Professional Enrichment Program (PEP) sessions from the 2020 Health Physics Society (HPS) Virtual Workshop are still available for those who previously registered. HPS members may purchase access to the sessions.
If you are not yet a member of the HPS and would like to view the PEPs, you can join here.
The 66th Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society (HPS) will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, 25–29 July 2021. After an eventful 2020, all of us could use a little sunshine. Luckily, Phoenix is the place for that and is also the home of great food, the saguaro cactus, and exceptional landscapes. With a world-renowned art museum, resorts, and a host of major sporting events in Phoenix, the 2021 meeting will be one to remember.
Please submit your abstract (including special session abstracts) for the meeting by 24 January 2021 through the HPS website.
In addition, there are still openings for a few more special sessions. If there is a special topic that you want to put in front of the health physics community, a special session is a great way to introduce it and initiate scientific dialog among your peers. Please contact Task Force Chair Charles Wilson if you would like to set up or sponsor a special session.
For more information on submitting abstracts and on the format of the meeting, see the Call for Abstracts.
Students, it is time to apply for awards to help toward your health physics education. The Students section of the Health Physics Society (HPS) website offers an abundance of information on scholarships, fellowships, and grants available to health physics students. For 2021–2022, HPS is offering several scholarships and fellowships. The HPS also offers travel grants for HPS member students planning to attend the next annual meeting of the HPS. The deadline for submission of applications for scholarships, fellowships, and travel grants is 1 March 2021.
Advisors and HPS members, please encourage health physics students you know to apply soon.
On 4 January 2021, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Kristine L. Svinicki announced that she intends to leave the NRC on 20 January 2021. Chairman Svinicki issued the following statement:
"I have greatly cherished the opportunity to serve the nation over the course of my long federal career, including the honor of having been nominated to serve as a Commissioner of the US NRC by three successive Presidents of the United States—President Bush in 2007, President Obama in 2012, and President Trump in 2017. I am grateful to the many Senators and Congressmen who have worked with me on tough issues over the years and who, agreeing or disagreeing on the substance, acknowledged we were, for the most part, trying to achieve complementary aims. Thank you for your support of the agency's important work.
"I was humbled when President Trump designated me NRC Chairman on Inauguration Day four years ago. After nine years of service as a Commissioner, I hope I put my prior experience to good effect and that my work as Chairman has fulfilled, in some small measure, the confidence the President expressed in my capabilities in offering me this opportunity to lead.
"It is a rare thing in Washington to have continued so long in a political appointment, and they tell me I am the longest serving member of our Commission in the agency's history. I am not sure I know how that happened, but I would certainly attribute a fair portion of it to two things. First, I was exceedingly fortunate to serve with such fine fellow Commissioners over the course of the years. I learned a lot from the colleagues that the system happened to send my way. The second thing is something that you would have to have worked here to understand; but the NRC culture, and the people who make it the welcoming and wonderful place it is, are truly unique in government. This includes the small team of advisors I had around me for all these years—each drawn from the existing NRC career staff and all exemplars of the devoted professionals who make up the NRC.
The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) is proud to announce the publication of NCRP Statement No. 13, NCRP Recommendations for Ending Routine Gonadal Shielding During Abdominal and Pelvic Radiography.
NCRP Statement No. 13 reevaluates the effectiveness of gonadal shielding considering technical advancements in medical imaging and current scientific evidence and provides updated recommendations regarding gonadal shielding for the medical imaging community.
Developments since the 1950s have dramatically reduced patient dose and improved accuracy and monitoring of radiation dose to parts of the patients' body during diagnostic radiographic procedures. Changes in practice are necessary when there is a better understanding of the benefits and risks associated with a given practice.
This statement provides updated recommendations for gonadal shielding and other key information, including:
- An overview and brief history of gonadal shielding.
- A discussion of factors that affect the effectiveness of gonadal shielding.
- A general discussion about the radiosensitivity of the gonads.
- Recommendations for the use of gonadal shielding during pelvic and abdominal radiography.
Communication resources and recommendations for implementation are included in the complementary materials, Implementation Guidance for Ending Routine Gonadal Shielding During Abdominal and Pelvic Radiography and the accompanying patient brochure, Where's the Lead Apron? Why Reproductive Organ Shielding Is No Longer Recommended.
View or download NCRP Statement No. 13 on the NCRP website.
Brant Ulsh, CHP, PhD, Health Physics Editor in Chief
The February issue of Health Physics is a smorgasbord of articles from several concentrations across our field. We lead off with a fresh selection of environmental and radon appetizers, including Dr. Hugo Velasco's "Temporal Attenuation of Gamma Dose Rate in Air Due to Radiocesium Downward Mobility in Soil," Prof. M.A. Misdaq's "Study of Alpha and Beta Radioactivity of Clay Originating From Radionuclides Belonging the 238U and 232Th Families: Doses to the Skin of Potters," and Dr. Rong Yang's "Influence of Neutralization Accelerated by the Soak Method on the Radon Exhalation of Cement-Based Materials." Dr. Sandor Demeter has prepared a hearty main course—"Economic Considerations for Radiation Protection in Medical Settings—Is It Time for a New Paradigm?"—which pairs nicely with Dr. Adnan Lahham's offering, "Evaluation of Radiation Doses in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Conventional Chest X-Ray Examination." And finally, we have a hand-picked slate of external and internal dosimetry dessert selections including Dr. Edward Waller's "Encapsulated Gamma Source Contact Dose Conversion Factors: Updating NCRP-40 Guidance," Dr. Bin Zhang's "Effective Dose Coefficients for Intakes of Uranium via Contaminated Wounds for Reference Adults," Dr. Jong Park's "Dependence of Radiation-Induced Signals on Geometry of Tooth Enamel Using a 1.15 GHz Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectrometer: Improvement of Dosimetric Accuracy," Ning Lv's "Design and Implementation of Matryoshka-Type Neutron Spectrometer," and Dr. Jordan Noey's "Analysis of Long-Term Quality Control Data for a 137Cs Dosimetry Calibration Source." The February issue of Health Physics is a feast. Pull up a chair and dig in!
In late December 2020, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) released two highly anticipated reports in the Annals of the ICRP. Publication 146: Radiological Protection of People and the Environment in the Event of a Large Nuclear Accident is available for purchase. "Proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection" is free to access. These and much more information can always be found by visiting the ICRP website.
Dan Sowers, CHP Corner Editor
The January 2021 issue of the CHP Corner has been posted to the American Academy of Health Physics website. This edition begins with a welcome letter from the Academy's new president, Scott Schwahn; posts a call for nominations to run for Academy offices on the 2021 ballot; and concludes with a sincere thank you to the Part II Panel members.
Versant Physics is looking for guest contributors to write for its resource blog. Take this opportunity to share your expertise, technical knowledge, or experience in the medical physics/radiation safety field.
All topics under the umbrella of radiation safety are welcome, including nuclear medicine, health and medical physics, imaging, dosimetry, and more. Contact Kaitlynn for more details or to submit your pitch.
The American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP) is calling for nominations for the Joyce P. Davis Memorial Award. AAHP has established the award in recognition of Joyce P. Davis' dedication to the advancement of health physics and her humanitarian efforts to uphold the ethics of the profession. The recipient of this award should demonstrate excellence in professional achievement as well as being a champion for professional standards and ethics. Those eligible for the award must be (1) a member of AAHP for at least 10 years, (2) a demonstrated champion of professional standards and ethics, and (3) recognized for exemplary professional practice of health physics. Nominations for the award can be made by any member of the Academy. Nominations should include a brief biographical résumé of the nominee's career and service to the profession and the AAHP, a nomination letter describing how the candidate has championed professional standards and ethics during their career, and at least three reference letters in support of the nomination. This material should be submitted to AAHP Professional Standards and Ethics Committee Chair Kevin Doody on or before 1 April 2021. The award will be presented at the AAHP luncheon during the annual Health Physics Society meeting.
Effective 1 January 2021, the American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP) contracted CMA Solutions (CMA), located in Princeton Junction, New Jersey, to act as its association management company and secretariat. CMA has had a long track record of providing association management services and is accredited by the AMC Institute under ANSI/AMCi A100.1-2018, The Standard of Good Practices for Association Management Companies, the Advertising Specialty Institute, and the International Airlines Travel Agent Network.
With over 30 years of service in the association industry, we are confident that CMA will be a strong partner in supporting our values, mission, and strategic direction. CMA will work closely with AAHP leadership to ensure the successful implementation of tactical steps and operational practices. Together we will continue to build upon the organizational standards that serve as the foundation for educating our members and fostering an environment of sharing information.
The January short course offerings have been posted on the Short Courses page of the HPS website. Information on the following courses is available:
Certification Review Course Part I and Self Study Course Part I—Bevelacqua Resources
Certification Review Course Part II and Self Study Course Part II—Bevelacqua Resources
Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) School and Refresher Class—RSO Services, Inc.
Medical Radiation Safety Officer Training—ORAU's Professional Training Programs
Radiation Safety Officer Training—ORAU's Professional Training Programs
Emily Caffrey and Dan Sowers, HPS Public Information Committee
As you all know, the Public Information Committee has been working diligently to update all the Society's fact sheets. These fact sheets are useful tools to communicate with the public, as they present information in simple, clear terms, contain references to reliable information, and in the case of the newly updated "Cell Phones and 5G Technology" fact sheet, include a set of commonly asked questions and answers from the Ask the Experts website.
This fact sheet is particularly timely, as 5G towers continue to pop up all over the country. The fact sheet covers nonionizing radiation, including cell phones, WiFi, microwaves, 5G technology, and much more. It also discusses recent studies that looked for potential health effects and cites authoritative regulatory agencies from across the globe that all conclude that no adverse health effects have been established from cell phone use or being in proximity to cell towers.
