Exposure to very low levels of ionizing radiation is common—medical procedures, air travel, and industrial processes expose people to such radiation every day. But the health implications of these very low doses are not well understood. A bipartisan bill passed 7 January by the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to alter that landscape by revitalizing an existing Department of Energy (DOE) low-dose radiation research program.
The bill—motivated in part by concerns raised by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan—calls for a study by the National Academies and would require DOE to produce a 5-year research plan. But it doesn’t provide any new funding, and so far the bill doesn’t have a champion in the Senate, which will also to have to pass the legislation in order for it to become law.
(Source: Emily Conover | http://news.sciencemag.org)