Talk:Acute radiation syndrome

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This entry needs to rewriten or removed. It is semi-literate and uses sourse like Mythbusters. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:04, 4 April 2011 (UTC)


shouldn't most of the data eg. the table of effects be in sieverts? a gray of gamma rays and a gray of neutrons are not equal despite having the same energy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cutoffyourjib (talkcontribs) 08:37, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

The use of Gy is weird. Understandable if this were a Euro-centric article but useless to anyone else. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:43, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, but it is the use of NON-SI units that is weird. SI units are not "Eurocentric", they are THE units of radiation in virtually every country of the world, with the exception of the USA. And even the US Health Physics Society, the main (US) professional association for those working in radiation protection, has a policy that SI units should be used exclusively.
As for the comment above - sieverts or grays? - it's a good question. It would certainly be true that Sieverts should be used if the outcome being discussed was cancer. A gray of neutron exposure carries a different risk of cancer to that of a gray of gammas. But I'm not sure that is the case for acute radiation syndrome, the topic here.

Baska436 (talk) 12:09, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Who sets ALI's?[edit]

Who sets standards and limits on radiation that is acceptable to workers? For example, in the health and safety world, there is ANSI that sets a lot of the standards, and OSHA who checks. There is also NIH. Those tend to be for general industry, especially chemicals and noise and such.... What is the equivalent for radioactive concerns? (talk) 18:41, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

For the US, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission sets dose limits for radiation protection. The NRC may be planning to update these dose limits, as they have not changed since 1991, and our understanding of risk has changed significantly since then. (talk) 22:24, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) is considered the world's premier radiation protection body. It recommends radiation exposure limits which are adopted virtually unchanged in almost every country of the world (including USA). The last major set of "Recommendations" was published in 2007, and did not recommend any significant changes to the limits first recommended in 1990. In fact they said "The overall estimate of deterministic effects remain fundamentally the same. The estimates of cancer risk attributable to radiation exposure have not changed greatly in the past 17 years, whereas the estimated risk of heritable effects is currently lower than before"

Baska436 (talk) 08:03, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Fractionation of dose[edit]

This section is a copy from the article Radioresistance. The comment "in the graph below" does not make sence in this article as the graph has not been moved with the copied text, and this alerts the reader the the plagiarism. Moojo315 (talk) 12:23, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Plagiarism? It is from another Wiki page? Removed said sentence. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:20, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

This section is saying next to nothing. The first sentence is self evident and unrelated to what fractionation of dose is about. (talk) 16:08, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Creeping dose[edit]

Suggest removing this term from the intro. It does not appear to be a scientific or even familiar term for the subject. - (talk) 06:03, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Agree and will look into it. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:55, 17 March 2011 (UTC)


Here is a recent review on the topic.

  • Donnelly EH, Nemhauser JB, Smith JM; et al. (2010). "Acute radiation syndrome: assessment and management". South. Med. J. 103 (6): 541–6. doi:10.1097/SMJ.0b013e3181ddd571. PMID 20710137.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)

Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:55, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Move and archive link[edit]

Why was this article moved from Radiation poisoning to Acute radiation syndrome? Other than two mentions in 2006 I found no discussion on this. Before the move Talk:Radiation poisoning was archived to Talk:Radiation poisoning/Archive 1 with this edit and this creation. I am placing a temporary {{Archive box}} at the top to help readers find and search that archive (search tends not to work for several hours after a new archive). However, we should either rename the archive to match the new name or move the page back, adjusting the archive templates in either case. -84user (talk) 14:08, 17 March 2011 (UTC) "- Why was this article moved from Radiation poisoning to Acute radiation syndrome?" So we don't want to scare our sheeps. We like them obedient more than educated.

Thanks for fixing the archives. With respect to the name. A recent review article refers to this condition as "acute radiation syndrome" [1]. Thus have moved it here. Pubmed only finds one review article which contains radiation poisoning in the title. If we wish to create an article call Health effects of radiation that discusses the topic more broadly we could do so.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:30, 17 March 2011 (UTC)


The phrase "pattern of bacterial susceptibility and nosocomial infections" rang an alarm bell. It seems on further searching to have been taken verbatim from this or this (1991) source. I don't have full access to the 1991 paper. It's possible there might be a PD-US-Government argument to allow verbatim use of the more recent text, but it still isn't encyclopedic language and in any case it should be attributed. LeadSongDog come howl! 21:08, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

