Low-dose radiation can be beneficial, scientist says
Nuclear engineer Jerry Cuttler wants to debunk the radiation scare.
“Low-dose radiation could be employed to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases,” said Cuttler, who has more than 50 years of experience in nuclear research.
“Low radiation causes a net beneficial health effect,” he said. “Research indicates that the beneficial effects caused by low radiation far outweigh the damage.”
Cuttler, 71, received a career achievement award from the International Dose Response Society and was recently the guest speaker at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
He is a graduate of the University of Toronto in nuclear engineering physics, and received a doctorate in nuclear sciences from Technion– Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.
He led a team at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited that designed and procured the instrumentation for reactor control, safety systems and radiation measurement for three CANDU plants, in Quebec, New Brunswick and Argentina, and then for the Pickering B and Bruce B stations (four reactors each) in Ontario.
Since 1995, Cuttler has been assessing the health effects of radiation and drawing international attention to the beneficial effects of low radiation, since high radiation is known to be harmful.
“People ask me, ‘Since radiation damages cells, how can it be beneficial?’ The answer is that low radiation damage ‘turns on’ many genes that boost powerful, adaptive protection systems that prevent, repair and remove or replace naturally occurring damage in cells, tissues and organisms… So the net benefit is very important.”
Low exposures are protection systems in our bodies, curing infections, extending life and reducing the incidences of cancer and congenital malformations, he said in an interview.
“I have urged many oncologists to use total body low-dose radiation as part of cancer therapy.”
After retiring in 2000, he formed Cuttler & Associates and served as president of the Canadian Nuclear Society. He was appointed a CNS fellow in June 2000.
Cuttler provides engineering services to the Bruce Power for the restart of Bruce reactors 1 and 2 after 10 years, to Ontario Power Generation for service to Pickering B for extending its life, and to other nuclear stations, as well as doing upgrades to make sure the stations meet the current standards and requirements.
Cuttler lectures extensively and has published numerous research papers and articles for peer review journals.
In a paper about the Fukushima nuclear accident, Cuttler noted the misunderstood effects of radiation. He hopes to change people’s attitudes to radiation.
Educational programs to communicate the biology of how radiation affects living organisms in beneficial ways, he noted, would improve social acceptance, allowing the use of nuclear energy for many very important peaceful applications.
Low radiation, he added, allows medical practitioners to carry out X-rays, CT-scans and other tests without fear of cancer. As an example, he said, X-rays have been used for more than 100 years with positive health effects.
“It would also open the path to clinical studies for the use of low radiation to treat or prevent very important illnesses, especially for senior citizens.”
For more information visit Jerry Cuttler’s web page or call 416-837-8865.