Wendy Kuhne, Section President
WiRP Elections Are Open
The Women in Radiation Protection Section (WiRP) is holding elections for two open positions: director/board position and president-elect. You will be receiving a link to the electronic ballot where you will find the bios of our two candidates for director and two candidates for president-elect. A write-in option is also available for each position. Please take time to vote for these two important leadership positions and help us grow the future of WiRP. Elections will be open until Monday, 5 July 2021. Results of the election will be announced by email and at the section business meeting to be held Tuesday, 27 July at 11:00 MST at the 2021 Health Physics Society Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.
Mike Mahathy, HPS Director
As my four years serving you as a Health Physics Society (HPS) director comes to an end, I thank you for giving me the opportunity. During my term, HPS leadership, working with our committees and stakeholders, has accomplished much, from ramping up a new governance model to delivering the first, all-virtual annual meeting and strengthening our support for the field of radiation safety. No one person should or can take credit for any of our accomplishments; we grow together in a united mission. HPS has a great leadership team.
If you are sitting on the sidelines, there are many ways you can serve. You might volunteer as a mentor, offer to conduct a training course, join a committee, or even run for office. HPS is our society; it is up to each of us to keep it strong.
Again, thank you for the honor of representing you. I look forward to seeing you in person, if not this year maybe next.
Eric Goldin, HPS President, 2019–2021
It's early June, the weather is warming up, even hot in some parts of the country, but my goal is to get you "warmed up" for the 2021 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting next month in Phoenix. Could be a bit more than warm, but Arizonans know how to use air conditioning. Be sure and bring a sweater or light jacket for meetings indoors—could be chilly. It's only about five weeks until the meeting, and we're looking forward to plenty of in-person interaction. Whether you can attend in person or virtually, I encourage everyone to participate.
I'd also like to encourage you to volunteer for committees. John Cardarelli, currently your president-elect who will take the reins from me in July, is filling committee appointments as we speak. Now's the time to toss your hat into the ring, get on a committee, and help run the Society. There are plenty of vacancies so don't feel wedded to a particular committee; your help is needed in many areas.
I will probably write one more Health Physics News article before my term as president ends, but I want to take the time now to thank all of you who are reading this note, participating in HPS activities and committees, and attending meetings, in person or virtually. Our profession is stronger because of your participation. I'll repeat what you already know—the Health Physics Society is the premier radiation protection organization in the world, largest, most active, and a key player in the international community. With that said, we have a lot on our plate and we have been very successful meeting the needs of our members with last year's virtual annual meeting, this spring's hybrid workshop, loads of virtual chapter meetings, and many other interactions. We are looking forward to a terrific North American Regional International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) Congress in February next year in St Louis and hosting the world-wide IRPA 16 Congress in Orlando in July 2024. Let's settle down in Phoenix, have a great meeting, and press on with our Strategic Plan that sets us up for success in the future.
Brant Ulsh, CHP, PhD, Health Physics Editor in Chief
I write these pieces a few months ahead of the Health Physics Journal issue they accompany. As I write this, July is still a few months away, but the Society leadership has announced that the annual meeting this year will follow a hybrid model (i.e., it will have both online and in-person components) after being in person up to 2019 and online in 2020. This will be an interesting experiment, and I wonder if it is the wave of the future. I will be attending in person, and I am looking forward to seeing colleagues in Phoenix after being isolated for the past year and a half. While this meeting model is new, some things remain the same—no matter how you are participating, I want to invite all of you to convert your presentations, continuing education lectures, professional enrichment program talks, and posters into full-length papers, notes, or operational topics articles for the Health Physics journal. Instructions for authors can be found on the Journal website.
As you all know, membership in the Health Physics Society offers many benefits, including reduced registration fees for the annual meeting. But you may not know that your membership also entitles students to apply for a waiver of page charges for publishing their work in the Journal. We have recently expanded this program to also include retirees who lack institutional support. I encourage students and retirees to take advantage of this benefit and send in your work. We want your manuscripts!
Editor's Pick for the July issue of Health Physics:
Last week, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) released the ICRP 2020 Annual Report. Should you wish to read more about ICRP membership, new publications, and highlighted work, please visit ICRP's website for the report).
Health Physics Society (HPS) founding member Francis Joseph Bradley passed away on 29 May 2021. His obituary can be found on the HPS website In Memoriam page.
