Center for Radiation Protection Knowledge

Federal Guidance Report No. 15: External Exposure to Radionuclides in Air, Water, and Soil (Pre-release information)


OVERVIEW (Pre-release)

The purpose of federal radiation protection guidance is to provide a common framework for ensuring the assessment of exposure to ionizing radiation is carried out in a consistent manner. Federal guidance is issued by the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of his or her responsibility, under Executive Order 10831, to “...advise the President with respect to radiation matters, directly or indirectly affecting health, including guidance for all Federal agencies in the formulation of radiation standards and in the establishment and execution of programs of cooperation with States.” 

Federal Guidance Report No. 15, External Exposure to Radionuclides in Air, Water and Soil, is part of a series designed to provide technical information for use in implementing radiation protection programs. This report tabulates age-specific, reference person effective dose rate coefficients for 1,252 radionuclides based on external exposure emitted by radionuclides distributed in air,1 soil or water. This report is an update to the 1993 Federal Guidance Report No. 12. Federal Guidance Report No. 15 incorporates advancements in scientific knowledge to help ensure that regulation of radiation exposure makes use of the best available information for relating concentrations of radioisotopes in environmental media to dose in human populations due to external radiation. View EPA Federal Guidance for Radiation Protection.

The previous version of this report, Federal Guidance Report No. 12 (1993), used the principal dose quantity, effective dose equivalent, recommended in Radiation Protection Guidance to Federal Agencies for Occupational Exposure. New estimates of radiation risk to the organs and tissues have been published since then and updated weighting factors have been recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection.  The tables in this report are available below in the Downloads section, allowing the user to easily integrate the data into programs for assessing dose. Instructions for obtaining these sets of computer files may be found at the end of this report. 


Downloads ( Awaiting release )

Federal Guidance Report No. 15 (pre-publication version)(PDF)

Dose rate coefficients for calculation of equivalent doses to specific tissues (pre-publication version)(ZIP)

This dose rate coefficient zip file contains several ASCII text files for each exposure scenario and age. Each text file contains organ-specific dose rate coefficients (Sv m2/Bq s) for all radionuclides and all considered tissues.  These ASCII text files can be opened with a text editor such as Notepad, Notepad++ or emacs and the zip file can be opened natively in Windows 10 or by third-party applications such as WinRAR.

Associated Publications and Presentations


 M. B. Bellamy, K. G. Veinot,*, M. M. Hiller , S. A. Dewji , K. F. Eckerman , C. E. Easterly , N. E. Hertel and R. W. Leggett, “Effective Dose Rate Coefficients For Immersions In Radioactive Air And Water” Radiation Protection Dosimetry (2016), pp. 112, doi:10.1093/rpd/ncw103 

 M. B. Bellamy, M. M. Hiller , S. A. Dewji , K. G. Veinot , R. W. Leggett , K. F. Eckerman ,C. E. Easterly , N. E. Hertel, “Comparison Of Monoenergetic Photon Organ Dose Rate Coefficients For Stylized And Voxel Phantoms Submerged In Air” Radiat Prot Dosimetry (2016) doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncv548 

Hiller MM, Veinot K, Easterly CE, Hertel NE, Eckerman KF, Bellamy MB., “Reducing Statistical Uncertainties in Simulated Organ Doses of Phantoms Immersed in Water.” Radiat Prot Dosimetry. (2016) Aug 13, DOI: 10.1093/rpd/ncw240 

M. Bellamy, S. Dewji, K. Eckerman, C. Easterly, N. Hertel, M. Hiller, D. Jokish, R. Leggett, S. Schwahn, P. Scofield, K. Veinot, R. Ward, Technical Basis for Derivation of Dose Coefficients for Use in Radiation Protection. ORNL/TM-2015/597 (September 2015).


Contact Us

Comments or questions should be addressed to