Application of an informatics-based decision-making framework and process to the assessment of radiation safety in nanotechnology

Health Phys. 2015 Feb;108(2):179-94. doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000250.


The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) established NCRP Scientific Committee 2-6 to develop a report on the current state of knowledge and guidance for radiation safety programs involved with nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is the understanding and control of matter at the nanoscale, at dimensions between ∼1 and 100 nm, where unique phenomena enable novel applications. While the full report is in preparation, this paper presents and applies an informatics-based decision-making framework and process through which the radiation protection community can anticipate that nano-enabled applications, processes, nanomaterials, and nanoparticles are likely to become present or are already present in radiation-related activities; recognize specific situations where environmental and worker safety, health, well-being, and productivity may be affected by nano-related activities; evaluate how radiation protection practices may need to be altered to improve protection; control information, interpretations, assumptions, and conclusions to implement scientifically sound decisions and actions; and confirm that desired protection outcomes have been achieved. This generally applicable framework and supporting process can be continuously applied to achieve health and safety at the convergence of nanotechnology and radiation-related activities.

MeSH terms

  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Decision Making*
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Environmental Exposure / prevention & control
  • Government Agencies
  • Humans
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Patient Safety
  • Radiation
  • Radiation Protection / methods*
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Time Factors
  • United States