The June short course offerings have been posted on the Short Courses page of the HPS website. Information on the following courses is available:
Laser Safety Officer (LSO) Training—Kentek Corporation
Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) School and Refresher Class—RSO Services, Inc.
Applied Health Physics—ORAU's Professional Training Programs
Introduction to Radiation Safety Online Training Course—ORAU's Professional Training Programs
Packaging and Shipping Class 7 (Radioactive) Material—Plexus Scientific Corporation
Emily Caffrey, 2021 Midyear Task Force Chair
The Health Physics Society (HPS) midyear workshop was the first of its kind in many ways: it was hybrid, with virtual and in-person attendees; it focused on students and early career members; it tested a brand-new virtual platform, Signalwire; and it hosted a variety of new events, including a three-minute thesis competition!
The first talk of the meeting was by the Environmental Protection Agency's Jon Nagata, who engaged the audience from the beginning using live polling software. Let's take a closer look at what Jon did. He ran live polling software used by individuals on and off site that fed through a PowerPoint presentation remotely from DC to the workshop in Clemson, South Carolina. And it ran flawlessly. I hope you are as impressed as I am. The HPS stood up to the challenges of COVID and offered the membership a wonderful meeting. I hope y'all will join us in Phoenix for the annual meeting in July, which promises to be an exceptional event!
The Health Physics Society (HPS) would like to pay tribute to members who have died within the past few years and some of the "HPS greats." If you would like to write an In Memoriam piece for one of the following, please contact Web Operations Editor in Chief Barbara Hamrick.
- Pete Darnell (d. 25 March 2021)
- Lynn A. Fitz-Randolph (d. 20 December 2019)
- Roy Parker (d. 1 January 2021)
- John Johnson (d. March 2020)
- Bill Kirk (d. 22 April 2019)
- Jim Williams (d. 14 February 2020)
- Eugene "Gene" Kramer (d. 11 March 2019)
- Frank Cosolito (d. 3 July 2018)
- Elda Anderson
- Robley Evans
- K.Z. Morgan
Due to COVID, this year all 2021 Health Physics Society (HPS) conference shirts and hats will be sold online and shipped directly to the attendee. Order your meeting hats and shirts online at the 2021 HPS Swag Store.
Find out more about the 66th HPS Annual Meeting sessions, activities, hotels, and registration on the meeting web page.
Charles Wilson, 2021 Annual Meeting Task Force Chair
The Health Physics Society (HPS) Program Committee has worked hard putting together an exceptional program for the 66th Annual Meeting of the HPS that will utilize our new platform for hybrid meetings. Remote and in-person speakers will join together with remote and in-person attendees to tackle a brand-new kind of conference. The HPS workshop tried it this week and it was fantastic!
Curious what happened in Harborview Washington when a research irradiator source breached? One of the many fantastic special sessions planned for our two-week program is a full day on this exact topic. Listen to speakers discuss all aspects of this event and chime in to comment or ask questions for the live panels!
The meeting will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, 25–29 July 2021, with virtual days held on 20 and 22 July.
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.
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.
66th Annual Meeting: 25–29 July 2021; Phoenix, Arizona
67th Annual Meeting: 16–21 July 2022; Spokane, Washington
2022 IRPA North American Regional Congress – Meeting the Challenges in the Practice of Radiation Protection: 20–24 February 2022; St. Louis, Missouri
IRPA 16 – Radiation Harmonization—Standing United for Protection: 6–12 July 2024; Orlando, Florida
Colt Greer, CHP, Chapter President
On Wednesday, 9 June, the Delaware Valley Society for Radiation Safety (DVSRS) will be holding the 8th Annual Robert Forrest Memorial Medical Health Physics Symposium virtually. This year's event is packed with a star-studded lineup with topics on MR-Linac, Extravasations, Iomab-B, Million Person Study, Reassessing Medical Radiation Exposure, and an overview of Radiopharmaceutical Therapy. This full-day event has been awarded six continuing education units by the American Academy of Health Physics. Visit the DVSRS web page for registration details.
Many people are calling 2020 The Lost Year. So many things were missed: trips, visits with friends, membership renewals. Speaking of that, it would be helpful if each one of you would check your HPS membership status to ensure that your membership is current. We've seen a number of unrenewed memberships that undoubtedly resulted from inadvertent failure to renew because of changes in work schedule, among other things.