The person who contributed this content is Dr. Brooks it appears. Thus not really a copyvio. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:20, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Not everything which is copied from an external source is a copyright violation (though it's always good to cite cases where text is copied from elsewhere). In this case, the text comes from the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, which clearly outlines their copyright status on their Web site, indicating that, except where information is owned by a third party, their documents are "produced for the U.S. government by its officers and employees as part of their official duties and are not subject to U.S. copyright protection." -Miskaton (talk) 19:52, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Dr Brooks is not one of D. Browne, J. F. Weiss, T. J. MacVittie and M. V. Pillai, the listed authors on the earlier paper to use those words, doi:10.1016/0273-1177(92)90104-6. Even if it is not a technical violation of copyright, it still is a failure to properly attribute a quotation. Further, the text is clearly written for the wrong audience. It should be rewritten in a more appropriate voice, not just cited. LeadSongDog come howl! 22:07, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Reputable source?[edit]

I question the reputation of this source: K. Bhushan; G. Katyal (2002). Nuclear, biological and chemical warfare. New Delhi: APH Pub. Corp.. p. 122. ISBN 8176483125. I read two pages of the final, printed text... and they were wrought with obvious spelling errors. Moreover, it is not the original source of the information cited. There are no citations in the text, and the text isn't quite in tune on some generally accepted scientific findings. It was published by a relatively unknown Indian publishing house. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:48, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes agree and removed. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:27, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Issue with the table[edit]

The table states that 90–100% have N/V with high dose exposure (ref Merk Manual). However the 2010 peer viewed journals as discussed in the sighs and symptoms section disagrees... Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:27, 8 April 2011 (UTC)


The causes section focuses on ways one can become exposed, but I'm curious about the mechanics of how acute and severe ionizing radiation poisons the body. Does it kill cells outright? Interfere with some cellular process? That's missing from the article, I think. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:24, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

I assume this sort of knowledge would go under an "Effects" heading? Cause/effect? This knowledge is relevant to the scope of my interests as well. Where shall it begin? Raxicoricofallapatorius (talk) 03:44, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Would go under pathophysiology. Ie how the causal agent causes the pathology (signs and symptoms)... Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:48, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree. This is the major flaw in this article. What are the biological processes by which radiation kills? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:23, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Much could be added about deterministic effects. For instance, radiation destroys fast multiplying cells because cells in the middle mitosis and meiosis are more vulnerable. This is why your immune system (white blood cells) and your GI-tract will be affected first. However, the mechanisms for how radiation causes stochastic effects, such as latent cancer, are uncertain.Ajnosek (talk) 22:38, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Just a little more information on this point[edit]

"There is a simple guide for predicting survival/death in mammals, including humans, following the acute effects of inhaling radioactive particles.[30]" Awesome! What is it? The reference is to a book. That's good, I guess but without quoting the whole book, could we have a sentence or two or three saying what this simple guide is? You know, like if the animal has led skin its survival is better than if it has no skin or it if it is lean instead of having massive fat deposits or whatever. (talk) 01:59, 13 August 2011 (UTC) Please could someone in the know make clear for the uninformed as myself, who has been trying to make sense of doses amd measurements, explain the relationship between the diferent jargon being used. Sv/h - berequels - msv - rem atc- how do they compare, how far does radiation travels etc. It is great to give a formula but perhaps some examples, e.g If 700,000,000 berequels of radiation are released, how far does that travel. I have been trying to work out the dangers for 5 months now and it is reminiscent of trying to compare vhs to betamax - incompatible. Please do a radiation for dummies. (talk) 10:00, 14 August 2011 (UTC)


Reply: The author of this 'simple guide' retired in the 1990s but can still be contacted (and occasionally seen flying a kite!) - The author was also an official UK delegate to the 1987 IAEA Advisory Group Meeting (in Paris) on the handling of the skin lesions which occured at Chernobyl. If you do a Google search for 'john hopewell beta irradiation skin' you will find appropriate publications which describe the biology of the predicted two wave response that was seen, epidermal, followed by a later dermal response due to blood vessel damage. Infection was a natural consequence. John Hopewell was the other official UK delegate. At the meeting Dr Barabanova (clinician) and Professor Osanov (physicist) described the nature of the radiation exposures at Chernobyl, the subsequent clinical responses and the treatment of some representative cases. Dr John Wells (talk) 22:38, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Skin response to Beta irradiation at Chernobyl[edit]

See immediately above. The article fails to get the message across that in a reactor accident, high energy beta irradiation can result in the loss of the full thickness of skin in exposed areas.Dr John Wells (talk) 22:39, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Review Oct 2011[edit]

