[ RadSafe ] Special Session on Radiation in Flight
PHILIP.KARAM at nypd.org
Mon Feb 2 09:11:31 CST 2015
Thanks for the info! This brings up an interesting question, too, about whether or not in-flight radiation exposure should be considered "occupational." You can make a strong argument that pilots and flight crew are occupationally exposed since their occupations bring them into elevated radiation fields. After all, to our cells, radiation is radiation and it doesn't matter to them that it's elevated levels of natural radiation.
But then what about business travelers who, were it not for their occupation, would fly far less? I know a lot of people who routinely fly 100,000 miles (160,000 km) annually and almost certainly rack up more than 100 mrem (1 mSv) annually - should they also be considered to be occupational radiation workers since it's their work that gets them on the plane? Or is occupational exposure only what happens when we're on the clock (but then, what about folks who bill their travel time, or who pull out their computer and work on the plane)?
Anyhow - sounds like a good session!
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of jjshonka at shonka.com
Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2015 5:44 PM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Special Session on Radiation in Flight
The US Health Physics Society (HPS) is planning a Special Session on “Ionizing Radiation in Flight” at its 60th Annual Meeting, 12-16 July 2015, in Indianapolis, Indiana. The goal is to cover advances in the subject area since 1998 when it was reviewed at the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements annual meeting and published thereafter in the Health Physics Journal (HPJ). The radiation source highlighted by that review was galactic cosmic rays (GCR).
In the January 2015 HPJ, Ed Bramlitt and I discuss other in-flight radiation sources: terrestrial gamma ray flashes (TGF), solar neutron events (SNE), solar gamma ray events (SGE), and solar proton events (SPE) whose frequency is much greater than was believed in 1998. Also, dose from SPE is greater at the North pole, and transpolar flight frequency has grown exponentially since 2001. Terrestrial neutron flashes (TNF) and thundercloud gamma ray events (TGE) or “glows” were unknown sources in 1998.
There is a need to know the doses aircraft crewmembers and passengers might receive from any of the in-flight sources. We are aware of published estimates that aircraft occupants can get up to 100 mSv from a TGF and 0.54 mSv from a TNF, and for significance, the monthly limit for a pregnant woman is 0.5 mSv. Dosimetry is needed, but it is not required with commercial aircraft in the US.
This letter is distributed to persons with relevant publications and persons working in agencies or businesses involved with radiation at flight levels and low Earth orbit. A notice of the Special Session will be published in the March HPS newsletter asking for abstracts of 15-minute presentations. If you feel that you need 30 minutes, your request can be granted for significant work. Suitable topics include the various radiation sources and their exposure to aircraft occupants, detection of SNE, SGE, or TGF in flight or on the ground, dose measurements or estimates, dosimetry methods, radiation safety, legal and regulatory issues with aircrew and passenger exposures, and aircrew union concerns.
The HPS Annual Meeting due date for abstracts is February 7. However, if you notify me of a tentative title by February 7, I will arrange for you to have more time. (The ultimate deadline is when the Annual Meeting program is finalized, but that date has not yet been set.) If you can prepare an abstract by February 7, then submit it online at: http://hpschapters.org/2015AM/abstracts/index.php.
You are welcome to forward this letter to persons you know who might be interested in presenting a paper or just attending the Special Session. For an incentive to present, we hope to have presentations published in a special issue of the HPJ as was done in 1998.
I look forward to your participation in the Special Session.
Joe Shonka, PhD
jjshonka at shonka.com
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