What is the evidence for a threshold dose of radiation?


Question:

On TV, it was announced that several micro-sieverts or several mili-sieverts of radiation falls below the threshold in the context of this nuclear accident. What kind of evidence is the threshold dose of radiation based on? (30s, Tokyo)

Answer:

The threshold dose of radiation was determined based on the reports from International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). How does the ICRP determine the threshold? We humans have experienced several nuclear incidents. The data obtained in studying the nuclear incident victims provided a basis for the threshold.

For example, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August in 1945. A number of victims died after a few months, and others suffered cancers and defects in some organs. Other victims suffered health damages for a long time. Radiation Effects Research Foundation carefully studied these people and released a huge number of reports. These reports are now used as the basis for IAEA to determine radiation protection standards.

The data obtained in the follow-up research on the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl also provided further information. We must learn from this data to help people avoid and/or survive radiation damage now and in the future.


Science communicator: Momoyo Matsuyama