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Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2010 Nov;142(1):40-5. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncq202. Epub 2010 Aug 21.

Would children be adequately protected by existing intervention levels during a radionuclear emergency?

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Radiation Protection Bureau, Health Canada, Ottawa, Canada.


The question arises as to whether radiation standards and guidelines set for adults are sufficiently protective of children. To answer this question, published literature values have been used to calculate radiation doses to children and adults from external and internal exposure to a suite of 30 radionuclides commonly found in the environment. It was found that older children and adults face about the same degree of risk from external radiation exposures, although doses may be ∼30 % elevated for infants due to their smaller body size. Inhalation risks in children are to a large degree offset by lower breathing rates and it is only in the case of iodine isotopes that children are more at risk. Ingestion of contaminated food products is more complex. Isotopes of iodine and the bone-seeking elements strontium and radium can give radiation doses up to an order of magnitude higher than for adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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