Hi, Wondering if there is a lifetime cumulative occupational dose limit or recommendation? Thanks.
Occupational radiation dose limits are in place to ensure that risks to radiation workers remain low and within similar occupational risks of other professions. Currently, there are annual dose limits (January 1st to December 31st) but there are no regulatory or required limits for lifetime occupational radiation exposure.
In 1991, the National Regulatory Commission (NRC) considered a regulatory amendment that would establish a lifetime cumulative occupational radiation dose but ultimately rejected it. This was because the annual limit serves as a de facto lifetime limit but also because an actual lifetime cumulative limit could hinder a person’s employability and their right to choose a job in a chosen profession.
Both the National Commission on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) and the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) have proposed lifetime cumulative radiation dose maxima. These scientific expert bodies do not have the authority to impose regulatory limits, only to make recommendations. The NCRP, which focuses within the United States, recommended a lifetime cumulative effective dose maximum value of 10mSv times the worker’s age in years. The ICRP, whose scope is worldwide, recommended a lifetime cumulative effective dose maximum value of 1000mSv, regardless of age.
As always, it is recommended to keep doses as low as reasonably achievable (“ALARA”). While there may be no required lifetime limit on occupational dose, it is always good practice to keep exposures to the minimum amount necessary to properly accomplish the work required.