International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP)
Guidance for Occupational Exposure

Dose Guidance Value

Type of Emergency Operation

Normal occupational dose limits apply; i.e.:

  • A limit on effective dose of 20 mSv/year, averaged over 5 years
    (i.e., a limit of 100 mSv in 5 years) with the further provision that in any single year:
  • The effective dose should not exceed 50 mSv, and
  • The equivalent dose should not exceed
    • 150 mSv for the lens of the eye,
    • 500 mSv for the skin (average dose over 1 cm2 of the most highly irradiated area of the skin) and
    • 500 mSv for the hands and feet

Recovery and Restoration

  • In principle, no dose restrictions are recommended if, and ONLY IF, the benefit to others clearly outweighs the rescuer's own risk. Otherwise, every effort should be made to avoid deterministic effects on health (i.e., effective doses below 1000 mSv should avoid serious deterministic health effects, and below ten times the maximium single year dose limit as given above should avoid other deterministic health effects).
  • All reasonable efforts should be made to keep doses below twice the maximum single year limits (see above).
Rescue operations 1:
  • Saving life
  • Preventing serious injury
  • Actions to prevent the development of catastrophic conditions.

Other immediate and urgent actions to prevent injuries or large doses to many people.

1 Under conditions that may lead to doses above normal occupational exposure limits, workers should be volunteers and should be instructed in dealing with radiation hazards to allow them to make informed decisions. Female workers who may be pregnant or nursing should not participate in these operations.

Adapted from Protecting People Against Radiation Exposure in the Event of a Radiological Attack (International Commission on Radiological Protection, ICRP Publication 96, 2005, page 51)