Low-Dose Radiation: Interagency Collaboration on Planning Research Could Improve Information on Health Effects, Statement of John Neumann, Director, Natural Resources and Environment, Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Energy, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 167KB]

From the statement of John Neumann: "I am pleased to be here today to discuss federal agencies' requirements and guidance for protecting workers and the public from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation and agencies' support for research on the health effects of radiation at low doses. Radiation comes from natural sources as well medical, commercial, and industrial activities. It has beneficial uses, such as treating cancer, but a large amount of exposure can cause sickness or even death within days, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In contrast, low levels of exposure are not known to cause acute health effects but may increase a person's risk of developing cancer. To protect against cancer and other harmful effects associated with exposure to radiation, EPA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and other federal agencies have established requirements and issued guidance that apply to a wide range of settings in which such exposure can occur. [...] The Department of Energy (DOE) and other federal agencies have also funded research to determine the health effects of exposure to low levels of radiation. However, uncertainties remain about these effects, as DOE's Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee recognized in 2016, when it issued a report stating that further research on the cancer risk from low-dose radiation could decrease uncertainty in cancer risk estimates."

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