As well as being exposed to natural background ionising radiation, human beings are also exposed to artificial sources of ionising radiation. Although initially the use of artificial sources of ionising radiation was a great advance in the scientific development of society, the harm that its misuse could cause to health became apparent very soon. There was a clear need to set protection measures, giving rise to the discipline called radiological protection.
Radiological protection is a multi-disciplinary scientific and technical activity the purpose of which is to protect people and the environment from the harmful effects that could result from exposure to ionising radiation.
An international and independent organisation, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), has existed since 1928. It issues recommendations and provides advice on all aspects relating to protection against ionising radiation. These recommendations are the base for the establishment of regulations and standards by international organisations and regional and national authorities.
The ICRP recommendations are based on the following three basic principles.
The practice that implies the exposure to ionising radiations must always provide a benefit to society. The negative effects and possible alternatives must be considered.
Optimisation or “ALARA principle”
ALARA stands for “As Low As Reasonably Achievable.” All exposures to radiation must be kept at levels as low as reasonably possible taking social and economic factors into account.
The radiation doses received by persons must not exceed the limits set in the legislation in force.
All the rules and regulations for radiation protection and nuclear safety can be found at CSN > Regulation.