Operational Exposure Guidance Below 700 mGy

The committee recommends that the Army:

  • 19.  

    Include radiation doses from internal sources (e.g., from inhaled airborne radioactivity) in applying reference levels in Operational Exposure Guidance. The reference levels shown in the Operational Exposure Guidance table (Annex A) appear at least as stringent as those found in current civilian radiation protection recommendations of expert national and international advisory bodies. However, the ACE Directive misapplies the levels by assuming there will be no internal doses.

  • 20.  

    Clearly specify what actions are recommended at each reference level in the Operational Exposure Guidance. Although the reference levels in the Directive are generally appropriate, the actions recommended at each level lack specificity. Future versions of the Directive or its implementing instructions should specify the details of each action (e.g., when to initiate a monitoring program and what its specific requirements are).

  • 21.  

    Restructure the table of Operational Exposure Guidance to account for the uncertainty of dose estimates in interventions. Because of this uncertainty, the two lowest dose categories in the existing guidance are too narrow to be scientifically justified (in the environment of an intervention) and should be combined.

  • 22.  

    Develop separate Operational Exposure Guidance for managing practices (routine tasks involving radiation exposure) in the context of a military operation. If the Army adopts the philosophy that soldiers should receive the same level of protection as civilian radiation workers in similar environments and circumstances, the guidance in Annex A should be expanded to include dose limits and reference levels appropriate for a practice as well as an intervention.

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