Scientific issues in radiation dose reconstruction

Health Phys. 2008 Jul;95(1):26-35. doi: 10.1097/01.HP.0000285798.55584.6d.


Stakeholders have raised numerous issues regarding the scientific basis of radiation dose reconstruction for compensation. These issues can be grouped into three broad categories: data issues, dosimetry issues, and compensation issues. Data issues include demographic data of the worker, changes in site operations over time (both production and exposure control), characterization of episodic vs. chronic exposures, and the use of coworker data. Dosimetry issues include methods for assessment of ambient exposures, missed dose, unmonitored dose, and medical x-ray dose incurred as a condition of employment. Specific issues related to external dose include the sensitivity, angular and energy dependence of personal monitors, exposure geometries, and the accompanying uncertainties. Those related to internal dose include sensitivity of bioassay methods, uncertainties in biokinetic models, appropriate dose coefficients, and modeling uncertainties. Compensation issues include uncertainties in the risk models and use of the 99th percentile of the distribution of probability of causation for awarding compensation. A review of the scientific literature and analysis of each of these issues distinguishes factors that play a major role in the compensation decision from those that do not.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants, Occupational* / analysis
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational* / toxicity
  • Humans
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S.*
  • Occupational Health*
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Radiation Injuries
  • Radiometry / methods*
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • United States


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational