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(last updated 8 Aug 2015)
See also: Regulatory Issues USA · Other Countries
> See also: WHO raises drinking water guideline for uranium to 30 micrograms per litre
> See also: New European Union Basic Safety Standards may water down standards for cleanup of remaining Wismut uranium mine sites in Germany
> See also: WHO raises drinking water guideline for uranium to 30 micrograms per litre
"[...] The present work describes the application of parameter uncertainty analysis to quantify uncertainties resulting from internal exposures to 238U, 226Ra, 239Pu, 241Am, 137Cs, 90Sr, 131I, 129I, and 3H by members of the UK public, confining consideration to uncertainties in biokinetic models and parameter values. The report does not consider uncertainties in risk directly, but derives uncertainties in the biokinetic models that are used to calculate the retention and excretion of radionuclides in the body, in order to calculate distributions of effective dose per unit intake. The central values and ranges of the distributions are used to inform the derivation of uncertainty factors (UF) for the different dose coefficients. A UF indicates a 95% probability of the risk coefficient being within a factor, UF, of the nominal risk associated with the appropriate ICRP dose coefficient, E50, with respect to uncertainties in the biokinetic model and parameter values. The inferred UF values are around 2-3 for ingestion and 2-6 for inhalation for all age groups. [...]"
Nuclide Uncertainty Factor Ingestion Inhalation U-238 3 2 Ra-226 3 6
> Assessing the Reliability of Dose Coefficients for Ingestion and Inhalation of Radionuclides by Members of the Public, HPA-CRCE-048 , by M Puncher and J D Harrison, Health Protection Agency, Public Health England, April 2013, 90 pp.
> See also: The reliability of dose coefficients for inhalation and ingestion of uranium by members of the public, by M Puncher, G Burt, in: Radiation Protection Dosimetry, May 23, 2013 (ahead of print)
A corrected version was published in Annals of the ICRP Volume 42, Issue 4 (August 2013).
> View ICRP release Sep. 20, 2012
> Download Draft Report: Occupational Intakes of Radionuclides Part 3 (2.8MB PDF)
|Total indicative dose||0.10 mSv/year (Note 1)|
The Total indicative dose (TID) is the committed effective dose for one year of intake resulting from all the radionuclides whose presence in a water supply has been detected, both of natural and artificial origin, excluding tritium, potassium-40, radon and short-lived radon decay products.
The TID shall be calculated from the radionuclide concentrations and the dose coefficients for adults laid down in Annex III, Table A of Directive 96/29/Euratom or more recent information recognised by the competent authorities in the Member State (assuming an intake of 730 litres per year).
> Download: Proposal for a COUNCIL DIRECTIVE laying down requirements for the protection of the health of the general public with regard to radioactive substances in water intended for human consumption , COM(2012) 147 final, 2012/0074 (NLE), March 28, 2012 (101k PDF)
"[...] The operational quantities for photons, neutrons, and electrons continue to provide a good approximation for the conversion coefficients for effective dose for the energy ranges considered in ICRP Publication 74 and ICRU Report 57, but not at the higher energies considered in the present report. [...]"
"Results. Summary risk coefficients are calculated for a stationary population (defined by 2000 U.S. vital statistics). Numerically, the same coefficients apply for a cohort exposed throughout life to a constant dose rate. For uniform whole-body exposures of low-dose gamma radiation to the entire population, the cancer incidence risk coefficient (Gy-1) is 1.16x10-1 (5.6x10-2 to 2.1x10-1), where the numbers in parentheses represent an estimated 90% confidence interval. The corresponding coefficient for cancer mortality (Gy-1) is about one-half that for incidence: 5.8x10-2 (2.8x10-2 to 1.0x10-1)." [emphasis added]Federal Register Volume 76, Number 104 (Tuesday, May 31, 2011) p. 31329-31330 (download full text )
Texas politicians knew agency hid the amount of radiation in drinking water:
Newly-released e-mails from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality show the agency's top commissioners directed staff to continue lowering radiation test results, in defiance of federal EPA rules. The e-mails and documents, released under order from the Texas Attorney General to KHOU-TV, also show the agency was attempting to help water systems get out of formally violating federal limits for radiation in drinking water. Without a formal violation, the water systems did not have to inform their residents of the increased health risk.
