Kingdom, Germany, and other countries began taking active and organized steps to
better understand the simple biomedical effects of radiation. They also began to give
much greater attention to the physical aspects of radiation protection.
e. It was not unnatural, therefore, that the first protection standard was based
on an amount of radiation necessary to cause a clearly recognizable effect--a skin
erythema; it was called skin erythema dose. In retrospect, it is believed that in terms of
current radiation quantities, the skin erythema dose would have amounted to at least
2-7. INTERNATIONAL ACTIONS
a. In 1928, in Stockholm, the first international agreement on radiation quantity
was reached. The unit known as the roentgen, by means of which dose could be
measured (whether on the patient or in the space which the patient would occupy), was
adopted. From this point on, it was possible to evaluate radiation quantitatively.
b. It was in this same year (in fact, at the same meeting) that the International
Council of Radiological Protection (ICRP) was established. The original group
consisted of six persons. The number six was dictated by the unwieldiness of its sister
commission, the International Commission on Radiological Units and Measurements
(ICRUM), which had over 30 members at the time. In 1928, the only reasonably well
formulated radiation protection recommendations were those put together by a British
Protection Committee and these were adopted essentially in their original form. From
then until 1950, the form of the international recommendations changed very little,
adding mainly more details to fill in the basic skeleton.
c. In the meantime in the United States, there were several protection
committees, each attached to one of the medical or radiological societies. Because of
this splinterring, they had not dealt effectively with the overall problem. To overcome
this, a consolidation of several activities was made in the summer of 1929, resulting in
what was then called the Advisory Committee on X-ray and Radium Protection. It is
this group, which has been in continuous operation since 1929, that gradually
developed, through several organizational and name steps, into what is now known as
the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRPM).
d. From the outset, this group aggressively tackled the broad problems of
radiation protection and, by 1941, it issued five major reports on the subject, which
provided the basic pattern for protection for at least the next decade.
2-8. TOLERANCE DOSE
a. 1934 marked another important dateline. At that time, international
agreement was reached on a value for a tolerance dose for radiation workers. The
value was given as 0.2 roentgens per day, measured at the surface of the body or an
equivalent phantom. This amounted to roughly 60 roentgens per year. In the United