Here I am writing my second President’s Message from my home office, working, as many of you have this past year, from home. As I reported for 2020, NCRP has coped well with the challenges of 2021, with some of our dedicated, hard-working staff and most of the important cadre of volunteers on committees, the Board, etc. doing all they do for NCRP virtually.
We’ve all become pretty adept at Teams®/Zoom® meetings and new ways to carry on the work of NCRP. All in all, it has been a productive and fulfilling, albeit at times hectic, year. I use this report to reflect on our accomplishments and several exciting new activities in 2021, as well as opportunities and challenges for the future.
Highlights of 2021 include:
- A high point for NCRP was the hugely successful Annual Meeting held virtually in April. Due to the hard work of Jacqueline P. Williams and Cary J. Zeitlin, Program Co-Chairs, and their Program Committee, the meeting had wonderful, cutting-edge presentations on “Radiation and Flight: A Down-to-Earth Look at Risks,” and the online access for all went smoothly thanks to A Meeting By Design, who handled the IT side of the meeting. Now, months later, I’m still receiving comments from others about what a superb meeting that was. Kudos to everyone involved.
- We had a good year from a grant funding perspective, receiving:
- a new grant from the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD) to help fund Scientific Committee (SC) 4-10 and SC 4-12.
- a new grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for several initiatives, but especially to help fund informational efforts about health effects of wireless technology, including new SC 8-1 (more below).
- expanded funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the Million Person Study (MPS) (more below).
- a new grant from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help fund SC 4-12.
- Three new scientific committees were initiated in 2021 (more details below):
- SC 4-12 on “Risk Management Stratification of Equipment and Training for Fluoroscopy” (Chair: Stephen Balter; Vice-Chair: Donald L. Miller) to prepare a statement.
- SC 6-13 on “Methods and Models for Estimating Organ Doses from Intakes of Radium” (Chair: Derek W. Jokisch; Vice-Chair: Nicole E. Martinez) to prepare a commentary.
- SC 8-1 on “Development of NCRP Informational Webpages to Provide Authoritative Information About the Use of Wireless Technology and Current Evidence on Health Effects” (Chair: David A. Savitz).
- In May, we held the first ever (as far as I know) Welcome Webinar for new Council members. Since we didn’t have an in-person annual meeting in 2021, this was an important opportunity to welcome our newly-elected members, introduce them to each other and to several senior members of Council, and explain to them more about NCRP and some of our processes. The session was well-received by all attendees, and we plan to make it a regular annual event.
- Another new initiative is related to “formal” internship and mentoring efforts. In June, NCRP signed a Memorandum of Understanding with University of Alabama Birmingham to provide opportunities for interns in their Health Physics Masters’ Program to work with NCRP. Our first intern, Kendall Williams, started in August, working with the Nonionizing Radiation Advisory Panel to start to develop an informational webpage on fifth-generation technology radiation for our website. We were very pleased to have her on board, and she did an excellent job. We have set up an ad hoc committee on Internships and Mentoring to make suggestions on other approaches to expand our efforts in this area, and we welcome any thoughts or suggestions.
- With several NCRP statements planned in the near future as the products of scientific committees, the need for standardization of statements was readily apparent. Hence, we convened an ad hoc NCRP committee to make recommendations regarding format of NCRP statements. The Committee reported to the Board in September, their recommendations were accepted, and you will see in the several statements that will be published in 2022, a new, standard format.
- Because our new CDC grant includes substantial emphasis on work on health effects of wireless technology, in December the Board elevated the Advisory Panel on Nonionizing Radiation to a Program Area Committee (PAC), now PAC 8, currently chaired by Jerrold T. Bushberg. SC 8-1, described below, is the first activity under this new PAC.
- NCRP officers, chairs of scientific committees, and other members gave (virtual) presentations at multiple meetings of other organizations and in diverse venues (see list below). A highlight was the John C. Villforth Lecture, given by Dr. John D. Boice, Jr., NCRP’s Director of Science, on “NCRP’s Recent Accomplishments and Visionary Approach to Radiation Protection: What the Future Holds,” at the CRCPD’s 53rd National Conference on Radiation Control in May.
