Federal rules and regulations concerning the proper use of radioactive materials are contained in part 20 of 10CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) and enforced by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The NRC recently revised this standard for protection against ionizing radiation. This action was necessary to incorporate updated scientific information and to reflect changes in the philosophy of radiation protection.

The revised rules became effective on January 1, 1994 for licensees like the University of Vermont.

The following is a partial list of changes:

  1. Dose limits have been changed. The new limits are:
    • Annual limit to individual adult: 5,000 millirems (includes external and internal)
    • Annual limit to lens of the eye: 15,000 millirems
    • Annual limit to skin: 50,000 millirems
    • Annual limit to extremities (hands): 50,000 mil lirems
    • Dose limit to embryo/fetus: 500 millirems
    • Annual limit for the public: 100 millirems
  2. Licensees are now required to issue film badges and ring monitors to individuals who receive over 10% of the annual limits.
  3. Licensees must have an annual review of their ra diation program, which includes As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) provisions.
  4. Surveys for potential hazards are required.
  5. Licensees must continue using the curie, rad, and rem units.
  6. Licensees must attempt to obtain lifetime accumu lated dose of a radiation worker from previous employers.
  7. Termination dose reports must be given to workers who request them.
  8. An annual dose report needs to be placed in the file for all radiation workers who receive film badges and ring monitors.

There are many other changes to 10 CFR 20 in addition to the above mentioned. If you are interested in learning more about them, contact the Radiation Safety Office.