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ICRP AND RADIOLOGICAL PROTECTION OF NON-HUMAN SPECIES. Lars-Erik Holm Vice-Chairman of ICRP. ICRP AND THE ENVIRONMENT. ICRP has decided to develop a framework for assessing the radiological impact on non-human species. ICRP AND THE ENVIRONMENT.

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ICRP AND RADIOLOGICAL PROTECTION OF NON-HUMAN SPECIES

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Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

ICRP AND

RADIOLOGICAL PROTECTION

OF NON-HUMAN SPECIES

Lars-Erik Holm

Vice-Chairman of ICRP


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

ICRP AND THE ENVIRONMENT

ICRP has decided to

develop a framework

for assessing the

radiological impact on

non-human species.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

ICRP AND THE ENVIRONMENT

  • “The Commission concerns itself with mankind’s environment only with regard to the transfer of radionuclides through the environment, since this directly affects the radiological protection of man.”

  • (ICRP 60, 1991)


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

ICRP AND THE ENVIRONMENT

“The Commission believes that the standards of environmental control needed to protect man to the degree currently thought desirable will ensure that other species are not put at risk.”

(ICRP 60, 1991)


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS

  • The environment is protected through the protection of mankind.

  • Reproductive capacity is the relevant endpoint.

  • The appropriate level of protection is to avoid endangering the existence of species, or creating ecological imbalance.

  • ICRP has NOT explicitly stated that the environment should be protected.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

ENVIRONMENTAL MILESTONES

1962 “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson.

  • UN General Assembly decides to convene

    an international conference to protect

    and improve the human environment.

  • UN Conference on the Human Environment

    in Stockholm.

    UN creates UNEP.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

ENVIRONMENTAL MILESTONES

1980 World Conservation Strategy (UNEP, IUCN)

  • World Commission on Environment and

    Development: “Our Common Future”

    - The Brundtland Report defines the concept of SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT and emphasizes the need to preserve BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

ENVIRONMENTAL MILESTONES

  • UN Conference on Environment and

    Development in Rio de Janeiro lays down

    general principles for environmental

    protection, e.g.

    - the Rio Declaration

    - the Convention on Biological Diversity

    - the Agenda 21 Programme of Action.

    Biological diversity:“the variability among living organisms within within species, between species, and of ecosystems.”


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

ENVIRONMENTAL MILESTONES

The Rio Declaration: protection of the environment shall be an integral part of the development process and development shall be sustainable.

The Convention on Biological Diversity: important that all organisms contribute to the ecosystem.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT

Protecting living organisms in terms of ‘nature conservation’:

  • to conserve particular species or habitats

  • to maintain the diversity of habitats, of species, and of the genetic variability within species

  • to protect habitats and designated areas.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT

Environmental management includes

  • Environmental exploitation (populations)

  • Conservation and protection of the natural environment (individuals, populations, habitats, ecosystems)

  • Pollution control (environmental quality standards)

    (Pentreath 2002)


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT

  • There is no single ethic for protection of the environment.

  • The basis can be traced back to

  • scientific evidence

  • social and cultural concerns (based on religious or philosophical tenets and beliefs)

  • the need to comply with international and national legislation.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

SPECTRUM OF ETHICS

Anthropocentric: Humans are the main thing of moral standing. The environment is of concern only as it affects humans.

Biocentric: Moral standing is extended to individual members of other species, and obligations pertaining to such individuals arise as a consequence.

Ecocentric: Moral standing can be extended to virtually everything in the environment. The focus lies more with the entirety and diversity of the ecosystem rather than the moral significance of each and every individual component of it.

(IAEA, 2002)


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

OPERATIONAL STRATEGIES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

  • The pollution prevention principle

  • The precautionary principle

  • The substitution principle

  • The polluter-pays principle


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

PERCEIVED PROBLEMS

WITH ICRP’s STATEMENTS

  • No explicit scientific evidence quoted

  • What about habitats where humans are absent?

  • What if humans have been removed for their own safety?

  • How do the statements meet the needs of regulators, in terms of direct evidence of environmental protection?


