Millions of workers exposed to harmful radiation exposure

Millions of workers exposed to harmful radiation exposure

This week the International Conference on Occupational Radiation Protection is taking place in Geneva. It was organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with the support of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The main topics of this conference are strengthening the protection of workers in various sectors from radiation. The meeting participants will discuss achievements in this area over the past twenty years.

The report of the scientific committee of the IAEA is presented to their attention. It states that in the period 2010-2014, “approximately 24 million workers were exposed to natural and man-made sources of ionizing radiation.” About 52 percent – 12.6 million people – were employed in sectors associated with exposure to natural sources of radiation, such as miners and aircraft crew members. The other 48 percent – 11.4 million people – worked in sectors where there are artificial sources of radiation, such as nuclear power plant employees, radiologists and medical personnel.

Over the past four years, the total number of workers exposed to radiation has slightly increased compared to the period 1995-1999. Then exposed to radiation was about 21.5 million people.

The exposure information provided by the Scientific Committee is based on information from scientific publications and data provided by UN Member States. The collection and preparation of such data has improved significantly in recent years.

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