A Review and Critical Analysis of the “Effective Dose of Radiation” Concept

Alexey Yablokov, DSc
Koltzov Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Science


Radioactive pollution and its effects are some of the least visible but most dangerous man-made changes of the biosphere. Though above-ground nuclear weapons testing has been banned since the 1960s, mankind has continued to find new ways to exploit radionuclides. To protect people from anthropogenic radiation contamination, it is necessary to determine an acceptable level and range of exposure. Today, the system of radiation safety endorsed by the U.N. and other multi-national groups is based on the concept of an effective dose—the measure of cancer risk to an entire organism from radiation exposure to its various parts. This review posits there are serious problems with both the concept of an effective dose and the methodology behind its calculation, and that a new framework is needed. In order to study the issues and drawbacks of the official concept of

radiation safety, and to assist readers in understanding the basis of his argument, the author sums up and critiques the current system’s main basic postulates and conclusions.

PDF: Critical analysis effective dose 2013