Many of you know and have worked with Fred Baes, our current Health Physics Society (HPS) webmaster. Serving in this position for over 20 years, Fred brought HPS into the virtual world. At the end of last year, Fred decided it was time to move on, and he will be retiring as of 31 December 2020. All of the Web Ops team wishes him the very best in his new ventures.
To fill this void, HPS President Eric Goldin formed an ad hoc committee to search for a new webmaster. The committee was chaired by Web Ops Editor in Chief Barbara Hamrick and included current Webmaster Fred Baes, Treasurer Ali Simpkins, Society Operations Editor and Media Liaison Craig Little, and staff members Heide Rohland and Jill Drupa from Burk & Associates, Inc. Well over 100 résumés were reviewed, and we selected a small number to interview, based on the specific technical skills enumerated in the résumés. In the end, the committee unanimously recommended Ramesh Reddy Bobbu to the HPS Executive Committee.
Ramesh was brought up in the temple town of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, India, and received a bachelor of engineering in computer science prior to making his home in the United States in 2002. He has years of experience as a developer, support specialist, server administrator, and team leader. He will be working very closely with Fred over the next two months to learn all the unique aspects of the HPS website and help keep us connected to the world.
Ramesh, his wife, his daughter (5 years old), and his son (2 years old) currently reside in Virginia. Coincidentally, both his children share the same birthday, which is coming up in the next week. Please welcome Ramesh to the HPS family. He can be reached through email@example.com. We hope that all will be able to meet him in person at the 2021 HPS Annual Meeting currently planned for Phoenix, Arizona, 25–29 July 2021.
Ruth E. McBurney, CRCPD Executive Director
The Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors is pleased to proclaim the week of 8–14 November 2020 as Radiation Protection Professionals Week. We are joined in this celebration and acknowledgement of the work of radiation protection professionals by the Health Physics Society and the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements. I encourage you to honor and congratulate your staff and coworkers for the great work they are doing to prevent unnecessary exposure to radiation.
The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) draft reports "Occupational Intakes of Radionuclides: Part 5" and "Occupational Radiological Protection in Brachytherapy" are available on ICRP's Current Consultations page. All individuals and organizations are encouraged to be part of the consultation process and submit comments. Comments must be made by 15 January 2021 and 22 January 2021, respectively.
International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) Publication 143: Paediatric Computational Reference Phantoms is now available. Visit the Publications page on the ICRP website to see all publications available for purchase, as well as those that are free to access.
Emily Caffrey, 2021 Midyear Task Force Chair
The first Health Physics Society (HPS) annual workshop—"A Fresh Perspective!"—replaces the traditional midyear meeting. The workshop focuses on meeting the needs of early career members and students, but everyone is welcome to come share their work! The 2021 workshop will be held at Clemson University in beautiful Clemson, South Carolina, in May. Clemson is located in Pickens and Anderson counties, and the city revolves around the presence of the university. Clemson University is located at the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, and it borders Lake Hartwell, one of the Southeast's largest and most popular recreation lakes.
We are looking for abstracts on the following topics:
- Applied Health Physics
- Regulatory and Legal Issues
- Medical Health Physics
- Environmental Health Physics
- Radiation Dosimetry
- Other Special Session (specify)
Please submit your abstract through the link here. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 5 December 2020.
Do you have an idea for a special session for this workshop? Please contact Midyear Task Force Chair Emily Caffrey.
Photo courtesy of IAEA
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be holding the webinar "The Role of Medical Physicists in Quality, Patient Safety and Error Reduction in the Era of Modern Radiotherapy" on 5 November 2020 at 3 pm Central European Time (9 am Eastern Standard Time). Moderated by Debbie Gilley (IAEA) and presented by M. Saiful Huq (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and School of Medicine), This webinar is being organized to celebrate the International Day of Medical Physics, which is observed on 7 November by the International Organization for Medical Physics to raise awareness for the profession and is also an occasion to commemorate the research on radioactivity conducted by Marie Sklodowska-Curie, who was born on that day in 1867.
