Description:This detailed review of the effects of ionizing radiation on humans points out many helpful details and approaches the subject from different directions. Two previous editions have been published, the most recent 13 years ago.
Purpose:This is a source book for professionals interested in the effects of ionizing radiation upon humans an important topic with the increasing use of x-rays in medicine. It is widely encompassing in its breadth of material, but also very detailed in its discussions. Readers will be able to find most any topic on radiation exposure of humans and read a detailed discussion of current thinking on it.
Audience:The authors, who are well known authorities on radiation effects, say the book is for professionals interested in effects of ionizing radiation on humans, with physicians, nurses, physicists, allied health professionals, and medicolegal lawyers are listed as audiences. For readers who have a good background in radiation biophysics, the book is detailed, well written, and enjoyable. Readers lacking this background may find the book overpowering.
Features:The book looks at the effects of ionizing radiation in small and large amounts, from all sources we know of. Extensive references are cited and the state-of-the-art is discussed in detail. Some of the presentations are particularly well done, such as the example on page 85 which illustrates how high correlation does not imply cause/effect, figure 6-27 summarizing effects, and table 8-5 on the risks of pregnancy. I was disappointed at the lack of a specialdiscussion on CT scanning. There are few equations, but the one on page 20 omits a term. Also included are a glossary, list of references, and several useful appendixes of reference materials.
Assessment:The authors have provided this justified update because of the improved understanding of radiation effects in the years since the previous edition was published. This book gathers together information from many sources to explain and illustrate the concepts and approaches used in assessing the medical effects of ionizing radiation, whether diagnostic, therapeutic, occupational, background, or accidental. I know of no other book with such wide coverage and detailed discussions.