Mumbai: The professionals who are constantlyexposed to radiation, especially `interventional`cardiologists, must take utmost care to protect their eyes asnew studies have shown that lens of the human eye is moreradiation sensitive, than thought before. Till now, the lens of the eye was considered to be amoderately radiation sensitive tissue. But several newscientific studies show that it is among the most sensitivetissues, said K S Parthasarathy, Raja Ramanna Fellow of theDepartment of Atomic Energy and former Secretary of AtomicEnergy Regulatory Board. Recently, the International Commission on RadiologicalProtection (ICRP) reduced the safe dose limit for the lens ofthe eye to 20mSv (millisievert) a year, averaged over fiveyears, with no single year exceeding 50 mSv, Parthasarathytold PTI today. "The earlier dose limit was 150mSv a year," he said. The interventional radiology and cardiology professionalshave the greatest potential to receive large radiation dosesto their eye lens, if precautions (such as wearing leadedglass goggles) are not taken. "Several studies have shown thatthese professionals do suffer from cataracts," he said. Also, these professionals have little training inradiological protection, and seldom use protectiveaccessories. Normally, eye lens is crystal-clear. If it receives highenough radiation doses, it may become partly cloudy ortotally opaque. Radiation protection agencies have prescribeddose limits to the lens to prevent lens opacity or cataract,he added.
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