More information on the webinar and registration can be found on the IAEA website.
The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) has published NCRP Commentary 30, Using Personal Monitoring Data to Derive Organ Doses for Medical Radiation Workers, With a Focus on Lung. The publication overview is also available on the NCRP website.
NCRP Commentary 30 is a comprehensive analysis of the issues and approach for estimating organ doses from individual monitoring data for medical radiation workers. It expands on the general guidance in NCRP Report No. 178, Deriving Organ Doses and Their Uncertainty for Epidemiological Studies, by presenting organ dose conversion coefficients specific for several radiation exposure settings found in health care facilities.
Estimating radiation risk from epidemiologic studies of exposed individuals is challenging and depends on estimates of the dose received. Uncertainties are present in all estimates of dose, and exposures of medical radiation workers are particularly challenging because of the introduction and use of protective shielding, the rapid changes in medical technologies over time, and the propensity for individuals to have exposures in many facilities over the course of their careers.
NCRP Commentary 30 describes an approach for using personal monitoring data to estimate lung and other organ doses and highlights specific precautions applicable to epidemiologic study of medical radiation workers. This approach and information are valuable as support for the Million Person Study (MPS) of Radiation Workers and Veterans, as a compilation of the historical elements of dosimetry, and to support ongoing estimates of risk for male and female populations.
Health Physics Society member Andy Karam has been quite busy lately sharing information about radiation safety. Karam wrote "After Fukushima: Training Medical Responders to Care for Contaminated Patients," a blog about a trip made to Japan shortly after the Fukushima nuclear incident to do some training. It is available on the Versant Medical Physics website.
Karam also recently provided the third installment of a four-part series on radiation and radiological threats in his podcast "Radiation Instruments & How to Use Them; What the Hell Do These Numbers Mean – Part 3 on Radiation." The podcast is available on the Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators website.
Videos and presentations are now available from the first public session of the study on Merits and Viability of Different Nuclear Fuel Cycles and Technology Options and the Waste Aspects of Advanced Nuclear Reactors, which was held by the National Academies 21–23 September 2020. Speakers from the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave overviews of their programs related to nuclear fuel cycles and waste from advanced nuclear reactors. Dr. William Boyle, DOE's Office of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition, and current and former congressional staff discussed the congressional mandate for the study. Learn more on the study web page. Future meeting dates will be announced soon. Watch the videos on the National Academies website.
Emily Caffrey, ATE Editor in Chief
The Health Physics Society's Andy Karam is on the review circuit yet again! This time he has read the entirety of The History of Radiation, Radioactivity, and Radiological Protection, Bo Lindell's four-book series on the history of radiation protection—no small feat at a whopping 1,312 pages total. With his characteristic good humor and engaging style, Andy reviews the series and provides his assessment. Read his review here, and then go get the books for yourself.
Dan Sowers, CHP Corner Editor
The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) draft report "Occupational Intakes of Radionuclides: Part 5" is now available for public consultation. Comments are welcome from both individuals and organizations and must be submitted through the ICRP website no later than 15 January 2021.
During the last ANSI/HPS N13 standards meeting, it was agreed that having some "swag" would promote the radiation protection standards. With a little effort a design was created, as shown, and is now available on long- and short-sleeved denim shirts and also on a select set of polo shirts. You can see here that Matthew Barnett is modeling the denim version, photos courtesy of his daughter Andrea.
Prices range from $25 to $40, and shipping is about $8.95. Depending on where the item is going, there may also be sales taxes applied. Unisex/men's and women's sizing charts are provided at the website. Anyone may order a shirt directly from the N13 Radiation Protection Standards Online Store.
Brant Ulsh, CHP, PhD, Health Physics Editor in Chief
The November issue of Health Physics presents our latest installment of Medical Countermeasures Against Radiological Threats (MCART). This round of papers builds on four similar issues previously presented in Health Physics in this area. We last visited this topic in March and April 2019. Radiation biology, biomarkers, medical countermeasures, and predicting clinical outcomes of radiation exposures—it's all here in the November issue.
