Standard for measuring exposure to radiation gets updated

by Clare Naden on
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Ionizing radiation can save lives, but it can also cause serious harm. Getting the right measurement of exposure to ionizing radiation in any situation is at the heart of an ISO standard that has recently been updated.

Ionizing radiation is used in a wide range of settings and industries, such as medical diagnostic and radiotherapy, nuclear energy, X-ray systems at airports and even geological prospecting.

This means that many people are exposed to radiation at some level during their working day. However, safe exposure limits are a complex business because each organ in the body reacts differently. Skin, for example, needs to be protected from tissue reactions such as ulceration, while overexposure to the lens of the eye can cause cataracts.

Add to that the complexity of the exposure, whether it can be localized to one area of the body or not, and other considerations like weak penetration of radiation in matter…

To effectively protect those who are, or could be, exposed to radiation, dose limits are recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). ISO 15382:2015, Radiological protection – Procedures for monitoring the dose to the lens of the eye, the skin and the extremities, measures the exposure to these organs. It has recently been revised, taking into account the new limit on equivalent dosing to the lens of the eye recommended by the ICRP.

Alain Rannou, Chair of ISO/TC 85/SC 2, the technical committee that developed the standard, said the new version takes into account learnings from the latest studies and helps improve routine dosimetry measurements.

ISO 15382:2015 has also been extended to the medical field and will help to improve routine monitoring of workers who are most likely to experience exposure to their extremities and the lens of the eye.

ISO 15382:2015 is available from your national ISO member or the ISO Store.