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Health physics & radiological protection issues

"Health physics" is the science of radiation protection - protecting people from exposure to radiation, monitoring the effects of any exposures, and recording any radiation dose received by the person. Radiation is produced by the natural decay of radioactive materials. There are several types of radiation which are important to waste management and nuclear professionals: alpha, beta, gamma and neutron. Each type of radiation has different properties and will react with matter in different ways. For example, alpha and beta radiation have a relatively short range (a few millimetres or centimetres in most materials), while neutron and gamma radiation have a long range (many metres in air) and are very penetrating.

The three main principles of radiation protection are: time, distance and shielding. To minimize your radiation exposure, spend as little time as possible near the source, stay as far away as possible, and put some shielding between yourself and the source.

It is very important to point out that everyone receives radiation from a number of natural and commonly accepted man-made sources. In fact, we contain many radioactive materials ourselves, such as a radioactive form of potassium (K-40), that was created when the earth was first formed. Common building materials, such as marble and granite, contain measurable amounts of natural radon, uranium and thorium isotopes. Medical and dental X-rays contribute to our exposure. X-rays are very similar to gamma radiation, as are the "cosmic rays" we are bombarded with as we walk down the street (or take a ride in a modern jet plane at moderate altitude). All of these contribute to our normal or "background" radiation exposure.

The links on this page deal with various aspects of health physics, radiological protection and radiation control. Note: Some web sites may not be in English. See index here for language codes, such as    JP / EN .


  • ATSDR - Agency for Toxic Substances & Diseases Registry (US)   EN 
  • Basic Radiation Safety (US)   EN 
  • Bobby's Radiation Glossary for Students (US)   EN 
  • CERAP - Conseil et Etude en RAdioProtection (France)   FR 
  • CRCPD - Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (US)   EN 
  • DOELAP - DOE Laboratory Accreditation Program (US)   EN 
  • EPA Radiation Protection Division (US)   EN 
  • Fred Dawson's Radiation Protection Site (UK)   EN 
  • Health Physics Society Summer School (US)   EN 
  • INSC - International Nuclear Safety Center (US)   EN 
  • ISU Radiation Information Network (US)   EN 
  • Les pépins du noyau de l'atome (France)   FR 
  • LLRC - Low Level Radiation Campaign (US)   EN 
  • The Manual for Surviving Radiation Disaster (Japan)   JP / EN 
  • NARIP - National Air & Radiation Indicators Project (US)   EN 
  • National Infrastructures for Radiation Safety (IAEA)   EN 
  • Personal Radiation Dosage Chart (US)   EN 
  • Philotechnics (US)   EN 
  • Practical Radiation Technical Manual No. 5 - Personal Protective Equipment (IAEA)   EN 
  • Radiation Perspectives Risks & Realities, Fallacies & Phobias (US)   EN 
  • Radiation Protection Glossary (IAEA)   EN 
  • Radiation Protection Today & Tomorrow (NEA)   EN 
  • Radiation Related Terms (US)   EN 
  • Radioactive Scrap Metal (US)   EN 
  • Radioaktive Natur (Switzerland)   DE / FR 
  • Radioaktivität und Strahlenschutz (Austria)   DE 
  • Radiobiologia Na Internet / Radiation Biology on the Internet (Brazil)   PT / EN 
  • Radioprotection médicale (France)   FR 
  • Radioprotezione Online (Italy)   IT 
  • RasaNet Radiation & Waste Safety Programs (IAEA)   EN 
  • Regulatory References for Nuclear Power Plant Folks (US)   EN 
  • Reviews of State Radiation Control Programs (US)   EN 
  • RSH - Radiation, Science & Health (US)   EN 
  • RSICC - Radiation Safety Information Computational Center (US)   EN 
  • Solutions Software (US)   EN 
  • Strahlenschutz (Germany)   DE / EN 
  • Texas Bureau of Radiation Control (US)   EN 
  • Überwachung der Radioaktivität in der Atmosphäre (Germany)   DE 
  • US Army Corps of Engineers Radiation Protection Manual (US)   EN 
  • WHO - Ionizing Radiation Web Site (International)   EN 


