Radiation Protection Glossary

A radiation protection glossary for Radiation Protection Supervisors (RPS), Radiation Protection Advisers (RPA) and anyone else interesting in radiation safety terms and definitions. The glossary is a mixture of health physics , phrases related to radiation protection legislation, transport, practical safety, technical terms and similar.

Search the Glossary by either clicking on a letter or typing a keyword into the search box. This glossary is relational so when looking at one term you can click through to other related terms as required.

For formal advice, see our Radiation Protection Adviser pages. 

Deterministic Effect

A deterministic effect describes Ionising Radiation induced damage where a Dose threshold exists, and for which the severity of damage increases with increasing Dose above that threshold. Examples will include radiation burns (skin reddening), hair loss, cataracts and radiation sickness (nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea). All of these effects results from acute high doses of radiation to either a part of the body or the whole body. For whole body exposure it is generally thought that an absorbed dose of between 3-5 Gy will cause 50% of those exposed to die within 30 days if medical intervention is not given. This is known as the LD-50 dose.

Imagination is more important than knowledge

– Albert Einstein -