- The awardee selected to receive the 2nd John D. Boice Young Investigator Award at the 2022 Annual Meeting is Sara Dumit, who works at Los Alamos National Laboratory (see the NCRP home page for more info: https://ncrponline.org). Congratulations to Sara!
NCRP Publications Completed in 2021:
NCRP Statement No. 13, NCRP Recommendations for Ending Routine Gonadal Shielding During Abdominal and Pelvic Radiography, prepared by SC 4-11 (Chair: Donald P. Frush; Vice Chair: Keith J. Strauss), was released on the NCRP website in January 2021 along with a companion document, Implementation Guidance for Ending Routine Gonadal Shielding During Abdominal and Pelvic Radiography and a trifold brochure explaining the recommended change for members of the general public. This trio of documents has received wide-spread attention. All three documents were translated into Japanese by Nobuyuki Hamada, PAC 1, and published under the kind auspices of the Japan Health Physics Society. We’ve also had requests for others to translate the brochure into Spanish. I want to especially commend Angela Shogren, PAC 7, who designed the trifold brochure, a new approach for NCRP to get information out to members of the general public. NCRP acknowledges support by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, American Board of Radiology (ABR) Foundation, American College of Radiology, American Society of Radiologic Technologists, Image Gently®, and Society for Pediatric Radiology.
Committees at Work:
- CC 2, Meeting the Needs of the Nation for Radiation Protection (Chair: Wayne D. Newhauser; Co-Chair: Jacqueline P. Williams), is expanding on our “Where are the Radiation Professionals (WARP)?” initiative, NCRP Statement No. 12 (2015). Although there have been delays, and challenges because of some paucity of quantitative workforce data, the Committee writing teams, covering all facets of the radiation sciences, are continuing work to revise the PAC-reviewed draft to address the many thoughtful comments received and produce an updated revision of the draft commentary for Council review.
- SC 1-27, Evaluation of Sex-Specific Differences in Lung Cancer Radiation Risks and Recommendations for Use in Transfer Models (Co-Chairs: Michael M. Weil and David J. Pawel), is a NASA-funded initiative of great relevance to astronauts on long-duration missions beyond low-Earth orbit. The commentary will contain an assessment of sex-specific differences in radiation-induced lung cancer in human populations and animal models and make recommendations for NASA regarding models to be used in predicting radiation risks for astronauts. The draft commentary has undergone PAC review and is being revised to be sent out for Council review soon.
- SC 2-8, Operational Radiation Safety Program (Chair: Kathryn H. Pryor), is updating NCRP Report No. 127 (1998) providing guidance to individuals with responsibility for establishing and implementing operational radiation safety programs. This is a long-awaited update. The report has been through PAC and Council review, revised, and is now being prepared for printing.
- SC 3-2, Recommendations for Instrument Response Verification and Calibration for Use in Radiation Emergencies (Co-Chairs: Leticia S. Pibida and Gladys A. Klemic), is preparing an NCRP statement on recommendations for periodic functionality checks of radiation detection instruments for emergency response in lieu of periodic, and typically cost-prohibitive, manufacturer-recommended recalibrations. This activity is funded by CRCPD and CDC. Having been through Council review, the draft statement is now being revised, then will be finalized for release.
- SC 3-3, Respiratory Protection for Emergency Workers Responding to a Nuclear/Radiological Emergency (Co-Chairs: Armin Ansari and Adela Salame-Alfie), is preparing an NCRP statement, with funding from CDC, to address respiratory protection for a category of ancillary emergency workers who would be involved in responding to a nuclear or radiological emergency who are neither first responders nor first receivers and are not already part of a respiratory protection program. The draft statement has been through PAC review and will be out for Council review soon.
- SC 4-10, Error Prevention in Radiation Therapy (Co-Chairs: Steven G. Sutlief and Michael T. Milano), is preparing a statement to enumerate the necessary program components for error prevention in radiation therapy and to delineate objective characteristics of a safety-focused radiotherapy department. Funded by FDA and the ABR Foundation, a draft document is nearing being sent for PAC review and final publication is anticipated by fall.