  • ALARA en France (France)   FR 
  • ALARA Techniques (US)   EN 
  • Applying the ALARA Process for Radiation Protection (US)   EN 
  • BNL ALARA Center (US)   EN 
  • CEEAN - Central & Eastern European ALARA Network (International)   EN 
  • CNSC Radiation Safety Officer's Handbook (Canada)   EN 
  • European ALARA Network (International)   EN 
  • Hanford ALARA Center of Excellence (US)   EN 
  • LLNL Occupational Radiation Protection ALARA Program (US)   EN 
  • PWR ALARA Committee (US)   EN 
  • Radiation Safety & ALARA (US)   EN 

    Dose limits

  • IAEA Dose Limits
  • OSHA 1910.1096 - Ionizing radiation (US)
  • 10CFR20 - Standards for Protection Against Radiation (US)

    Physical security issues

  • CNC - Civil Nuclear Constabulary (UK)   EN 
  • Lost & Stolen Nuclear Materials in the US (US)   EN 
  • Radiation Source Safety & Security (IAEA)   EN 
  •   SSRSN - Safety & Security of Radiation Sources Network (IAEA)   EN 

    Radiation emergencies

  • Emergency Notification & Assistance Technical Operations Manual (IAEA)   EN 
  • Experience Gained from Fires in Nuclear Power Plants: Lessons Learned (IAEA)   EN 
  • Potassium Iodide Radiation Protection FAQ (US)   EN 
  • REAC/TS - Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (US)   EN 
  • REMPAN - Radiation Emergency Medical Preparedness & Assistance Network (International)   EN / ES / FR 
  • Telerad Radiological Early Warning Network (Belgium)   NL / FR 

    Radiation effects & exposure monitoring

  • ADMLC - Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling Liaison Committee (UK)   EN 
  • Annual Report on Occupational Radiation Exposure (US)
  • Atomic Veterans (US)
  • AVEN - Association des Vétérans des Essais Nucléaires (France)   FR 
  • AZGS Radon & Radiation Links (US)
  • BDAC - Biota Dose Assessment Committee (US)
  • BEIR VI - Health Effects of Exposure to Indoor Radon (US)
  • BEIR VII Committee(US)
  • BELLE - Biological Effects of Low Level Exposures (US)
  • BERC - Biological Effects of Radiation & Chemicals (US)
  • BIDUG - Bioassay & Internal Dosimetry Users Group (US)
  • BRER - Board on Radiation Effects Research (US)   EN 
  • Cancer in the offspring of radiation workers (UK)
  • Cancer Risks at Low Doses of Ionising Radiation (UK)   EN 
  • CEDR - Comprehensive Epidemiologic Data Base (US)
  • CERRIE - Committee Examining Radiation Risks from Internal Emitters (UK)   EN 
  • CESER Project - Long Term Management of Radioactive Contamination in Agricultural Systems (UK)
  • Chelyabinsk - The Most Contaminated Spot on the Planet (Russia)
  • Chernobyl Plume: Country-By-Country Summary (US)
  • CIDI - Central Index of Dose Information (UK)
  • COMAR - Committee on Man & Radiation (US)
  • COMARE - Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (UK)
  • Construction of radioelement & dose-rate baseline maps (Switzerland)
  • CRMN - Canadian Radiological Monitoring Network (Canada)   EN / FR 
  • DOD Health Physics Programs (US)
  • DOE Low Dose Radiation Research Program (US)
  • DOE Office of Human Radiation Experiments (US)
  • DOE Radiological Control Manual (US)
  • DOE Radiological Hazards Management & Worker Protection (US)
  • DOSE-NET mailing list (US)   EN 
  • Emerging Health Problems at Oak Ridge (US)
  • ERMF - Environmental Radioactivity Measurement Facility (US)
  • FRMAC - Federal Radiological Monitoring & Assessment Center (US)   EN 
  • Genetic effects of radiation exposure (US)
  • GIRI - International Research Group on Very Low Dose & High Dilution Effects (International)   EN / FR 
  • HREX - Human Radiation Experiments Information Management System (US)
  • ICLDRR - International Centre for Low Dose Radiation Research (Canada)
  • The incidence of childhood leukaemia around the La Hague nuclear waste reprocessing plant (France)
  • ISCORS - Interagency Steering Committee on Radiation Standards (US)
  • ISOE - NEA Information System on Occupational Exposure (International)   EN 
  •   ISOE Asian Technical Center (Japan)   JP / EN 
  •   ISOE European Technical Center (France)   EN 
  •   ISOE North American Technical Center (US)   EN 
  • LARnet (UK)
  • Low Dose Radiation, Hormesis & Radioadaptive Response (Iran)
  • Methods & Models of the Hanford Internal Dosimetry Program (US)
  • NAS Board on Radiation Effects Research (US)
  • NDAWG - National Dose Assessment Working Group (UK)   EN 
  • NEWNet - Neighborhood Environmental Watch Network (US)
  • Nihon Hidankyo - Japan Confederation of A- & H- Sufferers Organizations (Japan)
  • NRRW - National Registry for Radiation Workers (UK)
  • OREI - NRC Occupational Radiation Exposure Info Page (US)
  • Practical Radiation Technical Manual No. 1 - Workplace Monitoring for Radiation & Contamination (IAEA)   EN 
  • Practical Radiation Technical Manual No. 2 - Individual Monitoring (IAEA)   EN 
  • RADAR - the RAdiation Dose Assessment Resource (US)   EN 
  • RadEFX Radiation Health Effects Research Resource (US)
  • Radiation & Life (Australia)
  • Radiation & Risk (US)
  • Radiological Aspects of Non-fixed Contamination of Packages & Conveyances (IAEA)   EN 
  • RERF - Radiation Effects Research Foundation (Japan)
  • A Review of the Scientific Literature as It Pertains to Gulf War Illnesses (US)
  • RIDIC - Radiation Internal Dose Information Center (US)
  • Risk Estimates of Low-Level Ionizing Radiation (Australia)
  • SERMG - Southern England Radiation Monitoring Group (UK)   EN 
  • Spaceflight Radiation Health Program (US)
  • USAREUR Regulation 385-12: Radiation Protection Program (US)
  • USTUR - US Transuranium & Uranium Registries (US)

