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Health Phys. 2005 Feb;88(2):105-24.

A review of the history of U.S. radiation protection regulations, recommendations, and standards.

Author information

  • US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response, Mail Stop T4-D22A, Washington, DC 20555, USA. cgj@nrc.gov

Abstract

Shortly after the discovery of x rays by Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen in 1895, and the isolation of the element radium by Pierre and Marie Curie three years later, the fascination with and potential for an array of uses of ionizing radiation in medicine, science, and technology was born. As with any new technology, there was a need to balance both the beneficial and potential detrimental effects of uses of these new technologies for the advancement of humankind. In the early days, radiation hazards were not well understood. Over the decades increasing concerns in the scientific community and lay population demanded that standardized guidance and recommendations be developed for the use of ionizing radiation. Today, U.S. radiation protection standards and recommendations to protect the occupational worker, members of the general public, and the environment are numerous and complex. This review summarizes the history of the development and application of radiation protection standards and regulations to assure the safe use of radiation and radioactive materials. The evolution and roles of international and national scientific recommending and regulatory organizations that shape U.S. radiation protection policy are described and discussed.

PMID:
15650586
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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