Press release
Paris, 16 October 1998

Radiation health sciences report

The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) announces the publication of a new report Developments in Radiation Health Science and their Impact on Radiation Protection, which investigates current and possible developments in radiation health sciences, and the implications these developments may have on the regulation and application of radiation protection.

Four topical areas are addressed in this report: the debate concerning the continued use of a linear, no-threshold model to assess radiation exposure risks, particularly of low doses; possible implications of developing biological techniques to identify individuals who are genetically more sensitive to radiation exposure than the general population; possible implications of on-going developments concerning biological dosimetry and biomarkers identifying tumours as radiation-induced; the implications of on-going enhancements of the understanding of risks from simultaneous exposure to multiple carcinogens (such as radiation and cigarette smoking, or radiation and asbestos).

Based on the work of a small group of radiation health science experts, this report concludes that developments in each of these areas have the potential to require changes in the way radiation protection is regulated and practically applied. Specific recommendations are made concerning how best to cope with these changes, and additional investigation which is necessary.

Inquiries may be directed to Dr. Henri Métivier of the French Nuclear Protection and Safety Institute (IPSN) (Tel.: 33 (0)1 46 54 75 40), who chaired the group, or to Dr Ted Lazo of the NEA (Tel.: 33 (0)1 45 24 10 42), who was the group's scientific secretary.

A breakfast briefing will be held on Friday, 23 October 1998 at 8:45 a.m. at the Institut de Protection et de Sûreté Nucléaire, 77, avenue du Général de Gaulle, 92140 Clamart. For further information, please contact the IPSN Public Information Office, Tel. 33 (0)1 46 54 86 38.

Related link

Developments in Radiation Health Science and Their Impact on Radiation Protection
OECD Paris, 1998

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