    Radium, Radon & NORM

  • ALA Radon Page (US)
  • BRE Radon Advice Helpline (UK)   EN 
  • Canadian Guidelines for the Management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (Canada)   EN 
  • Chemical of the Week: Environmental Radiation (US)
  • Danish Radon Map (Denmark)
  • EHC Radon Page (US)
  • EPA Radon Page (US)
  • ERRICCA - European Research into Radon in Construction Concerted Action (International)   EN 
  • Evaluation of Guidelines for Exposures to TENORM (US)
  • Extent of Environmental Contamination by Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material & Technological Options for Mitigation (IAEA)   EN 
  • Forum on Nasal Radium Irradiation (US)
  • High Radon Project (US)
  • Il Radon (Italy)
  • Irish Radon Map (Ireland)
  • The Long-Term Stabilization of Uranium Mill Tailings (IAEA)   EN 
  • MAp Radium Girls (US)
  • McLean County Radon Task Force (US)
  • Minnesota Radon Project (US)
  • NARM / NORM Page (US)   EN 
  • Nasal Radium Irradiation of Children (US)
  • The NORM/TENORM Page (US)
  • NRPP - National Radon Proficiency Program (US)
  • NRSB - National Radon Safety Board (US)
  • NucFilm (Switzerland)
  • Radiation Protection against Radon in Workplaces other than Mines (IAEA)   EN 
  • Radiation Protection & the Management of Radioactive Waste in the Oil & Gas Industry (IAEA)   EN 
  • Radioactive Polonium in Tobacco (US)
  • Radiological Dose Assessment of NORM Disposal in Class II Injection Wells (US)   EN 
  • The Radium Girls (US)
  • Radon: A Guide for Canadian Homeowners (Canada)
  • Radon & Your Home (US)
  • Radon Gas - A Geologic Hazard in Arizona (US)
  • Radon in the Environment (US)
  • Radon Information Center (US)
  • Radon (US)
  • Radon Measurement (Switzerland)
  • Research Papers on Radon (India)   EN 
  • Radon Survey (Singapore)
  • Radon Tour Around the WWW (Hungary)
  • Radon vos (Czech Republic)
  • Review of Radioactivity, Military Use, & Health Effects of Depleted Uranium (US)
  • Risk Assessment of Radon in Drinking Water (US)
  • RRC - Radon Research Centre (UK)
  • Studies on Radium Dial Painters (US)
  • Understanding Radon (US)
  • Uranium & Radon in Arizona (US)
  • USGS Radon Information (US)
  • UK Radon Map (UK)
  • US Radon Map (US)
  •   Alabama Radon Map (US)
  •   Connecticut Radon Map (US)
  •   New Jersey Radon Map (US)
  •   New York Radon Map (US)
  •   North Carolina Radon Map (US)
  •   Utah Radon Map (US)
  •   Wisconsin Radon Map (US)
  • Utah Geological Survey - Radon (US)
  • What You Need to Know About Radon (US)
  • Wyoming Radon Project (US)

