More MS news articles for December
radiation and health: friend and foe
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Med J Aust 2002 Dec 2/16;177(11/12):594-598
Lucas RM, Ponsonby AL.
National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian
National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.
While excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a significant
cause of disease burden in Australia and the Western Pacific region, there
are well documented beneficial as well as adverse effects of UVR exposure.
Ambient UVR levels do not translate directly to personal UVR dose and thus
to biological effect - each person's sun-exposure behaviour and pigmentation
also play a role.
Exposure in childhood may be more important than exposure in adulthood
for both beneficial and adverse effects.
Stratospheric ozone depletion increases ambient UVR in the UVB wavelength,
possibly the most important wavelength for both beneficial and deleterious
There is ongoing research examining the effects of UVR exposure on immune
function, including an examination of the possible role of lack of UVR
exposure in the aetiology of multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes mellitus.