Be sure to read this month's Editor's Pick: "A Systematic Review of Hematopoietic Acute Radiation Syndrome (H-ARS) in Canines and Nonhuman Primates: Acute Mixed Neutron/Gamma vs. Reference Quality Radiations."
A further update has been announced on plans for the 15th International Congress of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA15) in January 2021. In essence, what is being developed is a hybrid event. There will be a short, focused in-person conference in Seoul on 18–19 January, but we expect that the overwhelming majority of international delegates and presenters will join a virtual online congress over a slightly extended period. There will be "live" sessions over the two-week period of 18–29 January, although the majority of the congress presentations will be prerecorded and available on a "click and play" basis extending for a further week (three weeks in all), including the refresher courses and all papers and posters. This will give a different congress experience, but it does make it more accessible to the worldwide radiation protection community. We encourage all those who have submitted papers/posters to engage with this new format and encourage the rest of our profession to take advantage of this great new learning opportunity. For the latest news, keep in touch through the IRPA15 website.
In September, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) announced that the ICRP International Conference on Recovery After Nuclear Accidents has been transformed into a virtual experience, still scheduled for 1–4 December 2020. With registration still free, "attendees" will experience the same program, panels, and presentations that were expected at the in-person conference. Registration is required, and interested parties are encouraged to visit the conference website.
The International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) announces the publication of "Practical Guidance for Engagement With the Public on Radiation and Risk."
The objective of this guidance document is two-fold. First, it is to enthuse all radiation protection professionals to become more active public advocates for radiation protection. Second, it is to provide information, experiences, and techniques to help all of us in our profession to become more effective and comfortable in this challenging task.
It must be emphasized that the guide is not aimed directly at members of the public. It is aimed at radiation protection professionals who know and understand the science and philosophy of radiation risk and protection, but who may be wary and uncomfortable in venturing into the real and complex world of public concerns, understanding, and perceptions. Essentially, the guide aims to provide the "how" to engage and communicate, not the "what" to say.
"Practical Guidance for Engagement With the Public on Radiation and Risk" can be found on the IRPA website.
One of the tools available on the Health Physics Journal's website is Collections. We have grouped Health Physics papers together based on the topic. We have a set of collections that generally parallel the Health Physics Society's sections. Just click on the "Collections" drop-down tab to see all our recent papers on Environmental and Radon, External Dosimetry, Nonionizing Radiation, etc.
In the September 2020 issue of the American Nuclear Society's (ANS) Nuclear News magazine, Rick Michal interviews Health Physics Society (HPS) President Eric Goldin about the HPS and health physics activities. The introduction to "HPS's Eric Goldin: On Health Physics" is available on the ANS website and the complete article is available here.
The 2020 American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP) and Health Physics Society (HPS) Salary Survey is currently underway until 31 October 2020. Please click here to participate in the 2020 AAHP/HPS Salary Survey. The survey is easy to complete and will only take a few minutes. Your confidential participation will benefit the entire membership.
The October Products and Services offerings have been posted on the Products and Services page of the HPS website. Information on the following products and services is available:
Radiation Dosimetry Services—PL Medical Dosimetry Services
The October short course offerings have been posted on the Short Courses page of the HPS website. Information on the following courses is available:
Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) Training Course and Refresher Class—RSO Services, Inc.
Introduction to Radiation Safety Online Training Course—ORAU's Professional Training Programs
Site Characterization Online Training Course—ORAU's Professional Training Programs
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is seeking a biostatistician to join the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) in Hiroshima, Japan, as a member of the RERF Department of Statistics. The NAS has a long-standing cooperative agreement with the US Department of Energy to recruit and hire US scientists to work at RERF. More information is available here.
The verdict is in: the 2020 Health Physics Society (HPS) Virtual Workshop is a success! (The workshop is being held in place of the annual meeting.) We've had many great sessions and presenters so far and there are many more still on the schedule. If you have not already, it's not too late to register for sessions.
