About Ionizing Radiation
Ionizing radiation has always been a part of the human environment. Along with natural radioactive sources present in the Earth's crust and cosmic radiation, man-made sources also contribute to our continuous exposure to ionizing radiation.
Environmental radioactive pollution has resulted from past nuclear weapons testing, nuclear waste disposal, accidents at nuclear power plants, as well as from transportation, storage, loss, and misuse of radioactive sources. While there are risks associated with exposure to radiation benefits of nuclear applications in medicine industry and science are well established. WHO’s radiation programme aims to assure that the benefits of radiation technology far exceeds any known risks.
WHO's Ionizing Radiation Programme
The Radiation and Environmental Health Programme within the WHO’s Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments Cluster, evaluates health risks and public health issues related to environmental and occupational radiation exposure.
The aim of the Radiation and Environmental Health Programme is to look for solutions to protect human health from ionizing radiation hazards by raising people's awareness of the potential health risks associated with ionizing radiation, and the importance of its safe and rational management.
Through promoting research and providing recommendations for emergency medical and public health responses to radiation accidents and terrorist acts, and providing advice to national authorities, we hope to enable national and local public health authorities to deal with radiation exposure issues effectively, facilitating key research programmes and providing sound advice.
Events and activities
- New guidelines on iodine thyroid blocking
Large-scale international emergency exercise evaluating response to a nuclear emergency concludes after 36 hours
- IAEA-WHO Joint Webinar on Medical Preparedness and Response for Nuclear or Radiological Emergencies
- Guidelines on Public Health Response to Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies
- Iberoamerican Conference on Radiation Protection in Medicine (in spanish)
- Bonn Call for Action