294 pages | 6 x 9
Naturally occurring radionuclides are found throughout the earth's crust, and they form part of the natural background of radiation to which all humans are exposed. Many human activities-such as mining and milling of ores, extraction of petroleum products, use of groundwater for domestic purposes, and living in houses-alter the natural background of radiation either by moving naturally occurring radionuclides from inaccessible locations to locations where humans are present or by concentrating the radionuclides in the exposure environment. Such alterations of the natural environment can increase, sometimes substantially, radiation exposures of the public. Exposures of the public to naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) that result from human activities that alter the natural environment can be subjected to regulatory control, at least to some degree. The regulation of public exposures to such technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials (TENORM) by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other regulatory and advisory organizations is the subject of this study by the National Research Council's Committee on the Evaluation of EPA Guidelines for Exposures to Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials.