Deterministic effects

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

Deterministic effects describe a cause and effect relationship between radiation and certain side-effects. They are also called non-stochastic effects to contrast with chance-like stochastic effects (e.g. cancer induction).

Deterministic effects have a threshold below which the effect does not occur. The threshold may be very low and may vary from person to person. However, once the threshold has been exceeded, the severity of an effect increases with dose.

Examples of deterministic effects (doses are given as absorbed dose):

  • skin erythema: 2-5 Gy
  • irreversible skin damage: 20-40 Gy
  • hair loss: 2-5 Gy
  • sterility: 2-3 Gy
  • cataracts: 0.5 Gy (n.b. a significantly lowered threshold of 5Gy to 0.5Gy in the latest ICRP 118 1)
  • lethality (whole body): 3-5 Gy
  • fetal abnormality: 0.1-0.5 Gy
Physics and imaging technology: x-ray
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Article information

rID: 5100
Tag: refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Non-stochastic effect
  • Nonstochastic effect

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