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

INTERNATIONAL GUIDANCE

  • International conventions

  • UNSCEAR

  • ICRP

  • IAEA 

  • European Community

  • IUR

  • OECD/NEA

  • National initiatives


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

INTERNATIONAL GUIDANCE

The Joint Convention on the Management of Spent Nuclear Fuel and Radioactive Waste:

  • Protection of individuals, society and the environment.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

THE OSPAR CONVENTIONOslo-Paris Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic

  • Concentrations of artificial radionuclides in the marine environment should be reduced towards zero.

  • Ultimate aim: near background values for naturally occurring radioactive substances, and close to zero for artificial radioactive substances.

    (Sintra 1998)


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

APPROACHES TO ADDRESS ICRP’s CURRENT POSITION

  • Arguments that because man is protected, the environment is protected (axiomatic).

  • Calculations to demonstrate that, if man would receive <1mSv a-1, other organisms would not be harmed at the population level (human food chain).

  • Environmental concentrations derived in a tiered approach, based on environmental dose rates considered safe (generic population protection standards).


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

APPROACHES TO ADDRESS ICRP’s CURRENT POSITION

  • Target dose rates developed for biota based on an eco-toxicological approach applying safety factors (‘no-effects standards’).

  • Systematic frameworks for assessing environmental impact of radiation in specific geographic areas. 

  • A hierarchical system with ‘derived consideration levels’(Discrete Reference Fauna & Flora).


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

RADIOLOGICAL PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENTINTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES

  • STOCKHOLM 1996

  • OTTAWA 1999

  • DARWIN 2002


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

International Conference on the

PROTECTION OF THE

ENVIRONMENT FROM THE EFFECTS

OF IONIZING RADIATION

Organized by the IAEA

In co-operation with

UNSCEAR, the EC and the IUR

Hosted by the Government of Sweden through the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority

Stockholm, Sweden

6-10 October 2003

Mailing address & information under: http://www.iaea.org/worldatom/Meetings/2003


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

WHY AN ICRP SYSTEM FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?

  • The environment needs protection from harmful effects of radiation.

  • There is a need to demonstrate that the environment is adequately protected.

  • There are no explicit sets of criteria, standards etc. with international authority or endorsement.

  • Several countries are already implementing environmental radiation standards.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

RADIOLOGICAL PROTECTION

OF THE ENVIRONMENT

  • The shift from a purely anthropocentric view to include other aspects is reflected in conventions that emphasize sustainability and biological diversity.

  • The need and goals for protection of the environment have been defined by society.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

PROTECTION OF INDIVIDUALS OR POPULATIONS?

  • The question no longer so important, because of existing legal requirements.

  • Many animals, plants, areas, and habitats are afforded legal protection from ‘harm’ from all manner of activities, including radiation.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

PROTECTION OF INDIVIDUALS OR POPULATIONS?

In the UK, many common species are protected at the individual level:

  • 30 mammals;

  • 500 birds and (>200 species) their eggs;

  • 40 invertebrates; and

  • 130 plants.

    This reflects changes in attitudes and values.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

RADIOLOGICAL PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT

  • Many international agreements call for protection against pollution, incl. radiation.

  • There are no agreed criteria that address radiological protection of the environment.

  • This lack makes it difficult to determine or demonstrate whether or not the environment is adequately protected from potential impacts of radiation.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

RADIATION AND THE ENVIRONMENT

  • The human habitat has been afforded protection through the application of ICRP’s current system of protection.

  • HOW CAN WE DEMONSTRATE THAT THE

  • ENVIRONMENT IS ADEQUATELY PROTECTED?


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

ICRP AND THE ENVIRONMENT

ICRP’s decision has not been driven by any particular concern over environmental radiation hazards, but by the need to fill a conceptual gap in the system of radiological protection.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

ICRP AND THE ENVIRONMENT

  • ICRP intends to

  • recommend a practical framework that can be used to give advice and guidance, thereby

  • helping regulators and operators demonstrate compliance with environmental legislation.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

ICRP’s SYSTEM OF PROTECTION

The system is achieved in practice by the use of:

  • Reference anatomical and physiological models of humans to derive practical information on the anticipated ‘dose per unit intake’ of radionuclides.