1 October – Special Session: Rad NESHAPs
This year's Radioactive Air—National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs), Subpart H, session offers an opportunity for regulators, federal employees and contractors, and industry to meet virtually and hear presentations and ask questions on this program. The session features overview presentations from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy and a standards update on radioactive airborne emissions. Technical presentations will include addressing onsite members of the public, long-term exhaust air monitoring at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, and a presentation on compliance codes including CAP88-PC and COMPLY. At the end of the session there will be additional time for questions and answers.
6 October – Technical Session 2
This session includes Internal Dosimetry, External Dosimetry, Dose Reconstruction, Medical Health Physics, and Academic Institutions. The session is filled with heavy hitters in the health physics world, several current or past HPS officers, and exceptional topics. Attendees interested in space and airplane radiation safety and Lutathera treatments, or anyone who just wants to know what is relevant in the health physics community, should not miss this session.
8 October – Special Session: Academic, Industrial, and Research Radiation Safety Section (AIRRS)
The Accelerator Section is hosting a diverse set of presentations on a number of accelerator radiation safety topics from section members representing SLAC National Accelerator Lab, Jefferson Lab, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, LLC. The topics include important perspectives on developing robust safety programs for accelerators. They also address several unique radiation safety challenges associated with medical radioisotope production, release protocols for potentially activated materials, management of TRU and non-TRU alpha emitters in accelerator experiments, and environmental monitoring for very low levels of prompt ionizing radiation. You are invited to share in this wealth of knowledge and interact with the accelerator radiation safety experts who are presenting. The Accelerator Section also welcomes you to its annual business meeting immediately following the topical session.
13 October – Special Session: Nonionizing Radiation Section (NIR)
This session includes Management of Outside Laser Devices; Beyond the Door Interlock: Considerations in Design of Interlocks for High-Powered Lasers; Radiofrequency Safety—What a Health Physicist Needs to Know; The RF Relative Risk Index—A Novel Approach for Assessment and Comparison of the Relative Risk of Sources of Radiofrequency (RF) Energy; What Health Physicists Should Know About 5G, and 5G Network Overview.
15 October – Special Session: American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP) Therapy Patient Release Issues
Radiopharmaceutical therapy is a much-needed treatment for cancer patients. Therapies are increasing in frequency and there are novel compounds that are undergoing research and clinical trials. Most patients are able to be treated and released on an outpatient basis if they meet regulatory limits. There are many ways to achieve compliance in this area and these papers provide information from a variety of viewpoints. Presentations will provide an overview of operational experiences using National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements Report 155 guidance and pretreatment screening. Also included from the regulatory side of operations are presentations from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) perspective, from the NRC staff, and from the Advisory Committee on the Medical Use of Isotopes (ACMUI). Finally, a presentation will describe an online resource for patient release estimates. The American Academy of Health Physics is also partnering with the Medical Health Physics Section of the HPS on this important topic. We look forward to seeing you online.
20 October – Medical Health Physics Radiation Safety Culture
This session includes the topics IRPA, WHO, IAEA, IOMP Radiation Safety Culture in Health Care; Radiation Safety Culture Challenges in Hospitals; Radiation Safety Myths and Misconceptions in Health Care—Impacts on Safety Culture; Consulting Physicist Perspective on Radiation Safety Culture in Medical Institutions; and Strengthening Radiation Safety Culture in Medicine Through Training, followed by a panel discussion and business meeting.
PEP 10/5 – Radiofrequency Safety—What a Health Physicist Needs to Know (Gregory R. Komp)
PEP 10/7 – Operating Nonmedical X-Ray Devices—A Roller Coaster Asset (Carl Tarantino)
PEP 10/12 – Nonionizing Radiation: An Overview of Biological Effects and Exposure Limits (Ben Edwards)
PEP 10/14 – Radiation Biology for Radiation Protection in Medicine (Kathryn D. Held)
PEP 10/19 – Is Individualized Patient Dosimetry in Radiological Procedures Necessary? (Caridad Borrás)
PEP 10/21 – Harmony in Concepts and Units for Internal Dose Calculations for Nuclear Medicine Applications or for Protection of Radiation Workers (Mike Stabin)
The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) is pleased to announce the virtual symposium "Study of One Million Radiation Workers & Veterans" being held on 6 November 2020, 8:30 am–3:00 pm EDT. The symposium is cosponsored by the Greater New York, Baltimore-Washington, and New Jersey Chapters of the Health Physics Society; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; and NCRP.
