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: 5 Gy
- lethality (whole body): 3-5 Gy
- fetal abnormality: 0.1-0.5 Gy