1. A committee of the society be appointed to cooperate with other bodies of national organizations, to study and formulate definite directions and rules of protection;

  2. The committee cooperate insofar as possible with the Bureau of Standards in Washington in order to secure definite and permanent products, and possibly definite calibration of units;

  3. Radium be insured against loss, so that men will not be suddenly hampered financially and prevented from carrying on the good work which has been started;

  4. Every radiologist be provided with legal protection, with protection from insurance companies and the protection and cooperation of his county medical society; [and]

  5. Every radiologist in the country associate himself with the American Radium Society, both for his good and the good of the Society. (Taylor, 1979, 2-009-2-010)

The third of Pfahler's recommendations delineates a governmental role in the regulation and control of radiation sources. In 1927, the National Bureau of Standards began a voluntary program to inspect and calibrate radiation equipment and to send government representatives into laboratories to evaluate the safety of radiation sources, including x-ray machines. This program followed the model of a national inspection program initiated in 1921 by the National Physical Laboratory in Great Britain.

The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) held its formative meeting in 1928 and requested that each represented country develop a coordinated program of radiation control. The U.S. representative, Lauriston Taylor from the U.S. Bureau of Standards, formed the U.S. Advisory Committee on X-Ray and Radium Protection, later named the National Committee (now Council) on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP). The NCRP received a congressional charter in 1964, and to this day it maintains a nongovernmental commitment to the development of guidelines to protect individuals and the public from excessive exposure to radiation.

By 1931, early philosophical constructs of radiation protection had been developed by the ICRP and NCRP, and the concept of ''tolerance dose" was adopted as an upper limit for exposure of workers (Hendee, 1995). About the same time, the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU) defined the unit "roentgen (R)" as the amount of radiation that would produce a certain amount of ionization in a given volume of air at standard temperature and pressure. In 1934 the ICRP established a tolerance dose of 0.2 R per day for exposure of workers to radiation, and in 1936 the NCRP reduced this limit to 0.1 R per day. This limit was maintained through World War II and was applied to workers in the Manhattan Project (Hendee, 1993).

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