Tired of being cooped up? How about ending your extended time at home with a bucket list trip? Or decide to take the cash to use however you would like!
The Health Physics Society (HPS) Board of Directors has once again authorized a raffle to benefit the HPS Fund and thus the HPS. The Tesla raffle last year was very successful for HPS and created some excitement and friendly competition among members. This year, for each $50 donation, you get an entry to win $25,000 toward a vacation (or cash)! There will also be 2nd and 3rd prizes of $3,000 and $2,000, respectively. Chances of winning are excellent because only 2,000 entries will be allowed. We are opening the raffle up to everyone at this time so buy your tickets before it is too late! In the unlikely event that fewer than 1,200 tickets are sold, it will become a 50/50 raffle with only one prize being given equal to 50% of the amount raised. The drawing will close on 27 July 2021 at midnight ET and the winner will be announced at the HPS business meeting on 28 July 2021. Go to the raffle web page for more information, to make your donation to the HPS, and to put your name in for a chance(s) to win.
The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has published ICRP Publication 148 Radiation Weighting for Reference Animals and Plants, which is now available for purchase. To access this report, please go to the ICRP website.
Latha Vasudevan, PhD, CHP, Chapter Public Relations Chair
The Health Physics Society State of Texas Chapter (STC-HPS) held its spring meeting virtually on 24 April 2021. The focus was "Student Presentations and Retrospective of Fukushima on 10th Anniversary of the Nuclear Disaster." The chapter utilized the Zoom platform provided by HPS, and the virtual meeting again proved to be very effective and successful.
The meeting began at 9 am and STC-HPS President-elect Doug Johnson welcomed the speakers and meeting attendees. We started off with undergraduate student paper presentations followed by graduate student presentations. The high school science fair winner was invited to present his work "Using Artificial Intelligence to Reduce MRI Patient Exposure" and it was quite encouraging to see the young researcher making an extremely well-prepared presentation reflecting the caliber of future professionals.
The graduate student presentations included students from Texas A&M University, the University of Texas, and the University of Florida. The highlight of the meeting was the three invited speakers providing the Fukushima-Decade Retrospective. Dr. Dale Klein (former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, chair of the Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee of Tokyo Electric Power Company) discussed "Update on the Fukushima Daiichi Cleanup—Deaths From Radiation Remain at Zero While Deaths From the Earthquake and Tsunami Are About 20,000." Dr. Wesley Bolch (distinguished professor of biomedical and radiological engineering, University of Florida) presented "A 2020 UNSCEAR Review of the Level and Effects of Radiation Exposure Following the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident." Dr. Steven Rademacher provided the talk "DOD Aspects of Fukushima Disaster Response, Operation Tomodachi." The discussion on the Fukushima nuclear disaster was very well received.
We had about 30 attendees for the virtual meeting and the meeting was successfully concluded by announcing the prize winners for both the undergraduate and graduate student categories. The chapter thanks the speakers and the attendees for their outstanding contribution and for making this meeting successful.
The full agenda can be found on our chapter website.
Dr. Dale Klein presenting "Update on the Fukushima Daiichi Cleanup." Photo Courtesy of Latha Vasudevan
Dr. Wesley Bolch presenting "A 2020 UNSCEAR Review of the Level and Effects of Radiation Exposure Following the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident." Photo Courtesy of Latha Vasudevan
Screen shot of some of the attendees. Photo Courtesy of Latha Vasudevan
The National Academies is convening a new committee to review the technical quality and completeness of the recent national laboratories' analysis, which examined supplemental treatment options for low-activity radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
This congressionally mandated review will help guide the US Department of Energy and Congress on the Hanford waste treatment and disposal efforts that involve expenditures of tens of billions of dollars and decades of work.
For more information and to submit nominations, click here. Nominations should be submitted by Friday, 21 May 2021.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is offering, at no charge, two new e-learning courses on radiation protection of workers: "Occupational Radiation Protection Based on General Safety Guide No. GSG-7" and "Management and Control of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM)." The courses focus on how to further strengthen worker protection and occupational exposure control and provides guidance on monitoring and recording methodologies.
More information is available on the IAEA website.
Franz Schönhofer passed away on 11 April 2021. His obituary can be found on the HPS website In Memoriam page.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has contracted with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to perform a study and report findings and recommendations on the current status and development of a long-term strategy for low-dose radiation research in the United States. Objectives of the study are to:
- Define the health and safety issues that need to be guided by an improved understanding of low-dose and low-dose-rate radiation health effects.