    Radiology & radiography

  • ARCCNM - Asian Regional Cooperative Council for Nuclear Medicine (South Korea)   EN 
  • ASER - American Society of Emergency Radiology (US)
  • Aunt (US)
  • Belgian Radiology Link (Belgium)
  • Digital Radiography home page (Australia)
  • Directory of UK Radiologists (UK)
  • Emergency Radiology Primer (US)
  • Holland Radiology Page (Netherlands)
  • JANUS (US)
  • Medical Radiography (US)
  • Medical Radiography Home Page (US)
  • The Nuclear Pharmacy (US)
  • Nuclear Pharmacy Education Online (US)
  • NucMedNet - Nuclear Medicine on the Net (US)
  • Off-Site Source Recovery Project (US)   EN 
  • ORNL Radiochemical Technology Section (US)
  • E.O. Ospedali Galliera Medicina Nucleare (Italy)
  • (US)
  • RadCenter (US)
  • Radiocat (US)   EN 
  • Radiology Forums (US)   EN 
  • (US)
  • (US)
  • (US)   EN 
  • Radner's Radiology Central (US)
  • RT Portal (US)
  • Thyro-Cat (US)   EN 
  • Veterinary Radiation Therapy (US)   EN 
  • Virtual Hospital Radiology Textbooks (US)   EN 
  • World of PET (US)
  • (US)   EN 

    Other resources

  • AAHP - American Academy of Health Physics (US)
  • AAPM Medical Physics Resource Page (US)
  • AARST - American Association of Radon Scientists & Technologists (US)
  • Atomenergie & Gesundheit (Germany)
  • DOE Environment, Safety & Health Information Portal (US)
  • ExxNet Radiation Links (US)
  • Flickr Radiation Protection Group (UK)   EN 
  • Health Physics Community (US)
  • Health Physics Contact List (US)
  • Health Physics Journal (US)
  • HPS - Health Physics Society (US)
  •   HPS Resource Center (US)   EN 
  • Human Ecology Links on Nuclear Energy (US)
  • ICRP - International Commission on Radiological Protection (International)
  • ICRU - International Commission on Radiation Units & Measurements (International)
  • Industrial Hygene Resources Page (US)
  • IRPA - International Radiation Protection Association (International)
  • My Radiation Resource Page (US)   EN 
  • NCI - National Cancer Institute (US)
  • NCRP - National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements (US)
  • NIH - National Institutes of Health (US)
  • NPL (UK)
  • NRPB - National Radiological Protection Board (UK)
  • NSFS - Nordic Society for Radiation Protection   NO / EN 
  • Nucleonics-Online (US)
  • OSHA - Occupational Safety & Health Administration (US)
  • Postgraduate Educational Course in Radiation Protection & the Safety of Radiation Sources Standard Syllabus (IAEA)   EN 
  • PRS - Pennsylvania Radiological Society (US)
  • Radiation & Health Physics Page (US)
  • Radiation Dosimetry & Health Physics Resources on the Internet (Canada)
  • Radiation Protection Resources on the Internet (US)
  • Radiation Safety Institute of Canada (Canada)
  • Radiation Safety References (UK)
  • The RSO ToolBox (US)
  • Strahlenschutzlinks (Germany)
  • Strahlentelex (Germany)
  • State RP contacts list (US)
  • Web References for Low Level Radiation (US)   EN 
  • WHSC - Workers Health & Safety Centre (Canada)

      >>> See also the Professional Societies page for many more health physics related organizations.


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    (This page last updated 2009-02-11).