"It's a conspiracy at the TCEQ of the highest order," said Tom Smith, of the government watchdog group Public Citizen. "The documents have indicted the management of this commission in a massive cover-up to convince people that our water is safe to drink when it's not." (KHOU May 18, 2011)
The German government plans to amend its drinking water regulations (Trinkwasserverordnung) to establish a 10 µg/L drinking water standard for uranium, according to a draft proposal by the Ministry of Health . (Ärzte Zeitung Sep. 22, 2010)
On Nov. 24, 2011, ICRP announced the availability of the final report:
Environmental Protection: Transfer Parameters for Reference Animals and Plants, ICRP Publication 114, Ann. ICRP 39 (6), 2009
> View ICRP release Nov. 24, 2011
The closing date for comment by IAEA member states is 31 May 2010.
International Basic Safety Standards for Protection Against Ionizing Radiation and for the Safety of Radiation Sources, IAEA Safety Series No. 115 , 21 March 1996 (18.8M PDF)
"SUMMARY> Download: Strahlenexposition durch natürliche Radionuklide im Trinkwasser in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland , BfS-SW-06/09, Beyermann, M.; Bünger, T.; Gehrcke, K.; Obrikat, D., Dezember 2009 (BfS - in German)
In order to obtain representative data on public exposure to radiation from natural radionuclides in drinking water in Germany, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) conducted systematic studies to determine the contents of natural radionuclides in drinking water from 2003 to 2008. A total of 582 drinking waters from all 16 Federal States was analysed with special regard to densely populated urban areas and selected areas with enhanced natural radioactivity. Analyses were conducted to determine the following parameters: total alpha activity, activity concentration of uranium isotopes U-234, U-235, and U-238, the radium isotopes Ra-226 and Ra-228, as well as radon-222 and the radon decay products lead-210 and polonium-210.
An essential result of this study is that drinking water in Germany makes only minor contributions to the total mean value of annual radiation exposure from natural sources of 2.1 mSv. The mean values of radiation exposure (ingestion dose) obtained from the data according to the calculation bases of the German Radiation Protection Ordinance are about 0.009 mSv per year for adults and about 0.05 mSv per year for sucklings. However, there is a considerable range of variation of activity concentrations and radiation exposures. [...]"
In 2010, J.W. Marsh et al. used this proposed risk coefficient, together with ICRP's updated values of total radiation detriment per unit effective dose (4.2 x 10-5 per mSv for workers and 5.7 x 10-5 per mSv for members of the public, see ICRP 2007 recommendations), to determine effective dose conversion coefficients of 12 mSv/WLM for workers and 9 mSv/WLM for the public, replacing the 5 mSv/WLM for workers and 4 mSv/WLM for the public of ICRP 65 (1993).
James W. Marsh, John D. Harrison, Dominique Laurier, et al: Dose conversion factors for radon: recent developments, in: Health Physics Vol. 99, No. 4 (Oct. 2010), p. 511-516
On Nov. 24, 2011, ICRP announced the availability of Publication 115 revising the radon risk coefficient according to its November 2009 statement:
"Based on recent results from combined analyses of epidemiological studies of miners, a lifetime excess absolute risk of 5 x 10-4 per WLM (14 x 10-5 per mJ h m-3) should now be used as the nominal probability coefficient for radon and radon progeny induced lung cancer, replacing the previous ICRP Publication 65 value of 2.8 x 10-4 per WLM (8 x 10-5 per mJ h m-3)."
Lung Cancer Risk from Radon and Progeny and Statement on Radon. ICRP Publication 115, Ann. ICRP 40(1), 2010.
> View ICRP release Nov. 24, 2011
"In view of the latest
scientific data, WHO proposes a reference level of 100 Bq/m3 to minimize health hazards due to indoor radon exposure. However, if this level cannot be reached
under the prevailing country-specific conditions, the chosen reference level should
not exceed 300 Bq/m3 which represents approximately 10 mSv per year according to recent calculations by the International Commission on Radiation Protection."