Tsujii, H (2011 Oct). "[Health effects of radiation and radiation-induced cancer].". Gan to kagaku ryoho. Cancer & chemotherapy. 38 (10): 1565–70. PMID 21996948.  Check date values in: |date= (help)Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:37, 21 December 2011 (UTC)


please address — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:38, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

The highest dose received by anyone from Fukushima was a worker who received 0.67 Sv. (American Nuclear Society (2012). "Appendix B". In Klein, Dale; and Corradini, Michael. Fukushima Daiichi: ANS Committee Report (PDF). Retrieved 19 May 2012.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help) ) That's too low and too slow to cause any symptoms of acute radiation syndrome. Please address elsewhere.--Yannick (talk) 03:34, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Eben Byers[edit]

Eben Byers died of cancer, not acute radiation syndrome, so I don't think he belongs in this article at all. It was called "radiation sickness" in newspapers of the day, but that was probably just from the low understanding that existed back then - I'm not sure that ARS had even been developed then. The radiation dose he received was spread out over years, which is much too slow to normally cause ARS. I suspect he may have suffered from chronic radiation syndrome, but that's original research. At the very least, there is no reliable source linking Eben Byers to ARS.

I had deleted Eben Byers from the article, but then someone put him back in. So now I've added my full explanation to the article, which is not ideal - debating in an article, and original research. But I don't have time to regularly patrol the article for re-addition to Eben Byers, so I'm not sure what else to do.--Yannick (talk) 00:48, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Just realized that the solution is to add an invisible comment, so I implemented that.--Yannick (talk) 15:36, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Wood River Junction 1964 Incident[edit]

Robert Peabody, an employee of United Nuclear Corp., is widely regarded as the only fatality in the history of U.S. nuclear industry. I would suggest he be included here. His case is written up in British Journal of Radiology (2005). Link below is to a May 2000 NY Times article about the incident. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Piece.of.eight (talkcontribs) 18:17, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Whilst he should be added, your wrong, Peabody wasn't the first fatality of Nuclear Industry in the US, Harry K. Dahglian and Louis Slotin were killed by Radiation accidents. -- (talk) 12:01, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Description of Biology[edit]

The introductory paragraph includes the phrase, "The radiation causes cellular degradation due to destruction of cell walls and other key molecular structures within the body...." Are cell membranes, rather than cell walls, meant here? Assuming that the article primarily deals with the effects of radiation on mammalian systems, an error this early in the article makes me question the validity of the rest of the text. Jeneralist (talk) 11:04, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

You can infer that THAT phrase is clueless (cell membranes is even wrong for other reasons). Will fix. SBHarris 18:09, 24 July 2013 (UTC)


My research online shows the following materials are used to some extent or another for treatment of radiation sickness:

A section on treatment drugs like this, how they operate, and their status would be a worthwhile addition to this article. (talk) 08:52, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Earliest documented case?[edit]

There is another, probably the earliest known case of radiation sickness reported in Rainer Karscht's book, Hitlers Bombe. According to Karscht, German nuclear scientist and member of the Uranverein, Dr. Walter Trinks was successfull in initiating a nuclear chain reaction in an experimental nuclear reactor at the laboratories of de:Heeresversuchsanstalt Kummersdorf near Berlin, in 1942. As Trinks was not using a moderator, the reactor reached critical mass and exploded within hours after he had left the site, destroying most of Trinks's lab. A janitor or guard came to inspect the ruins immediately after the explosion, and soon showed signs of fatigue and illness and had to be brought home. Soon after the explosion, the entire staff re-located to another site due to Allied air raids. After 1945, the Soviets erected a lone, remote ammunitions dump and declared the site a restricted military zone, and it took until 1957 that the site was returned to a livelier use as an East German military airport.

In 2005, Karscht interviewed the daughter of the janitor's widow, and she told him her father had died within days after the explosion of an illness which included symptoms of fatigue, hair loss, and severe bleeding. Combining these informations with soil samples taken at Kummersdorf that indicated high levels of radation only at the reported explosion site and that were clearly ruled out to be due to the Chernobyl desaster, Karscht came to the conclusion that this janitor in 1942 was probably the first victim of radiation sickness in history. -- (talk) 16:04, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Walking ghost phase[edit]

This redirect expects a "Walking Ghost phase" anchor to exist in the article, but it currently doesn't. It was presumably meant to refer to one of the high-dose classifications under Signs and symptoms. What should we do? --SoledadKabocha (talk) 22:27, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

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