Dose and dose-rate effects of ionizing radiation: a discussion in the light of radiological protection

Werner Rühm, Gayle E. Woloschak, Roy E. Shore, Tamara V. Azizova, Bernd Grosche, Ohtsura Niwa, Suminori Akiba, Tetsuya Ono, Keiji Suzuki, Toshiyasu Iwasaki, Nobuhiko Ban, Michiaki Kai, Christopher H. Clement, Simon Bouffler, Hideki Toma, Nobuyuki Hamada*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


The biological effects on humans of low-dose and low-dose-rate exposures to ionizing radiation have always been of major interest. The most recent concept as suggested by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) is to extrapolate existing epidemiological data at high doses and dose rates down to low doses and low dose rates relevant to radiological protection, using the so-called dose and dose-rate effectiveness factor (DDREF). The present paper summarizes what was presented and discussed by experts from ICRP and Japan at a dedicated workshop on this topic held in May 2015 in Kyoto, Japan. This paper describes the historical development of the DDREF concept in light of emerging scientific evidence on dose and dose-rate effects, summarizes the conclusions recently drawn by a number of international organizations (e.g., BEIR VII, ICRP, SSK, UNSCEAR, and WHO), mentions current scientific efforts to obtain more data on low-dose and low-dose-rate effects at molecular, cellular, animal and human levels, and discusses future options that could be useful to improve and optimize the DDREF concept for the purpose of radiological protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-401
Number of pages23
JournalRadiation and Environmental Biophysics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 5 2015


  • DREF
  • ICRP
  • LDEF
  • LNT model
  • Radiation risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Radiation
  • Biophysics


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