[ RadSafe ] Early History of Ionizing Radiation and Radar (Electron Beam) Systems (UNCLASSIFIED)

Falo, Gerald A CIV USARMY MEDCOM PHC (US) gerald.a.falo.civ at mail.mil
Fri Dec 18 16:06:20 CST 2015

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Greetings all,

I'm looking in to potential ionizing radiation exposures from early radar 
systems, say from about 1945 to 1960.

I have material about the Lockport incident in 1960; an article from the 
"Proceedings of Tri Service Conference on Biological Hazards of Microwave 
Radiation (15-16 July 1957) on the exposure of US Air Force personnel from the 
ionizing radiation produced by RF generators ", and an article titled "Stray 
x-rays from electron beam instruments and some biological implications" 
(Larks, Industrial Hygiene Quarterly, December 1951.

In the Tri-Service proceedings, it is stated "... you will, like myself, be 
convinced that we can no longer view the ionizing radiation output of 
electronic tubes with quite the complacency with which we have viewed it in 
the past." So there was certainly an awareness of the issue in 1957.  At the 
time, the maximum allowable exposure rate was lowered from 300 mR per week to 
100 mR per week at Griffiss Air Force Base. I don't know if this rate was 
adopted beyond this laboratory.

So, I know that there was a documented awareness as early as 1951 (Lark's 
article). I'm trying to fill in the gaps on when the scientific and technical 
community first became aware of ionizing radiation hazards and the development 
of regulations to address this issue. I have visited the National Electronics 
Museum's (http://www.nationalelectronicsmuseum.org/) library and have not 
found anything definitive.

So if the RADSAFE community has any leads for me, I'd appreciate them.

Have a happy winter holiday season, and  I hope everyone has happiness and 
good health in 2016.


Gerald A. Falo, Ph.D., CHP
Army Public Health Center (Provisional) - Health Physics Program
gerald.a.falo.civ at mail.mil
gerald.a.falo.civ at mail.smil.mil
DSN: 584-4852

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

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