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The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Radiation Dose Reconstruction Program: commentary and conclusions.

Neton JW; Elliott LJ
Health Phys 2008 Jul; 95(1):160-163
The objective of this review has been to highlight certain hallmarks of the NIOSH Radiation Dose Reconstruction Program. While the technical and scientific details of the individual components of the program have been addressed in the preceding papers, the objective of this concluding commentary is to emphasize that the overall program is based on sound science that has been adapted to meet the unique needs of the compensation decisions made under EEOICPA. That is, the scientific decisions are made using an efficient process that has been optimized to produce consistent results. To instill stakeholder confidence, a high degree of emphasis has been placed on conducting activities as transparently as possible. While these goals and desires are important in their own right, they exemplify the underlying objective of interacting with the workers on an individual basis. This includes engaging them in periodic telephone discussions and enhancing their opportunities to be involved and to comment on changes in the program and the associated methods of analyses. Closely intertwined with these objectives is an effort to ensure that the processing of the claims is supported by a "claimant favorability" policy. Another major consideration is to ensure that the claims are processed as rapidly as possible. Still another example is the evaluation of facilities to be added to the Special Exposure Cohort, a group of claimants for whom it has been determined that (1) "it is not feasible to estimate with sufficient accuracy" their radiation dose, and (2) there is a reasonable likelihood that their dose "may have endangered" their health (U.S. DHHS 2002c). In these cases, compensation is granted for 22 specified cancers under certain conditions, without the necessity of reconstructing their doses. Finally, recognizing the changing nature of the scientific elements underpinning this program, all claims where dose reconstruction results in a denial from DOL are subject to rework when new technical approaches are adopted. As a result of these efforts, the science of radiation dose reconstruction has been moved forward in a number of areas. In fact, each step in the process, from the acquisition of data, the computer tools available for their processing, and the interpretation and applications of the outcomes, has been improved through the use of techniques that not only were previously unknown, but also are innovative and efficient.
Dose-response; Occupational-exposure; Exposure-assessment; Radiation-exposure; Radiation-measurement; Nuclear-energy; Nuclear-radiation; Data-processing; Neutron-radiation; Radiation-facilities; Environmental-factors; X-ray-analysis; Medical-monitoring; Work-environment; Job-analysis; Statistical-analysis
J. W. Neton, 4676 Columbia Parkway, MS C-46, Cincinnati, OH 45226
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Health Physics
Page last reviewed: November 6, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division