- Identify current scientific challenges for understanding low-dose and low-dose-rate radiation health effects.
- Assess the status of current low-dose radiation research nationally and internationally.
- Recommend a long-term strategic and prioritized research agenda to (1) address research goals to overcome identified scientific challenges in coordination with other research efforts and (2) support education and outreach activities to disseminate information and promote public understanding of low-dose radiation.
- Define the essential components of the research program that would address this research agenda within the universities and national laboratories.
- Address needed coordination between federal agencies and with international efforts to achieve objectives.
- Identify and, if possible, quantify potential monetary and health-related impacts to federal agencies, the general public, industry, research communities, and other users of information produced by such a research program.
The National Academies expect to prepare a report by April 2022 with findings and recommendations that address the objectives above. Health Physics Society (HPS) members who are interested in serving on the study committee may self-nominate by contacting Dr. Ourania Kosti, project leader, or via an online nomination form. If you decide to submit your name, please contact HPS Federal Agency Liaison Craig Little so we can support your candidacy.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has published Occupational Radiation Protection During the Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations. This publication presents practical information on occupational radiation protection and examples with good practices from the nuclear industry on how to comply with the requirements established in IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSR Part 3, Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources: International Basic Safety Standards, within the context of decommissioning activities. Taking account of the fact that over 70% of the world's nuclear reactors are to be decommissioned by 2040, this publication can be used in the planning of new decommissioning projects and for improvements in the implementation of existing decommissioning projects. Useful input for licensing and supervision of decommissioning projects is also provided.
Health Physics Society member Ken Foster, PhD, will be the speaker for the IEEE webinar "Did Microwaves Harm US Employees at Its Embassy in Havana?" This free webinar will be held 18 May 2021, 7–8 pm Eastern, and requires preregistration before noon on 18 May. Dr. Foster received his PhD in physics from Indiana University in 1971 and is currently professor emeritus with the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He has been involved in studies on the interaction of nonionizing radiation and biological systems, including mechanisms of interaction and biomedical applications of radio frequency and microwave energy. In addition, he has written widely about scientific issues related to possible health effects of electromagnetic fields. He has authored approximately 170 technical papers in peer-reviewed journals, numerous other articles, and two books related to technological risk and the law. In 2016, he received the d'Arsonval Award from the Bioelectromagnetics Society for contributions to the field of bioelectromagnetics. He is a longtime member of TC 95 of the IEEE and a member of the Physical Agents Committee of the American Conference of Industrial Hygienists, among many other professional activities. He is Life Fellow of the IEEE and fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and the Electromagnetic Academy.
More details on the webinar and the preregistration link can be found online.
David J. Allard, CHP
For all the radiation history buffs, I'd like to note that Madam Marie Curie and her two daughters came to the United States 100 years ago this month. And as you can image, it was a major news event. The story is fascinating given the women of America raised over $1 million (in today's dollars) to buy her a gram of radium. US President Warren Harding made a formal presentation of that gift at a White House event. Curie traveled to western Pennsylvania to tour the firm that extracted and produced the radium. She also had an extremely tiring trip to numerous other engagements, colleges, and universities. To recount and celebrate this anniversary, there are several online events I'd like to bring to your attention.
The first event is a 23 May (1:00–2:30 pm [EDT]) virtual workshop sponsored by the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Curie was the honored guest there on 23 May 1921 and donated a piezo-electric device that evening. I'd mention, Curie coined the term "radio-activity," and she and her husband Pierre used the device to measure radioactivity from uranium, as well as polonium and radium—the elements they discovered. An agenda covering her visit to the States, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC, and how radium was the starting point for most if not all our medical uses of radioactivity should be posted shortly. Registration is free and can be found online.
A second event is series of online reenactments of Curie telling her life story in her laboratory by the wonderful storyteller and performer Susan Marie Frontczak. I recently had the opportunity to view this performance and must say, it felt like you actually had an intimate conversation with this amazing pioneer woman of science. If you have (or know of) any young children interested in STEM, I'd highly recommend this event.