> Download WHO Handbook on Indoor Radon - a Public Health Perspective, 2009 (595k PDF)
Krebsrisiko durch mehrjährige Expositionen mit Dosen im Bereich des Grenzwertes für die Berufslebensdosis nach § 56 StrlSchV , Empfehlung der Strahlenschutzkommission, Verabschiedet auf der 215. Sitzung der SSK am 20.04.1007, Veröffentlicht im BAnz Nr. 183a vom 28.09.2007
Drinking Water with Uranium below U.S. EPA Water Standard Causes Estrogen Receptor Dependent Responses in Female Mice , by Stefanie Raymond-Whish, Loretta P. Mayer, Tamara O'Neal, et al.; in: Environmental Health Perspectives - in press (Sep. 14, 2007) (323k PDF)
Particulate Depleted Uranium Is Cytotoxic and Clastogenic to Human Lung Cells, by Sandra S. Wise, W. Douglas Thompson, AbouEl-Makarim Aboueissa, et al., in: Chemical Research in Toxicology Apr 14, 2007
Submit comments by April 22, 2007.
Federal Register: September 22, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 184) p. 55520-55522 (download full text )
> Download: Guidance for receiving enforcement discretion when concentrating uranium at community water systems, NRC Regulatory Issue Summary 2006-20, September 14, 2006: NRC website · ADAMS (Accession No. ML061990394) (PDF)
> See also Foodwatch (in German)
A German translation (without annexes) is available for free download at
Die Empfehlungen der Internationalen Strahlenschutzkommission (ICRP) von 2007 , ICRP-Veröffentlichung 103, verabschiedet im März 2007, Deutsche Ausgabe, BfS-SCHR-47/09, Salzgitter, November 2009 (BfS)
For translations to other languages, see ICRP Publications
At its meeting in Essen, Germany, 19-21 March, the International Commission
on Radiological Protection, ICRP, approved a new set of fundamental
Recommendations on the protection of man and the environment against
ionising radiation. These Recommendations will replace the Commission's
previous Recommendations from 1990.
> Download ICRP release March 23, 2007 (PDF)
Draft ICRP Reports
> Download Draft Recommendations, 5 June 2006 (719k PDF)
Progress report, next ICRP Recommendations
> Download revised Draft Recommendations, 12 January 2007 (781k PDF)
Kidney toxicity of ingested uranium from drinking water, by Kurttio P, Harmoinen A, Saha H, et al., in: American journal of kidney diseases, 2006 June, Vol.47, No.6, p.972-982
> View IRSN News Release March 16, 2006 (in French)
> Download ENVIRHOM - Bioaccumulation of radionuclides in situations of chronic exposure of ecosystems and members of the public, Progress Report 2, covering the period June 2003 – September 2005 (2.6M PDF - in English)
"ABSTRACTComments are expected before 19 June 2006.
This report recommends criteria of a universal and generic nature for defining the radiation exposure situations that can and need be subject to radiological protection regulations and those that cannot or need not. It suggests that the relevant legislation should specifically define those situations that should be covered by the legislation, because they can be controlled, and those that may be excluded from legislation because they cannot be controlled by any reasonable means. It also recommends that the legislation should empower regulators to define the extent of application of regulatory requirements to the situations covered by the legislation. Regulators should identify the situations that need be controlled with the full system of regulatory requirements and those that are exempted from compliance with particular regulatory requirements on the grounds that they need not be controlled because those requirements are unwarranted.
Legislative systems for purposes of radiological protection may exclude situations of radiation exposure to cosmic radiation at ground level, to natural radioactive constituents of the human body (such as the radionuclide potassium-40), to substances containing an activity concentration of less than around 1 Bq per kilogram for alpha emitting artificial radionuclides and around 10 Bq per kilogram for beta and gamma emitting artificial radionuclides, to ambient radon below concentrations of 40 Bq per cubic metre and to any source that is unamenable to control by any reasonable means.
Exemption criteria were originally introduced for exempting a priori practices involving limited amounts of 'artificial' radioactive materials. The concept was then extended to the exemption a posteriori of radioactive materials already regulated but for which regulation was no longer warranted. These materials, therefore, could be cleared from the regulatory requirements.
