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John Maddox explains an important, but scarcely noticed, EU-inspired change to radiation exposure rules

By John Maddox   March 1997

A crucial change is on the way in the management of radiation hazards throughout the EU. Hitherto legislation on the subject has been based on the notion that there is some degree of exposure to radiation, or some “dose” of radiation below which no damage will be done. No longer. The essence of a European directive promulgated by the European commission on 13th May last year is that even small doses of radiation can increase the chance that a person exposed to it will at some stage develop cancer. European governments have four years in which to amend their legislation…

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