What you need to know about radiation


to protect yourself

to protect your family

to make reasonable social and political choices

By Lauriston S. Taylor

The manuscript WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RADIATION was written by Lauriston S. Taylor (see biography below). This material is copyrighted 1990, 1996, but is available for educational use without permission of the author. Any portion of the text may be used, with proper referencing to the author, only for non-profit or educational purposes. For any other use, please contact the author or editors of this work.

This work has been edited by Joyce Davis.

The on-line version can be found at http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/lst.htm , published on-line by the Student Chapter of the Health Physics Society of the Idaho State University. The on-line version has been broken into 8 pages for ease of reading: A Table of Contents (TOC) and Introduction page, Part 1 (page 1,2), Part 2 (page 3,4,5) and Part 3 (page 6,7). The text is hyperlinked throughout and has easy to use control buttons and page links at the bottom of each page. We also have a radiation related terms page that you may refer if you encounter terms that are not familar in the manuscript. A version is available to be downloaded also, accessed from the introduction page. Currently, it is available in WordPerfect 6.1 version and Word 6

To begin, go to the Introduction and TOC Page

Lauriston S. Taylor Biography

(used with permission of the HPS)

By the time Lauriston Taylor (1902-2004 ) was 26 years of age, he was Chief of the x-ray group at the National Bureau of Standards and had served as one of three representatives of the United States at the Second International Congress of Radiology in 1928. At the latter, Taylor, along with G. Kaye of Great Britain, was the driving force behind the creation of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the world's most influential organization in the field of radiation protection. From 1937 to 1950, Taylor served as Secretary of the ICRP and, from 1934 to 1950, Secretary of almost as influential an organization, the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU). In 1953 Taylor became Chairman of the ICRU, a position which he held until 1969. A year after the Second Congress of Radiology, Taylor established and became the first president of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), the counterpart in the U.S. to the ICRP and the scientific body from which this nation's regulatory agencies seek guidance regarding radiological protection. At the National Bureau of Standards, Taylor's activities focussed on the measurement of x-rays. In fact, he is credited with building the world's first portable radiation survey meter (ca 1929). He also built the Bureau's first free-air ion chamber (the primary device for measuring the intensity of x-rays), the first such chamber to employ guard wires. The use of guard wires was a tremendous improvement because it created a more uniform electric field and greatly reduced the size and weight of these chambers. In the mid 1930's, Taylor constructed the first pressurized ion chamber in the United States which, for a time, was the only operating free-air ion chamber anywhere. When technical contributions such as these are considered together with his many other achievements, it becomes apparent that no one has played a greater role in shaping the profession of radiation protection than Lauriston Taylor.

Lauriston S. Taylor

10450 Lottsford Rd #3011

Mitchellville, MD