M. Walter,  A. Nidecker "Genetic effects of ionizing radiation"

Many morphological modifications in nature or health effects in humans, as described in epidemiological and genetic studies, suggest ionizing radiation even in the low range as likely cause for detected mutations of DNA sequences or for diseases. Studies of populations around the nuclear reprocessing plant in Sellafield, UK, revealed that the local incidence of childhood leukemia and Non Hodgkin lymphoma and stillbirth rate were significantly elevated. The cause seems to be the irradiation of the children’s fathers, who were workers at the plant. The radiation effects are not direct but rather transgenerational. Research in animals has also revealed transgenerational effects in animal studies of the blue grass butterfly or in barn swallows and lastly, reported malformations in plants also indicate a mutagenic damage of the genome. These recent sound epidemiological and genetic studies have serious implications: the fact of proven genetic damage by ionizing radiation must be considered as violation of the human right for health. Considering the health of future generations, these observations, as a consequence, demand a revision of current radiobiological teaching and subsequently adaptations of current regulations and laws in radioprotection.