All this public information is free and exists to help the general public understand radiation and health physics, and for you—the health physicist—to more effectively communicate to those who may want to know more, have questions, or have concerns. Take time to know what's there. Understand it. Use it. Reference it. Share it.
For any questions about the Public Information Committee, please contact Chair Emily Caffrey.
The Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD) has published an update on the Radiological Operations Support Specialist (ROSS) Program, which was created to fill a gap in radiation emergency preparedness and response in the nation. ROSS was created in a joint effort of the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration, National Urban Security Technology Laboratory of the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, and Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The program has been busy over the last few months and the update shares some important developments in the management of the current cadre of ROSS. The update is available on page 9 of the October 2020 issue of the CRCPD's Newsbrief.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has published the Specific Safety Guide Radiation Safety in the Use of Nuclear Gauges. There are several hundred thousand nuclear gauges incorporating a radioactive source or a radiation generator in use all over the world. They have been used in a wide range of industries to improve the quality of products, optimize processes, and save energy and materials. The economic benefits have been amply demonstrated, and there is clear evidence that nuclear gauge technology can be used safely and will continue to play an important role. Although generic guidance for source handling is available, there have been no targeted recommendations for radiation safety in the use of nuclear gauges. To fill this gap the current publication provides practical guidance for implementing the safety requirements specified in IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSR Part 3, Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources: International Basic Safety Standards, related to the use of nuclear gauges.
Congratulations to the Health Physics Society (HPS) officers and Board of Directors members who will take office at the 2021 HPS Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, in July:
Treasurer-elect Kendall Berry
Director Michael Boyd
Director Adela-Salame Alfie
All presentations, posters, videos, and Q&A related to the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) International Conference on Recovery After a Nuclear Accident will be available to registrants of the event until 18 December 2020. Registration is free and is required to be able to access all of the content. To date, there have been 2,500 registrants from over 100 countries. Please go to the conference website for more details and to register.
Joseph Ring, Government Relations Committee Chair
The Health Physics Society (HPS) Government Relations Committee and Medical Health Physics Section provided a response to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) request for comment on "Reporting Nuclear Medicine Injection Extravasations as Medical Events," Docket ID NRC-2020-0141 on 14 October 2020. The document is available on the Government Relations Program website: HPS Public Comments.
In summary, the comment says the HPS does not believe the infiltration/extravasation of radiopharmaceuticals should be classified as a medical event. Infiltration of a portion of the radiopharmaceutical is often unavoidable and there is little evidence that infiltration of radiopharmaceuticals carries any health consequences for the patient or the general public.
Monitoring the rate of extravasations is a medical issue that is overseen by the institution's quality management program. Additional regulatory action would only add regulatory burden without an improvement for patient radiological health and safety.
Requiring monitoring and review of extravasations is fundamentally different from the majority of NRC-specified medical events that can be attributed to failures that are readily preventable. The NRC has used reporting of medical events to evaluate if there is a breakdown in the licensee's program or if there was a generic issue that should be reported to other licensees that could reduce the likelihood of other medical events and enhanced radiological safety. Extravasations frequently occur in intravenous injections and are almost impossible to prevent, which makes the proposed classification inconsistent with the purpose of a medical event.
If the NRC decides to classify extravasation as a medical event, the focus should be on therapy administrations where there is a potential for tissue reactions. The criteria should consider that infiltration and extravasation occur at some frequency regardless of interventions and quality initiatives. The potential evaluation criteria should be similar to how the medical community handles fluoroscopic skin injury (The Joint Commission. Sentinel Event Alert 47: Radiation Risks of Diagnostic Imaging and Fluoroscopy).
Emily Caffrey, Committee Chair
Have a Question About TENORM or Radon? Check Out Our New Videos
The Public Information Committee (PIC), in conjunction with Divine Media & Co., has finished two more videos for the Ask the Experts website and our YouTube channel. The first video covers technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material, or TENORM. Here you'll learn what TENORM is, where it comes from, and whether or not it is harmful. The second video is an overview of everything you need to know about radon. It covers all the basics, plus answers some commonly asked questions about radon.
Please share these videos with your friends and family and post them to your social media! Our goal is to make the Health Physics Society (HPS) the premier organization for all radiation-related information, and we need your help. By sharing HPS content, you can further our reach and increase our credibility.
As always, the PIC is continuously looking for new and innovative ways to engage the public and provide useful, scientifically accurate, and understandable information. We welcome any suggestions from the HPS membership on activities we should consider undertaking. If you are interested in being involved, please contact Emily Caffrey.
Add the dates of the following Health Physics Society meetings to your calendar. Check the Meetings and Conferences page of the website for the most current information.
First Annual Workshop: 23–26 May 2021; Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina; "A Fresh Perspective"
66th Annual Meeting: 25–29 July 2021; Phoenix, Arizona
67th Annual Meeting: 16–21 July 2022; Spokane, Washington