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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.
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Trade Release
Date: May 3, 2005
Contact: Frank Meilinger
Phone: (202) 693-1999

OSHA Seeking Information to Address Health Effects of Occupational Exposure to Ionizing Radiation

WASHINGTON- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is asking for comments and information from the public to help the agency determine what, if anything, the agency should do to address its standards for occupational exposure to ionizing radiation. The request for information is published in today's Federal Register.

Ionizing radiation has been used in workplaces for over a century and its use has grown significantly in recent years. Ionizing radiation sources can be found in a wide range of occupational settings, including health care facilities, research institutions, nuclear reactors and their support facilities, nuclear weapon production facilities, and various manufacturing settings. These radiation sources can pose a considerable health risk to affected workers if not properly controlled.

OSHA's current standard addresses the possession, use or transfer of ionizing radiation sources and requires that employers maintain worker exposures to below 1.25 rem per quarter (rem= roentgen- equivalent-man, which is a unit of measure for the effects of ionizing radiation on humans). The standard also requires employers to conduct exposure monitoring, provide training for employees above 100 mrem (milli-roentgen-equivalent-man), provide medical monitoring, maintain records of employee exposures, and notify OSHA of excessive exposures.

The agency's request for information addresses current uses of ionizing radiation in the workplace and issues related to its use, such as employee exposure levels, health effects of ionizing radiation exposure, and workplace programs to control such exposure. The agency will use the information to determine if and how its ionizing radiation standards should be updated.

Written comments must be submitted by Aug. 1, 2005. Written comments (10 pages or fewer) can be faxed to OSHA's Docket Office at (202) 693-1648 or sent electronically to Three copies of written comments and attachments must be submitted to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket H-016, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., Washington, DC, 20210. Further information on submitting comments can be obtained by calling the Docket Office at (202) 693-2350.

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit

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This news release text is on the Internet at Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.

Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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