[ RadSafe ] "exposure" to radiation in other languages
Wright, Will (CDPH-PSB)
Will.Wright at cdph.ca.gov
Tue Aug 26 12:29:42 CDT 2008
In general I agree that many find the concept of risk of outcome
difficult to grasps because it cannot generally be supported by
predictable outcomes ie absolute numbers of infected or actual cancers.
In the risk assessment community we handle the unpredictability with
such terms as additional risk, relative risk etc. The absolute risk
will actually vary from individual to individual due to interindividual
base line exposure dose as well as interindividual physiology. I believe
this is why the medical community has held on to the term "exposure" for
their procedures as opposed to an x rad dose. Whereas when it involves a
medication, the exposure is always referred to as "dose" even in the
case of overexposure to medications as "overdose" because of the
predictable outcome in both cases. Some of the newer medication fall
into the same realm of unpredictability as risk because of the risk
benefit assessment and are used anyway in contrast to say the
predictable outcomes of penicillin when an organism is sensitive.
Yes dose is always sufficient whether adequate for a specific outcome or
not. Even though both terms infer the same we have coined them to be
used in two different scenarios, one with a specific outcome in mind and
one with a range of outcomes. This is illustrated in your example of
"underexposed x rays" considered an exposure all the way up to
overexposed x rays which at some point become a dose for specific
outcomes for everyone exposed with certainty. As you say, these are all
doses and some are without any observable effects and thus termed
exposures much the same way risk assessors say all exposures are not
necessarily effective doses for observable effects.
From: HOWARD.LONG at comcast.net [mailto:HOWARD.LONG at comcast.net]
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 5:31 PM
To: Wright, Will (CDPH-PSB); Ansari, Armin (CDC/CCEHIP/NCEH);
radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: RE: [ RadSafe ] "exposure" to radiation in other languages
Good point, Will.
I remember taking underexposed chest x-rays.
So "exposed" is always insufficient.
-------------- Original message --------------
From: "Wright, Will (CDPH-PSB)" <Will.Wright at cdph.ca.gov>
> The word dose is appropriate for specific exposures, even
> -----Original Message-----
> From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
> Behalf Of HOWARD.LONG at comcast.net
> Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 10:46 AM
> To: Ansari, Armin (CDC/CCEHIP/NCEH); radsafe at radlab.nl
> Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] "exposure" to radiation in other
> "Overdose" should replace most use of "Exposure" to ionizing
> since everyone is constantly "exposed" from his own K40,
> cosmic rays, etc.
> The same should be done with chemicals, since trace minerals
> largely eliminated from purified foods (like selenium -
> lithium - hyperactivity, etc) are also ubiquitous (all around)
> but often deficient for best health - as with ionizing
> Howard Long
> -------------- Original message --------------
> From: "Ansari, Armin (CDC/CCEHIP/NCEH)"
> > Dear radsafe colleagues,
> > As you are well aware, we always have difficulty
> > concept of "exposure" to non-radiation audiences in plain
> > is because the word "exposure" in case of chemical and
> > means coming in contact with something - similar to how we
> > "contamination". Exposure to radiation of course means just
> > contamination. This distinction is second nature to us, but
> > difficult to get across even to a highly-educated audience.
> > word "irradiation" works better than exposure, but so much
> > technical literature and fact sheets still use the word
> > I was wondering if a similar difficulty is encountered in
> > other than English. What words are used for "exposure" and
> > "contamination" and if the word used for exposure to
> > biological agents creates the same communication issues in
> > languages.
> > If you can reply to me off-line with information about any
> > languages you know, I would appreciate it very much, and I
> > share a summary with the group.
> > Thanks in advance!
> > Armin
> > _________________________
> > Armin Ansari, PhD, CHP
> > Radiation Studies Branch, EHHE, NCEH
> > Centers for Disea se Control and Prevention
> > Atlanta, GA 30341-3717
> > Phone: 770-488-3654
> > FAX: 770-488-1539
> > asa4 at cdc.gov
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