b. Genetic Effects.
(1) Female. The ovaries are especially sensitive to radiation to the female
fetus before birth and through childhood. The ovaries decline in sensitivity when the
female reaches 20 to 30 years of age. After this time, there is increased sensitivity with
(2) Male. Many investigators have recorded normal births from fathers
whose testicles had received a radiation dose between 50 and 300 rad. Nevertheless,
procreation at any time following such irradiation is ill advised.
(3) An unborn child. Radiation exposure is dangerous to any unborn child.
However, the period of greatest danger is between 18 and 45 days of gestation. The
results of excessive exposure could result in reduced growth, skeletal malformation,
vision problems, and reduced head size, which is associated with mental retardation.