Radiation Protection Glossary

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

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Linear Dose Response

Linear Dose Response in Radiation Protection relates to the zero-threshold model which predicts that every small addition of radiation exposure above background contributes to an increment in the probability of a Probabilistic / Stochastic effect (excess cancer). The response relies on the assumption that even one Photon has the ability to cause an Ionisation event in DNA which may initiate cancer (or other genetic effects). In adopting this model one has to remember that there is no certainty that an ionising radiation event actually leads to biological damage (and thus cancer etc), rather, it it the likelihood of induction which increases. LNT is the basis for Dose Limits, but many argue it exaggerates the risks from ionising radiation.

The ultimate paradox, of course, is that even though we're all going to die, we've all got to live in the meantime…

– Brian Cox -