  • Scientific studies to estimate risks associated with the external and internal exposure to radionuclides.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

REFERENCE MAN

  • Dose calculations require reference values to describe anatomical/physiological characteristics of an exposed individual.

  • Such values for tissues/organs define a reference individual.

  • A reference individual is not intended to describe an ‘average’ individual.

  • The purpose is to create a standard and a point of reference for the procedure of dose estimation.

  • The concept of a Reference Man is one of the cornerstones in radiological protection.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

ICRP AND THE ENVIRONMENT

  • ICRP is developing

  • a reference set of dosimetric models;

  • a reference set of environmental geometries that are

  • applied to Reference Animals and Plants.

  • This will allow an assessment of the likely consequences for individuals, the population, or of the local environment.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

REFERENCE ANIMALS AND PLANTS

For each reference organism obtain data on:

  • basic life-cycle biology

  • pathways of radiation exposure expressed in terms of dose-per-unit-exposure

  • exposure geometries and dose model(s) to estimate doses received

  • basic knowledge of radiation effects and a few effect end points on individuals.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

POINTS OF REFERENCE TO DESCRIBE RELEVANCE OF RADIATION DOSES IN NON-HUMAN ORGANISMS

  • Dose rates required to observe:

  • - early mortality

  • - morbidity

  • - reduced reproductive success

  • - chromosomal damage

  • Typical background dose rate for that type of animal or plant.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

RADIATION EFFECTS

Ecosystem

Natural

selection

Community

Population

Individuals

Tissues

Cells

Molecular mechanisms


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

CRITERIA FOR REFERENCE ANIMALS AND PLANTS

  • Are they typical of an ecosystem?

  • Are they likely to be exposed to radiation?

  • What stage(s) in their life cycle are of relevance for the dose or dose rate?

  • Can their exposure to radiation be modelled and be related to effects in the individual organism?

  • What radiobiological information is available?

  • Are they amenable to future research?


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

TAXONOMIC LEVEL OF A REFERENCE ORGANISM

CATEGORYANIMAL

PhylumChordatae

ClassMammaliae

OrderCarnivorae

FamilyFelidae

SpeciesFelis domesticus

VarietySiamese, Persian blue


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

ICRP’s REFERENCE ANIMALS AND PLANTS

Rat Earthworm

Duck Marine snail

FrogCrab

Freshwater fish Grass

Marine flat fishBrown seaweed

BeePine tree


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

ICRP’s REFERENCE ANIMALS AND PLANTS


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

DERIVED CONSIDERATION LEVELS

RAISED CONCERN

> Several times the natural background

Natural background for a reference organism

< Natural background

LITTLE CONCERN


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

A COMMON APPROACH

Practices

Environmental radionuclide concentration(s)

Reference Man

Reference Animals and Plants

Dose limits,

Dose constraints

Derived Consideration Levels

Decision-Making regarding public health and environment for the same environmental situation


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

ICRP’S CURRENT WORK WITH REFERENCE ANIMALS AND PLANTS (RAP)

  • Select, describe and define ICRP’s RAPs.

  • Define end-points for assessing radiation effects in RAPs.

  • Develop a reference set of dose models for RAPs.

  • Compile sets of Derived Consideration Levels for RAPs.

  • Develop a set of quantities and units that could be suggested for use for RAPs.

  • A report is expected in 2005.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

WHAT MIGHT ALL THIS HELP TO ACHIEVE?

  • A clear set of objectives and principles.

  • Basic knowledge of radiation effects.

  • An agreed set of quantities and units.

  • A means of demonstrating compliance.

  • A reference set of dose models for a number of Reference Animals and Plants.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT

  • A framework for radiological protection of the environment must be practical and simple.

  • In order to transparently demonstrate the derivation of judgements and decisions, the use of Reference Animals and Plants would be helpful.


Icrp and radiological protection of non human species

ICRP COMMITTEE 5

CHAIR: R JAN PENTREATH, UK

Protection of the environment

Development and use of Reference Animals and Plants

Ensure compatibility of approach with:

- human radiological protection and

- with other forms of environmental protection


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