NIOSH Radiation Dose Reconstruction Program Featured in the July Issue of the Health Physics Journal
The July 2008 edition of the Health Physics: The Radiation Safety Journal is devoted to an in-depth examination of the science behind the NIOSH Radiation Dose Reconstruction Program. The Journal features 15 papers which highlight different aspects of the NIOSH dose reconstruction program.
A limited number of copies of the journal are available from NIOSH. To request a copy of the journal, contact OCAS by phone at 513-533-6800 or toll free at 1-877-222-7570. You can also request a copy of the journal via email at email@example.com.
The title and summaries of the papers included in the joural are as follows:
Radiation Dose Reconstruction Program of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: Overview (James W. Neton, John Howard, and Larry J. Elliott)
This paper outlines the creation of the program and provides an overview of how claims are managed once they are sent to NIOSH. The paper also provides a brief overview of the science behind the dose reconstruction process, including a discussion of the efficiency and probability of causation methods used in the dose reconstruction process as well as the methods used by NIOSH to account for uncertainties in the process.
The NIOSH Radiation Dose Reconstruction Project: Managing Technical Challenges (Matthew P. Moeller, Ronald D. Townsend, and David A. Dooley)
When EEOICPA was passed, the law delegated the authority for performing dose reconstructions to HHS. NIOSH was the agency within HHS that was assigned the role of carrying out these responsibilities. In order to fulfill these duties NIOSH hired contractors to help perform many of the aspects of implementing this program. This paper discusses the challenges faced and lessons learned by those managing a project scope of such magnitude as is required of this program.
Responsibilities and Activities of the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (Paul L. Ziemer)
The task of overseeing NIOSH's role in implementing their responsibilities under EEOICPA has been given to the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health. In accordance with EEOICPA, the President appointed members to the Board in October 2001. This paper is written by the Chair of the Board and discusses the membership of the Board and their duties and activities. The paper also provides a status of the Board accomplishments in relation to dose reconstruction audits and their role in recommending classes to the SEC.
Scientific Issues in Radiation Dose Reconstruction (Richard E. Toohey)
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the scientific issues raised regarding the dose reconstruction process. The author summarizes these subjects into three broad categories - data issues, dosimetry issues, and compensation issues. This paper examines these topics and the main concerns within these categories most often raised by stakeholders.
Data Collection, Processing, Validation, and Verification (Deborah L. Martin, Jennifer L. Hoff, Roger A. Gard, Richard J. Gregosky, Hobert W. Jones, Cheryl A. Kirkwood, Donald G. Morris, Tracey E. Shinsato, and Cheryl L. Willott-Moore)
The process for collecting data pertaining to covered facilities and individual workers is an important element to completing accurate dose reconstructions. This paper provides an overview of the data collection process, processing, validation, and verification of this type of information. The paper discusses the methods used to identify where data is located, how it is stored once it is collected, and how the information is secured and protected.
Development of Site Profiles for Dose Reconstruction Used in Worker Compensation Claims (Judson L. Kenoyer, Edward D. Scalsky, and Timothy D. Taulbee)
This paper explains what a site profile document is, how the document is used, and when the document is used by NIOSH in completing dose reconstructions. This paper also details what information is used to compile a site profile document and the review and approval process for each of these documents. It concludes with a discussion on the challenges in the development of site profile documents.
Ambient Environmental Profile for the Savannah River Site (Eugene M. Rollins)
The prior paper discusses general aspects related to site profiles while this paper provides a more detailed analysis of one section of a specific site profile document for the Savannah River Site. This paper discusses the data used in the Savannah River site profile document and the scientific application of that data in the dose reconstruction process.
Internal Dose Reconstruction Under Part B of the Energy Employees Compensation Act (Elizabeth M. Brackett, David E. Allen, Scott R. Siebert, and Thomas R. La Bone)
NIOSH uses internal dose reconstruction to estimate the dose that contributes to the risk of cancer resulting from the intake of radionuclides by a worker. This paper discusses the methods NIOSH uses when calculating internal dose as a component of dose reconstruction. Topics of discussion in this paper include an overview of assumptions and claimant favorability, calculating missed dose, uncertainty models, and computational tools used in calculating internal dose.
Establishing Bounding Internal Dose Estimates for Thorium Activities at Rocky Flats (Brant A. Ulsh, Bryce L. Rich, Melton H. Chew, Robert L. Morris, Mutty Sharfi, and Mark R. Rolfes)
This paper provides a discussion of a specific application
of determining internal dose estimates for the Rocky
Flats facility. The authors use a specific radionuclide,
thorium, to demonstrate how internal doses can be
bounded and accurately included in dose reconstructions
for workers at the facility.
Development of Rapid Methods for Assessing Doses from Internally Deposited Radionuclides (Edward F. Maher, Keith A. McCartney, Brian D. Mize, Lin-Shen C. Sun, and Scott R. Siebert)
This paper explores the different calculation tools used by NIOSH. Several calculation tools are highlighted in this paper with discussion about the background and benefits of each program.
External Dose Reconstruction Under Part B of the Energy Employees Compensation Act (Steven E. Merwin, Matthew H. Smith, Robert C. Winslow, Keith A. McCartney, Jack J. Fix, Timothy D. Taulbee, and Gregory L. Macievic)
While the previous three papers focused on internal dose reconstruction, this paper begins the discussion on external dose reconstruction. This paper explains the types of external dose that are reconstructed and the methods used to reconstruct external dose. The authors also include examples to illustrate the methods used to calculate external exposures.
Reconstruction of Doses From Occupationally Related Medical X-Ray Examinations (Vernon E. Shockley, Ronald L. Kathren, and Elyse M. Thomas)
Because many nuclear weapons workers were required to undergo medical x-ray examinations as a condition of employment, NIOSH includes this radiation exposure in the dose reconstruction. This paper discusses which x-ray procedures are evaluated in a dose reconstruction and methods used to reconstruct the dose from these types of exposures.
Interactive Radioepidemiological Program (IREP): A Web-Based Tool for Estimating Probability of Causation/Assigned Share of Radiogenic Cancers (David C. Kocher, A. Iulian Apostoaei, Russell W. Henshaw, F. Owen Hoffman, Mary K. Schubauer-Berigan, Daniel O. Stancescu, Brian A. Thomas, John R. Trabalka, Ethel S. Gilbert, and Charles E. Land)
IREP is a Web-based interactive computer program that is used to estimate the probability that a given cancer in an individual was induced by given exposures to ionizing radiation. This paper discusses IREP and the models and methods incorporated in the program to estimate cancer risks based on an individual's exposure to ionizing radiation.
Implications of Claimant-Favorable Approaches Used in Dose and Probability of Causation Calculations Under EEOICPA (Steven E. Merwin, Donald N. Stewart, Matthew H. Smith, Kenneth D. Potter, and Stuart L. Hinnefeld)
Embedded in the NIOSH dose reconstruction process are claimant-favorable factors that are often misunderstood or ignored when discussing the merits of the NIOSH dose reconstruction program. This paper details the claimant-favorable approaches used by NIOSH and provides examples of where these approaches are incorporated into the process.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Radiation Dose Reconstruction Program: Commentary and Conclusions (James W. Neton and Larry Elliott)
This paper completes the special edition of the Health Physics: The Radiation Safety Journal and provides some closing thoughts on the NIOSH radiation dose reconstruction program. The authors briefly touch on core concepts of the program but leave the readers with the standing principal of the program - that the program uses sound science to accomplish the NIOSH responsibility of completing dose reconstructions under EEOICPA.