IMPORTANT STATEMENT ON CONTEXT OF RISK ESTIMATES

On December 13, 2011, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine(AAPM) issued a statement available at http://www.aapm.org/publicgeneral/StatementMedicalImaging.asp which includes the following important message:

Risks of medical imaging at effective doses below 50 mSv for single procedures or 100 mSv for multiple procedures over short time periods are too low to be detectable and may be nonexistent. Predictions of hypothetical cancer incidence and deaths in patient populations exposed to such low doses are highly speculative and should be discouraged.

I completely agree with this message. The risks presented on my website (http://faculty.washington.edu/aalessio/doserisk2/) are not intended to be hard facts. They are presented with uncertainty ranges of ±300%. My site was intended to educate imaging professionals of the risks of low levels of ionizing radiation to show risks consistent with risks as presented in several recent peer-reviewed publications.These risks are not facts and are based on the linear no-threshold theory. This site was intended to empower imaging professionals with information, not to instigate "sensationalistic articles in the public media that cause some patients and parents to refuse medical imaging procedures." If anything, I was hoping this site would show that even with the conservative (greater than probably actual) risks from imaging procedures are really very small compared to the background risks of cancer. Personally, I am debating whether to stop my doserisk website. If you read this and have an opinion on whether this site should continue or be stopped, please send me an e-mail.

Thank you,

Adam Alessio, 20 December 2011

UW Dose Risk Tool, © Adam Alessio, University of Washington, 2011