What is the LNT model?
The linear no-threshold or the LNT model
is a method of estimating cancer risk from radiation.
Excess cancer risk due to radiation
At high radiation doses
Increases linearly with radiation dose (well known).
At low radiation doses
large errors in measuring excess cancers
extrapolation is used to estimate radiation cancer risk
LNT model says:
Extrapolate cancer risk linearly from high doses all the way down to zero dose.
The key but troubling aspect of this model
absence of a threshold dose
thus even the smallest increase in radiation dose increases cancer risk.
causes fear of even the lowest levels of radiation.
Figure 1. A schematic depiction of the LNT model.
Next section: What does the evidence say?