Radiation Safety Training

Summary from the BEIR V Report

The following is an excerpt from the Executive Summary of the BEIR V report:

"On the basis of the available evidence, the population-weighted average lifetime risk of death from cancer following an acute dose equivalent to all body organs of 0.1 Sv is estimated to be 0.8%, although the lifetime risk varies considerably with age at the time of exposure. For low LET radiation, accumulation of the same dose over weeks or months, however, is expected to reduce the lifetime risk appreciably, possibly by a factor of 2 or more. The Committee's estimated risks for males and females are similar. The risk from exposure during childhood is estimated to be about twice as large as the risk for adults, but such estimates of lifetime risk are still highly uncertain due to the limited follow-up of this age group. . . . . . The Committee examined in some detail the sources of uncertainty in its risk estimates and concluded that uncertainties due to chance sampling variation in the available epidemiological data are large and more important than potential biases such as those due to differences between various exposed ethnic groups. Due to sampling variation alone, the 90% confidence limits for the Committee's preferred risk models, of increased cancer mortality due to an acute whole body dose of 0.1 Sv to 100,000 males of all ages range from about 500 to 1200 (mean 760); for 100,000 females of all ages, from about 600 to 1200 (mean 810). The Committee also estimated lifetime risks with a number of other plausible linear models which were consistent with the mortality data. The estimated lifetime risks projected by these models were within the range of uncertainty given above. The committee recognizes that its risk estimates become more uncertain when applied to very low doses. Departures from a linear model at low doses, however, could either increase or decrease the risk per unit dose."

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Miami University's Radiation Safety Office would like to thank Sue Dupre and Princeton University for the training materials used in this website.

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