BEIR VII Impact on EPA Risk Estimates and Radiation Protection Standards and Guidelines

J.S. Puskin (US Environmental Protection Agency)

The BEIR VII study by the National Academy of Sciences was cosponsored by EPA and several other federal agencies (NRC, DOE, DOD, and DHS) in order to provide an authoritative, up-to-date assessment of the risks from low dose, low-LET radiation and of their associated uncertainties. The scope of the BEIR VII study included an examination of new epidemiological data on the Japanese atomic bomb survivors and on other irradiated groups, such as nuclear workers and populations exposed to environmental releases, as well as new information from experimental studies on the biological effects of low dose ionizing radiation. It is anticipated that the detailed age-and site-specific models contained in BEIR VII will serve as a basis for revised EPA estimates of risk from environmental exposures to radionuclides. These revised risk estimates may influence radiation standards, such as those for radionuclides in drinking water, and clean-up levels at contaminated sites.

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