Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Ionising radiation: Not safe at any dose

Exposure to ionising radiation from natural sources is certainly unavoidable, while medical exposure of patients during diagnosis and therapy is an indispensable part of modern medicine. An EU-funded project examined the potential health risks of low-dose radiation and how to protect against it.
Ionising radiation: Not safe at any dose
Sustainable integration of low-dose radiation risk research in Europe is fundamental to improving the current state of radioprotection. The EU-funded project DOREMI (Low dose research towards multidisciplinary integration), which started with 12 partners in 2010 and expanded to 38 by December 2015, was initiated to facilitate joint research, integration and training.

DOREMI supported the sustainable integration of low-dose risk research in Europe to aid effective resolution of the key policy questions identified by the High Level Expert Group in this field. The project provided an operational tool for development of the proposed Multidisciplinary European Low Dose Initiative (MELODI) platform that consists of major national organisations and research programmes concerned with low-dose radiation risk.

Many DOREMI activities were focused on the joint programme of research covering three areas: shape of the dose-response curve, individual sensitivities and non-cancer effects. In addition, all research activities addressed the cross-cutting issues of radiation quality, tissue sensitivity, and internal emitters and exposure.

Experimental radiation research is dependent on access to radiation sources that are reliable, robust and accurate across a range of radiations. It also requires epidemiological infrastructure, databases and biobanks as well as analytical tools. DOREMI successfully provided access to several new infrastructures that will enhance European capabilities for addressing key radioprotection issues. The DOREMI website also integrates the STORE platform – a central database that facilitates sharing of scientific radiobiological information.

Much is known about the effects of ionising radiation, but uncertainties and differing viewpoints exist as to the health effects of low doses. DOREMI developed the MELODI platform to ensure a sustainable joint strategic research agenda to address issues of low-dose radiation risks. In light of indications that many EU Member States have lost key competences and cannot independently maintain effective radiation research programmes, organised and targeted cooperation could not have come at a better time.

Related information

Subjects

Research ethics

Keywords

Ionising radiation, low-dose radiation, radiation risk, radioprotection, DOREMI, MELODI
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