Digital theater performances of "Humanity Needs Dreamers: A Visit With Marie Curie" will feature four performances—20, 21, 22, and 23 May 2021 at 6:30–8:30 pm EDT. The evening will include an interactive Q & A with Marie Curie as portrayed by living history scholar Susan Marie Frontczak and features classical music, materials science, and a short digital story on the100th Anniversary of Marie Curie's visit to the United States in 1921. Recommended for adults, families, and students ages 9 and older. Performance is $19.21, which includes all fees and only one virtual ticket is needed per streaming location (Use code Curie2021 for 25% off).
More information on this event is available on the Stem on Stage website.
Dan Sowers, CHP Corner Editor
The May 2021 issue of the CHP Corner has been posted to the American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP) website. In this edition we celebrate John Crapo as our May CHP in the Spotlight, and AAHP President-elect Gus Potter posts a call for expressions of interest to serve on AAHP committees.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has published Protection Against Exposure Due to Radon Indoors and Gamma Radiation From Construction Materials—Methods of Prevention and Mitigation. This publication presents a review of technical solutions providing both corrective actions and preventive measures to reduce the ingress of radon indoors. A description of methods, design, and implementation of measures to reduce ingress of radon into buildings, and of the materials and equipment used in these solutions, are included. The publication also presents methods for measuring gamma radiation from radionuclides in building and construction materials and methods of reducing exposure due to this gamma radiation. Aimed primarily at building and construction professionals designing and installing radon preventive and mitigation measures, this publication will also be a useful resource for national authorities responsible for the development of national building codes and implementation of national radon action plans.
The 6th International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection (ICRP 2021) is being held 1–4 November 2021. Accepted oral and e-poster presenters are required to register for ICRP 2021 to have their work showcased at the symposium. However, e-posters can be accepted even if the presenter is unable to come to Vancouver, in which case single-day registration is sufficient. For more information about abstracts and e-posters, please visit the ICRP 2021 website.
Jillian Oleandi, Chapter Secretary
At the Western New York Chapter's 2021 virtual spring meeting, chapter members from around the area welcomed speakers Robert Pizzutiello (FACR, RAAPM), Ronald Goans (PhD, MD, senior medical advisor, MJW Corporation), and Fred Mis (PhD, CHP). Pizzutiello presented "New Recommendations for Shielding of Patients" and commented on the impact new regulations will have on gonadal shielding for radiological patient imaging. Goans discussed his coauthored paper "Neutrophil to Lymphocyte Ratio as a Triage Tool for Criticality Accidents." The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is a suitable tool for contact triage, since complete blood count samples are easily available and can be computerized in the interim environment. Mis presented "Techniques to Estimate Key Parameters for Clarification of a Ground Water Leak at a Nuclear Power Plant," referencing the Industry Ground Water Protection Initiative NEI 07-07, the significant environmental concerns of possible radioactive isotopes leaking into the ground water, and how to detect them.
The chapter thanks our virtual host, Health Physics Society Executive Director Brett Burk. Health physicists in the Western New York area (Buffalo to Rochester to Syracuse) are encouraged to join our chapter and to participate in our health physics activities. Please contact me, Jillian Oleandi, secretary of the Western New York Chapter, for a membership application.
Richard Harvey, Section Secretary/Treasurer on behalf of the Section Board
Current MHPS Activities
The Medical Health Physics Section (MHPS) board would like to inform the section of our activities and encourage participation from membership. Section or committee endeavors are not always transparent enough, and MHPS hopes this information will change that and energize our section membership. Here are some highlights of what is going on.
AAPM Joint Initiative for Scope of Practice: The Health Physics Society and American Association of Physicists in Medicine are working on a collaborative scope of practice document for medical health physics.
Joint Commission (JC): MHPS continues to market our expertise to JC and promote inclusion within JC framework and our recognition as subject-matter experts for radiation safety in health care.
Special Sessions: a medical health physics special session is scheduled for 22 July 2021. This is the week prior to the annual meeting and will be virtual only.
New Business – Staffing Levels and Methodology to Determine: The MHPS board discussed how to determine staffing levels in light of current radiation protection challenges and methods to determine staffing requirements. A white paper was proposed.
Title Protection Committee (TPC): The TPC plans to focus on a white paper—"Unique Duties and Responsibilities of an HP"—and MHPS will provide input on medical health physics.
MHPS Board Candidates Recruitment: The section needs candidates for president-elect, secretary/treasurer and two board members. Please contact MHPS Past President Bryan Lemieux if you are interested.
Return to Care Campaign: This Radiological Society of North America campaign was discussed and is an initiative to return patients to treatments after interruption during the pandemic.