U.S. House passes radiation research bill

The U.S. House of Representatives on November 17 passed the Low-Dose Radiation Research Act of 2014, which is intended to increase understanding of low-dose radiation.

HR 5544 is sponsored by Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), who said that scientific information on the effects of low-dose radiation (defined as < 100 mSv) is lacking. More research is needed to conclude definitively whether exposure poses a risk to patients, Broun told The Hill.

The bill, which passed by voice vote without opposition, is aimed at researching the long-term effects of low-dose ionizing radiation to increase scientific understanding and reduce uncertainties to better inform risk management methods.

HR 5544 requires the director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science to establish an agreement with the U.S. National Academies on a long-term strategy for the research within 60 days of the bill's enactment. The study would be completed within 18 months.

The text of the bill is available here.

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