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Radiation and Pregnancy

Radiation and Pregnancy

People panic about radiation. Physician stated that organs begin to form in fetus between 2 to 7 weeks of pregnancy; 8 to 15 weeks of pregnancy is the early formation of the fetus. These stages are most vulnerable to effects of radiation. However,  radiation must reach 100 to 200 millisieverts  (mSv) to cause fetal malformations.

If a pregnant women is affected by 50 to 500 millisieverts (mSv) of radiation during these two stages,  central nervous system will be affected and the main organs of the fetus will be developed abnormally. Growth may slow down and lead to severe mental retardation. If affected by over 500 millisieverts (mSv), it will increase the chances of miscarriage. If the fetus has reached 26 to 38 weeks, the rate of stillbirth or dead of premature newborn may increase significantly.

The child may have cancer when grown up regardless of the degree of radiation exposure; especially leukemia, the risk of the child having leukemia increase by 12% for every 1,000 mSv of radiation. The average IQ will also drop from 25 to 31 points; the child may be 3 to 4% shorter than the average height by the age of 18.

However, 1,000 mSv of radiation would mean going though X-ray procedures continuously for a couple of hundred times, therefore, when living in a  environment with an acceptable level of radiation, pregnant women do not need to be overly worried.