissue reaction (deterministic effect) but rather is a low dose effect which shows a saturable dose response relationship similar to that seen for non-targeted effects in general. The review concludes that new research is needed to determine the dose response relationship in environmental studies where field data are contradictory and lab studies confined to rodent models for human exposure studies.
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