Clearance criteria were developed for bulk amounts of materials. A fundamental exemption principle was to keep individual risk at low levels, which became an individual dose criterion of 10 µSv in a year. The report recommends, however, that the criteria for exemption should be broader and focus on unwarranted control, being situation specific and with multiple attributes. While they should respect the low individual risk criteria, they should not be determined by individual doses alone but include societal factors involved in determining whether or not it is warranted to control certain exposure situations. Different situations may lead to different dose criteria for exemption. For situations involving naturally occurring radioactive materials and for interventional situations the use of an individual dose criterion of up to 1 mSv in a year may be appropriate.
Exposure situations to naturally-occurring radioactive material may be considered either for a generic regulatory exemption or for exclusion from legislative instruments, providing that the activity concentrations of the radionuclides in the primordial uranium and thorium series are lower than 1000 Bq per kg and of potassium-40 lower than 10000 Bq per kg. However, building materials may warrant additional restrictions of the sum of the activity concentrations of uranium-238, thorium-232 and potassium-40. Moreover, wherever ambient radon would otherwise be regulated, exemption can be granted provided that the time-averaged radon concentration does not exceed a minimum value of 200 Bq per cubic metre in dwellings or 500 Bq per cubic metre in workplaces.
Exposure situations to foodstuff and drinking-water containing radionuclides in activity concentrations smaller than those specified by the Codex Alimentarious Commission and the World Health Organization respectively are candidates for automatic exemption. Situations involving exposure to non-edible radioactive materials may be considered candidates for automatic exemption from regulatory requirements if the activity or the activity concentration does not exceed the values specified in the agreements reached under the aegis of international organizations, as referenced in this report."
> Download Draft Guidance Document on Interpretation of Bioassay Data - 16 January 2006
> View CNSC release July 25, 2005 · Backgrounder
> View BfR release June 30, 2005: in English · in German
> Download BfR statement Uran in Mineralwasser: Bei Erwachsenen geringe Mengen tolerierbar, Wasser für Säuglingsnahrung sollte uranfrei sein, Stellungnahme Nr. 024/2005 des BfR vom 13. Mai 2005 (40k PDF - in German )
"BEIR VII develops the most up-to-date and comprehensive risk estimates for cancer and other health effects from exposure to low-level ionizing radiation.
- It is among the first reports of its kind to include detailed estimates for cancer incidence in addition to cancer mortality.
- In general, BEIR VII supports previously reported risk estimates for cancer and leukemia, but the availability of new and more extensive data have strengthened confidence in these estimates.
- A comprehensive review of available biological and biophysical data supports a "linear-no-threshold" (LNT) risk model - that the risk of cancer proceeds in a linear fashion at lower doses without a threshold and that the smallest dose has the potential to cause a small increase in risk to humans." [emphasis added]
> View NAS release June 29, 2005
> Download report brief (161k PDF)
> Download report summary (1M PDF)
> Access full report
> View NIRS release June 30, 2005
Objectives To provide direct estimates of risk of cancer after protracted low doses of ionising radiation and to strengthen the scientific basis of radiation protection standards for environmental, occupational, and medical diagnostic exposures. Design Multinational retrospective cohort study of cancer mortality.
Setting Cohorts of workers in the nuclear industry in 15 countries. [Uranium mining is not included.]
Participants 407 391 workers individually monitored for external radiation with a total follow-up of 5.2 million person years.
Main outcome measurements Estimates of excess relative risks per sievert (Sv) of radiation dose for mortality from cancers other than leukaemia and from leukaemia excluding chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, the main causes of death considered by radiation protection authorities.
Results The excess relative risk for cancers other than leukaemia was 0.97 per Sv, 95% confidence interval 0.14 to 1.97. Analyses of causes of death related or unrelated to smoking indicate that, although confounding by smoking may be present, it is unlikely to explain all of this increased risk. The excess relative risk for leukaemia excluding chronic lymphocytic leukaemia was 1.93 per Sv ( < 0 to 8.47). On the basis of these estimates, 1-2% of deaths from cancer among workers in this cohort may be attributable to radiation.
