Special notes on the use of effective dose and dose measurements

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Effective dose was originally introduced so that all radiation exposures, external and internal, could be treated together in the control of occupational and public exposures, but it is also applicable to exposures in healthcare. Effective dose is used to inform decisions on justification of patient diagnostic and interventional procedures, planning requirement for research studies, and evaluation of accidental exposures. In each case, effective dose provides a measure of detriment. Effective dose can be used to classify different types of medical procedure into broad risk categories for the purpose of communicating risk levels to clinicians and patients. These applications rely on the validity of the linear-non-threshold (LNT) dose-response relationship. In addition, effective dose should not be used for individual or population-based cancer risk assessment as it does not consider individualized information. ICRP TG79 is preparing further advice on the use of effective dose in medicine as part of a task group report.


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