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Health Phys. 2014 Feb;106(2):313-28. doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000024.

Implications of radiation dose and exposed populations on radiation protection in the 21st century.

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  • 1*National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 400, Bethesda, MD 20814-3095; ‚ĆDepartment of Medicine, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37240.


Radiation is in the public eye because of Fukushima, computed tomography examinations, airport screenings, and possible terrorist attacks. What if the Boston Marathon pressure cooker had also contained a radioactive source? Nuclear power may be on the resurgence. Because of the increasing uses of radiation, the increases in population exposures, and the increasing knowledge of radiation effects, constant vigilance is needed to keep up with the changing times. Psychosocial disorders associated with the inappropriate (but real) fear of radiation need to be recognized as radiation detriments. Radiation risk communication, radiation education, and communication must improve at all levels: to members of the public, to the media, to other scientists, and to radiation professionals. Stakeholders must continue to be involved in all radiation protection initiatives. Finally, we are at a crisis as the number of war babies (me) and baby boomers (you?) who are also radiation professionals continues its rapid decline, and there are few in the pipeline to fill the current and looming substantial need: "The old road is rapidly agin'" (Dylan). NCRP has begun the WARP initiative-Where Are the Radiation Professionals?-an attempt to rejuvenate the pipeline of future professionals before the trickle becomes tiny drops. A Workshop was held in July 2013 with government agencies, military, private sector, universities, White House representatives, and societies to develop a coordinated and national action plan. A "Manhattan Project" is needed to get us "Back to the Future" in terms of the funding levels that existed in years past that provided the necessary resources to train, engage, and retain (a.k.a., jobs) the radiation professionals needed for the nation. If we don't keep swimmin' (Disney's Nemo) we'll "sink like a stone" (Dylan).Introduction of Implications of Radiation Dose and Exposed Populations (Video 2:06,

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