Conclusions These estimates, from the largest study of nuclear workers ever conducted, are higher than, but statistically compatible with, the risk estimates used for current radiation protection standards. The results suggest that there is a small excess risk of cancer, even at the low doses and dose rates typically received by nuclear workers in this study.
Risk of cancer after low doses of ionising radiation: retrospective
cohort study in 15 countries, by
E Cardis, M Vrijheid, M Blettner, et al.
BMJ, doi:10.1136/bmj.38499.599861.E0 (published 29 June 2005)
Full text available at BMJ Online First
Submit comments by September 8, 2005.
> View BfS release June 16, 2005 (in German)
> Download Leitlinien Strahlenschutz (in German)
|Draft report||Consultation ends:|
|Optimisation of radiological protection||10 July 2005|
|Assessing dose to the representative individual|
|Health risks attributable to radiation||24 July 2005|
|Reference animals and plants|
> View ICRP release Dec. 21, 2004
> Download Low-dose Extrapolation of Radiation-Related Cancer Risk - Draft report (1.2M PDF)
> Download CERRIE Press Release Oct. 20, 2004 (MS WORD)
> Download Final report
> View ICRP release Aug. 23, 2004
> Download Draft Human Alimentary Tract Model for Radiological Protection (2.5M PDF)
The consultation period will end 31 December 2004.
> View ICRP release June 21, 2004
> Download Draft 2005 Recommendation (2MB PDF)
> View FAL press release (Oct. 14, 2003) (PDF, in German )
> Access Analysis data by mineral water name (www.mineralwaters.org)
Extrapolation of Risks from Nonhuman Experimental Systems to Man , NCRP Draft Report SC 1-4, October 2003
"Results. Based on its analysis, EPA estimates that out of a total of 157,400 lung cancer deaths nationally in 1995, 21,100 (13.4%) were radon related. Among NS [never smokers], an estimated 26% were radon related. Estimates of risk per unit exposure are 5.38·10-4 per WLM for the U.S. population; 9.68·10-4/WLM for ever smokers (ES); and 1.67·10-4 per WLM for never smokers (NS). The estimated risks from lifetime exposure at the 4 pCi/L [148 Bq/m3] action level are: 2.3% for the entire population, 4.1% for ES, and 0.73% for NS. [...]"
For comparison: ICRP65(1994) uses a risk estimate per unit exposure of 2.83·10-4 per WLM.
> Download EPA assessment of risks from radon in homes, EPA 402-R-03-003, June 2003 (1.9 MB PDF)
On July 22, 2004, U.S. EPA updated the Inhalation Slope Factor for Radon in its HEAST Tables accordingly. The new slope factor uses a new inhalation rate of 1.78E+04 L/day (Federal Guidance Report 13, p.139); a new 40% equilibrium for decay products; and a new risk coefficient of 5.38E-4 fatal lung cancers per WLM:
Lifetime Excess Total Cancer Risk Per Unit Intake from Inhalation of Radon-222 and short-lived decay products: 7.57E-12 per pCi Radon-222> Download revised Radionuclide Table: Radionuclide Carcinogenicity – Slope Factors (July 22, 2004) (12.6M PDF)
Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR) VI Report: The Health Effects of Exposure to Indoor Radon, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. 1998, ISBN 0-309-05645-4, 514 p.
> View summary and additional information (EPA)
> View full text
"An independent advisory group has examined the risk of leukaemia and related cancers following exposure to ionising radiation. They conclude there is a clear link between leukaemia and radiation exposure, but not for Hodgkin disease, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Risk estimates derived for radiation-induced leukaemia in the UK population are consistent with those adopted internationally and with previous estimates of risk made by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB). The advisory group recommends further studies of the risks to people exposed to high doses, and that more information should be obtained on people exposed to low doses, such as radiation workers."