- SC 4-12, Risk Management Stratification of Equipment and Training for Fluoroscopy (Chair: Stephen Balter; Vice Chair: Donald L. Miller), is preparing a statement to provide guidance that can be used by facilities to select fluoroscopic equipment that conforms to the appropriate the International Electrotechnical Commission standard for the facility’s intended uses of that particular fluoroscope and to outline a risk-based training program for all individuals privileged to perform or assist with fluoroscopic procedures in a facility. This activity is partly funded by the ABR Foundation. The draft statement is nearly ready for PAC review.
- SC 6-12, in a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-funded effort, has prepared a commentary on Development of Kinetic and Anatomical Models for Brain Dosimetry for Internally Deposited Radionuclides (Chair: Richard Leggett; Vice Chair: Sergey Y. Tolmachev) as part of the MPS. This work may also be applicable to concerns of NASA with regards to high linear-energy transfer (LET) radiation effects on the central nervous system. The commentary is nearly ready for printing and should be available in March.
- SC 6-13, Methods and Models for Estimating Organ Doses from Intakes of Radium (Chair: Derek W. Jokisch; Vice Chair: Nicole E. Martinez), is DOE-funded to prepare a commentary describing new and contemporary approaches for obtaining organ doses following intakes of radium. The new work will meet several deliverables associated with the MPS. The scientific committee is in the early stages of preparing a draft document.
- SC 8-1, NCRP Webpages on the Use of Wireless Technology and Evidence on Health Effects (Chair: David A. Savitz), funded by CDC, is a somewhat new, and exciting, type of activity for NCRP as the goal is to create NCRP authoritative, science-based, informational webpages that can serve as a primary resource to which CDC and other federal health agencies can refer members of the public seeking additional information about the use of wireless technology and its known health effects. The committee has only recently begun work, but we hope to see some new web-based information later this year.
Members, particularly chairs, of NCRP scientific committees are encouraged to publish papers in peer-reviewed journals summarizing the NCRP reports or commentaries on which they worked. The two such publications in 2021 are listed here:
- Preston RJ, Rühm W, Azzam EI, Boice JD, Bouffler S, Held KD, Little MP, Shore RE, Shuryak I, Weil MM. 2021. Adverse outcome pathways, key events, and radiation risk assessment. Int J Radiat Biol. 97(6):804-814.
- Yoder C, Balter S, Boice Jr JD, Grogan H, Mumma M, Rothenberg LN, Passmore C, Vetter RJ, Dauer LT. 2021. Using personal monitoring data to derive organ doses for medical radiation workers in the Million Person Study-considerations regarding NCRP Commentary no. 30. J. Radiol. Prot. 41:118-128.
2021 publications involving NCRP work, including those reporting findings from the MPS, are listed here:
- Martinez NE, Jokisch DW, Dauer LT, Eckerman KF, Goans RE, Brockman JD, Tolmachev SY, Avtandilashvili M, Mumma MT, Boice Jr JD, Leggett RW. 2021. Radium dial workers: back to the future, Int J Radiat Biol. Online ahead of print, 2021 26 Apr.
- Boice JD Jr, Cohen SS, Mumma MT, Golden AP, Howard S, Girardi DJ, Dupree Ellis ED, Bellamy M, Dauer LT, Samuels C, Eckerman KF, Leggett R. 2021. Mortality among workers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1943-2017. Int J Radiat Biol. Online ahead of print, 2021 May 28.
- Boice JD Jr, Bouville A, Dauer LT, Golden AP, Wakeford R. 2021. Introduction to the special issue on the US Million Person Study of health effects from low-level exposure to radiation. Int J Radiat Biol. Online ahead of print, 2021 Oct 26.
