Biological effects of cosmic radiation: deterministic and stochastic

Health Phys. 2000 Nov;79(5):495-506. doi: 10.1097/00004032-200011000-00006.


Our basic understanding of the biological responses to cosmic radiations comes in large part from an international series of ground-based laboratory studies, where accelerators have provided the source of representative charged particle radiations. Most of the experimental studies have been performed using acute exposures to a single radiation type at relatively high doses and dose rates. However, most exposures in flight occur from low doses of mixed radiation fields at low-dose rates. This paper provides a brief overview of existing pertinent clinical and biological radiation data and the limitations associated with data available from specific components of the radiation fields in airflight and space travel.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Cosmic Radiation / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Linear Energy Transfer
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Stochastic Processes