ICRP Publication 125: Radiological Protection in Security Screening

Ann ICRP. 2014 Jul;43(2):5-40. doi: 10.1177/0146645313517031. Epub 2014 Aug 18.


The use of technologies to provide security screening for individuals and objects has been increasing rapidly, in keeping with the significant increase in security concerns worldwide. Within the spectrum of technologies, the use of ionizing radiation to provide backscatter and transmission screening capabilities has also increased. The Commission has previously made a number of statements related to the general topic of deliberate exposures of individuals in non-medical settings. This report provides advice on how the radiological protection principles recommended by the Commission should be applied within the context of security screening. More specifically, the principles of justification, optimisation of protection, and dose limitation for planned exposure situations are directly applicable to the use of ionising radiation in security screening. In addition, several specific topics are considered in this report, including the situation in which individuals may be exposed because they are concealed (‘stowaways’) in a cargo container or conveyance that may be subject to screening. The Commission continues to recommend that careful justification of screening should be considered before decisions are made to employ the technology. If a decision is made that its use is justified, the framework for protection as a planned exposure situation should be employed, including optimization of protection with the use of dose constraints and the appropriate provisions for authorisation and inspection.

Publication types

  • Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Exposure / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Exposure / prevention & control
  • Radiation Monitoring*
  • Radiation Protection / methods*
  • Radiation Protection / standards
  • Security Measures / standards*