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Contextual Information for the Potential Enhancement of Annual Radiation Protection Program Review Reports

Emery, Robert J.; Gutiérrez, Janet M.*

doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000691
Operational Topics

Organizations possessing sources of ionizing radiation are required to develop, document, and implement a “radiation protection program” that is commensurate with the scope and extent of permitted activities and sufficient to ensure compliance with basic radiation safety regulations. The radiation protection program must also be reviewed at least annually, assessing program content and implementation. A convenience sample assessment of web-accessible and voluntarily-submitted radiation protection program annual review reports revealed that while the reports consistently documented compliance with necessary regulatory elements, very few included any critical contextual information describing how important the ability to possess radiation sources was to the central mission of the organization. Information regarding how much radioactive material was currently possessed as compared to license limits was also missing. Summarized here are suggested contextual elements that can be considered for possible inclusion in annual radiation protection program reviews to enhance stakeholder understanding and appreciation of the importance of the ability to possess radiation sources and the importance of maintaining compliance with associated regulatory requirements.

*The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Environmental Health & Safety, 1851 Crosspoint Drive, OCB 1.330, Houston, TX 77054.

Janet M. Gutiérrez is Safety Manager of the Radiation Safety Program within the Environmental Health & Safety department of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She supports the broad scope permit for the research and medical use of radioactive materials, medical and research uses of x-rays and lasers. She has over 15 years of experience in radiation safety. She earned her doctorate of public health in occupational health and her master of science in industrial hygiene from The University of Texas at Houston School of Public Health. She earned her B.S. in radiological health engineering from Texas A&M University. She is a Certified Health Physicist. Her email is

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