> View NRPB release Oct. 7, 2003 · Study Summary and conclusions
> Download full study: Risk of Leukaemia and Related Malignancies following Radiation Exposure: Estimates for the UK Population: Report of an Advisory Group on Ionising Radiation, Doc NRPB 14(1) 3-117 (2003) (7 MB, PDF)
> Download ICRP release (Aug. 15, 2003) [MS Word]
> View NRPB response statement , July 24, 2003
Federal Register: March 3, 2003 (Vol. 68, No. 41) p. 9873-9882 (download full text )
"SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is amending its bottled water quality standard regulations by establishing an allowable level for the contaminant uranium. As a consequence, bottled water manufacturers are required to monitor their finished bottled water products for uranium at least once each year under the current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) regulations for bottled water. Bottled water manufacturers are also required to monitor their source water for uranium as often as necessary, but at least once every 4 years unless they meet the criteria for the source water monitoring exemptions under the CGMP regulations. [...]"
> See also Federal Register: June 9, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 110) p. 34272-34273 (download full text )
SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is confirming the effective date of December 8, 2003, for the direct final rule that appeared in the Federal Register of March 3, 2003 (68 FR 9873). [...]
> See also: EPA promulgates final rule for Radionuclides in Drinking Water, including uranium standard of 30 micrograms per litre (Dec. 2000)
> See also:
"The DOE-approved technical standard, "A Graded Approach for Evaluating Radiation Doses to Aquatic and Terrestrial Biota (DOE-STD-1153-2002)" is now available for use in environmental radiological protection and risk assessment activities. This voluntary consensus technical standard provides methods, models, and guidance within a tiered framework for evaluating doses to biota that is generally cost-effective and easy to implement. It was developed by the Department's Biota Dose Assessment Committee (BDAC)."
DOE-STD-1153-2002 A Graded Approach for Evaluating Radiation Doses to Aquatic and Terrestrial Biota, July 2002
> Download: DOE BDAC (registration reqd.) · alternate source
RAD-BCG Calculator (Release 2.0; a companion tool for use with the DOE Technical Standard)
> Download: DOE BDAC (registration reqd.) (requires Microsoft Excel; Excel Viewer not sufficient)
The final report was published in October 2003.
> View obituaries in London Times, June 27, 2002 · The Guardian, June 28, 2002
The Woman Who Knew Too Much: Alice Stewart and the Secrets of Radiation , by Gayle Greene, 360 pages, The University of Michigan Press 2001, ISBN 0-472-08783-5
> View Book review in Journal of the American Medical Association
> View Book review in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
"Member States of the European Union currently use different approaches both to identify reference groups and to calculate their doses. The European Commission, therefore, identified the need for a common methodology to assist in harmonisation of the approach for calculating such doses and to the application of standards throughout the EU. This report gives guidance on all aspects of the assessment of doses to reference groups from the routine operations of nuclear installations."> Download Guidance on the assessment of radiation doses to members of the public due to the operation of nuclear installations under normal conditions , by K A Jones, C Walsh, A Bexon, J R Simmonds, A L Jones, M Harvey, A Artmann and R Martens (1M PDF)
"In 1984 the NCRP published Reports numbers 77 and 78 jointly, evaluating occupational and environmental exposure to 222Rn and its decay products, and suggested risk based guidelines for personal exposure. [...] This present report updates the 1984 reports, and critically examines and summarizes the new information. [...]
This report recommends that the guidelines proposed in Report 77, of 4 WLM y-1 for occupationally exposed miners and 2 WLM y-1 for personal exposure in domestic situations are justifiable and no further reduction is recommended."
Comments should be submitted by July 1, 2002.
"The report of the Task Group is carefully focused to provide sets of age- and gender-specific Reference Values for anatomical and physiological characteristics for use in dosimetric calculations for radiation protection purposes. These uses may relate to either internal or external sources of radiation. This information also provides important input to the design of new phantoms of the human body."Please send any comments you may wish to make, before 31 March 2002.
> Download: Draft report: Basic Anatomical and Physiological Values
COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION of 20 December 2001 on the protection of the public against exposure to radon in drinking water supplies,
Official Journal of the European Communities, 28.12.2001, L 344, p.85-88
> Download Recommendation
"In this 2001 Report, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation has completed a comprehensive review of the hereditary risks to offspring following parental exposure to radiation. This report includes an evaluation of those diseases, which have both hereditary and environmental components, the so-called multifactorial diseases. The new information presented in this report suggests that radiation is less likely to have adverse genetic effects than had been assumed. This report provides a unique scientific basis for estimating radiation risk, establishing radiation protection and safety standards and regulating radiation sources for governments and organizations throughout the world."> View UN announcement
Discussion Paper by Task Group Chairman Lars-Erik Holm (23k PDF)
On June 1, 2001, the German Bundesrat (2nd chamber of parliament) approved the new radiation protection regulations with amendments watering them down.