Visit the NCRP website for more information and to register. Registration will close on 3 November 2020. The symposium will use ZOOM and the link will be provided to all registrants prior to the meeting. For questions about registration contact NCRP Director of Operations Laura Atwell.
Emily Caffrey and Dan Sowers, Public Information Committee
The Health Physics Society (HPS) Public Information Committee (PIC) is working to update all HPS fact sheets. These fact sheets are useful tools to communicate with the public, presenting information in simple, clear terms. The most recently revised fact sheet was formerly called "Background Radiation" but has been updated to "Common Sources of Radiation" and includes information about medical exposures. This fact sheet underwent a major revision, led by PIC member Angela Ran. The data was entirely refreshed, new graphics were provided, and the text was simplified considerably. Check it out here.
All this public information is free and exists to help the general public understand radiation and health physics and to help you—the health physicist—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 PIC, please contact Emily Caffrey.
LANDAUER Sweden officials are excited to announce the relocation to Billdal of its operations from Uppsala. This move integrates LANDAUER occupational dosimetry and laboratory services with RaySafe and Fluke Biomedical and is the first step in creating a Scandinavian Center of Excellence for Radiation Safety and Quality.
On 29 June, LANDAUER Sweden received accreditation from the Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment (SWEDAC) as a dosimetry laboratory accredited according to ISO 17025. SWEDAC accreditation is a formal recognition of competence, impartiality, and consistent operation in accordance with ISO 17025. With the approval of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (Strål Säkerhets Myndigheten), the laboratory is fully operational.
See services and general information on our new website (Swedish only).
Health Physics Society member Melton H. Chew passed away on 30 June 2020. His obituary can be found on the HPS website In Memoriam page.
Health Physics Society President Emeritus Raymond H. Johnson passed away on 8 September 2020. His obituary can be found on the HPS website In Memoriam page.
The Health Physics Society (HPS) is providing videos of 2020 HPS Virtual Workshop sessions for those who have registered. Sessions are being recorded and will be available within 48 hours of the live event.
To access the videos please click here and enter your HPS Virtual Meeting Invoice number that is on your payment receipt.
If you have trouble accessing the video function, please contact the Secretariat.
Radiation safety experts worldwide are invited to take part in sharing practical experience of implementing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safety standards to protect workers, patients, the public, and the environment from natural and artificial radiation sources at a fully virtual IAEA conference. "International Conference on Radiation Safety: Improving Radiation Protection in Practice" will be held 9–20 November 2020. The virtual conference has been extended from a one-week period to two weeks.
More than 600 participants have been designated through their national authority to participate, many of whom will be delivering oral presentations and displaying posters based on their research online at the event.
Although the deadline to apply to present has passed, anyone interested in joining the discussions and listening to the presentations can fill in the participation form on the conference webpage without the need to have national designation. For those who would like to just listen to the conference, view-only livestream access will be available on the conference website.
A special program for students and professionals aged 35 years and younger is being organized as part of the conference. The IAEA is organizing professional-development events for young people, including virtual networking opportunities and a speaker series in which experts from the various fields in radiation safety will offer career insight. If you wish to participate, please complete this form.
More information on the recently announced virtual format can be found here. For more information about the International Conference on Radiation Safety, contact the conference secretariat or follow #RaSa2020 on social media.
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.
2020 HPS Virtual Workshop: 10 September–21 October 2020. The 2020 HPS Virtual Workshop is being held in place of the July 2020 meeting, which was cancelled as an "in person" meeting due to the COVID pandemic.
66th Annual Meeting: 25–29 July 2021; Phoenix, Arizona
67th Annual Meeting: 16–21 July 2022; Spokane, Washington