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Key Dates

  • March 6, 2012 – Online Registration Opens

  • March 12, 2012 – Abstract submission Closes (all abstracts due at this time)

  • March 12, 2012 - New Investigator Award Applications Due

  • April 16, 2012 - Accepted abstracts for Poster Session, New Investigators Announced

  • May 4, 2012 - Hotel Reservations Close

  • May 21, 2012 - Online Registration Closes
Living with Uncertainty about Low-Dose Radiation Risks

*David J Brenner, Center for Radiological Research 

Keywords: Low dose risks, uncertainty, policy

Exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation is relevant to everyone in a variety of ways, from nuclear accidents to the future of nuclear power, from dirty bombs to whole-body airport x-ray scanners, as well as through medical exposures.

When the doses are very low, trying to make scientifically-based policy decisions is difficult, both for populations and for populations. Essentially this is because, below some not very well-defined dose (5 mSv? 100 mSv?) we have no direct evidence for the magnitude of radiation-induced cancer risks, nor even whether there are any risks at all.

Taking a few worked examples, we will discuss how our knowledge / uncertainties about low dose radiation risks affect our understanding of, for example, the consequences of the Fukushima accident, or of a potential large-scale radiological event in the US, or even of going through an airport whole-body x-ray scanner at the airport.