On March 14, 2001, a revised draft of the German Radiation Protection Regulations (Strahlenschutzverordnung) has been approved by the German Federal Government. The regulations are meant to implement the EU directive 96/29/EURATOM. The regulations now are subject to approval by the Bundesrat (2nd chamber of parliament).
> View BMU press release March 14, 2001 (in German)
> Access Details and Downloads (in German)
While the first draft explicitly had excluded applicability of the new regulations to the reclamation of Wismut's former uranium mining activities, the current draft at least includes the Wismut reclamation workers under the new radiation workers standards (such as an annual dose standard of 20 mSv rather than 50 mSv). It allows for Wismut workers, however, for the exceedance of the life time dose standard of 400 mSv, provided the excess dose rate is limited to 10 mSv per year and the worker gives written consent; otherwise many of the workers currently employed by Wismut would have to cease their work.
Moreover, workers cleaning up uranium mining sites that had been abandoned before 1960, are not subject to the new radiation worker regulations, but only to the less stringent regulations for work in natural radiation environments.
For the environmental reclamation standards, however, the related regulations of the former German Democratic Republic will remain in force, until further regulations on the management of radioactive legacy will be prepared.
On May 17, 2001, several NGOs, including BUND (FOE Germany), IPPNW, Gesellschaft für Strahlenschutz, among others, criticized the proposed regulations and opposed a suspected further water-down by the 2nd chamber of parliament. The groups were specifically concerned about the following issues:
A critical review of the proposed regulations was published by Otto Hug Institute:
Strahlengefahr für Mensch und Umwelt: Bewertungen der Anpassung der deutschen Strahlenschutzverordnung an die Forderungen der EU-Richtlinie 96/29/Euratom. Berichte des Otto Hug Strahleninstitutes 21-22, April 2000, 120 p. Authors are Bettina Dannheim, Wolfgang Baumann, Bernd Franke, Helmut Hirsch, Wolfgang Hoffmann, Wolfgang Köhnlein, Horst Kuni, Wolfgang Neumann, Inge Schmitz-Feuerhake, Angelika Zahrnt. (view details and order information )
Gesellschaft für Strahlenschutz held an international congress "Radiation Protection in the new Millennium " on this topic on June 9 - 10, 2000 at Bremen.
> See also New Radiation Protection Standards in European Union
Risk Assessment of Radon in Drinking Water, National Resarch Council, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1999, ISBN 0-309-06292-6, 293 p.
> View full report online
2. LEVELS OF NATURALLY OCCURRING URANIUM
3. PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF URANIUM
4. ASSESSMENT OF URANIUM TOXICITY
5. TOXICOKINETIC MODELS FOR URANIUM
6. RADIATION PROTECTION GUIDES
7. EXPOSURE MONITORING PROGRAMS
8. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Appendix A. Nuclear and Atomic Properties of Uranium Isotopes
Appendix B. History of Uranium Limits in Man
> See also extra page on uranium toxicity.
Some relevant situations involving prolonged exposure include exposure "to 'natural' radiation sources; to 'artificial' sources (including artificial uses of naturally occurring radionuclides, mainly land contaminated with radioactive residues that may remain either from the cessation and decommissioning of practices or from past human activities that were conducted either outside any control or under radiation protection requirements less stringent than those applying today and from accidents that released long-lived radionuclides to the environment); and to commodities for public consumption containing radioactive substances."
> See also extra page on uranium toxicity.
398L0083 - Council Directive 98/83/EC of 3 November 1998 on the quality of water intended for human consumption, Official Journal of the European Communities L 330, 5 December 1998, p. 32-54
[the radionuclide standards are contained in Annex I, Part C, p. 45]
> full English text: View HTML · Download text (283k PDF) · Download image scan (300k PDF)
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