- Boice JD Jr, Quinn B, Al-Nabulsi I, Ansari A, Blake PK, Blattnig SR, Caffrey EA, Cohen SS, Golden AP, Held KD, Jokisch DW, Leggett RW, Mumma MT, Samuels C, Till JE, Tolmachev SY, Yoder RC, Zhou JY, Dauer LT. 2021. A million persons, a million dreams: a vision for a national center of radiation epidemiology and biology. Int J Radiat Biol. Online ahead of print, 2021 Nov 3.
- Boice JD Jr, Cohen SS, Mumma MT, Howard SC, Yoder RC, Dauer LT. 2021. Mortality among Medical Radiation Workers in the United States, 1965-2016. Int J Radiat Biol. Online ahead of print, 2021 Nov 3.
- Bushberg JT. 2021. National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP). NPSS News, Issue 4, 2021 Dec.
The work of NCRP, including MPS efforts funded through NCRP, is presented at various venues by NCRP officers, chairs/members of PACs and scientific committees and others involved in the projects. Presentations in 2021 included:
- John D. Boice, Jr., “Evaluation of Sex-Specific Differences in Lung Cancer Radiation Risks and Recommendations for Use in Transfer Models,” 2021 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop; Breaking Boundaries: Advancing Human Space Flight Research Through Innovation and Collaboration. Virtual Meeting, 2021 Feb 1-4.
- Kathryn D. Held, “NCRP: Who We Are and What We Do,” Baltimore Washington Chapter of the Health Physics Society monthly meeting, 2021 Mar 18.
- Kathryn D. Held, “Radiation Chemistry; Effects of Radiation on DNA and Chromosomes,” Lecture in Radiation Biology Course, AFRRI, 2021 Mar 31.
- Kathryn D. Held, Journal Club and Career Discussion with Graduate Students, Oregon Health Sciences University, Virtual Session, 2021 Mar 31.
- Kathryn D. Held, “Update on NCI/NCRP – Radiation Low-Dose Therapy to Treat COVID-19,” ISCORS Spring Virtual Meeting, 2021 Apr 1.
- John D. Boice, Jr., “John C. Villforth Lecture: NCRP’s Recent Accomplishments and Visionary Approach to Radiation Protection: What the Future Holds,” 53rd National Conference on Radiation Control (virtual), CRCPD, 2021 May 17 – 21.
- Joel E. Gray, “NCRP Report on Radiation Protection in Dentistry and Oral and Maxillofacial Imaging,” CRCPD Annual Meeting (virtual), 2021 May.
- Adela Salame-Alfie, “NCRP Commentary 28,” presentation at CRCPD Annual Meeting, 2021 May.
- Adela Salame-Alfie, “NCRP Update: Scientific Committee 3-3 Respiratory Protection for Emergency Workers Responding to a Nuclear/Radiological Emergency,” Presentation for ROSS training, CRCPD meeting, 2021 May.
- William E. Irwin, “Upcoming Draft National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) Statements,” Presentation for ROSS training, CRCPD meeting, 2021 May.
- Lawrence T. Dauer and John D. Boice, Jr., “The Million Person Study of Low-Level and Low-Dose-Rate Health Effects,” Virtual presentation at the 2021 Health Physics Society Midyear Workshop, 2021 May 24.
- Michael B. Bellamy, Richard W. Leggett, Caleigh E. Samuels, Keith F. Eckerman, John D. Boice, Jr., Lawrence T. Dauer, “An Overview of the Dosimetry Approaches for the Million Person Study,” Virtual presentation at the 2021 Health Physics Society Midyear Workshop, 2021 May 24.
- Nicole E. Martinez, Derek W. Jokisch, Richard W. Leggett, Keith F. Eckerman, Sergei Tolmachev, Michael M. Mumma, Lawrence T. Dauer, John D. Boice, Jr., “Radium Dial Painters: An Overview,” Presentation at the 2021 Health Physics Society Midyear Workshop, 2021 May 24.
- Derek W. Jokisch, Nicole E. Martinez, Richard W. Leggett, Keith F. Eckerman, Lawrence T. Dauer, Sergei Tolmachev, Michael M. Mumma, John D. Boice, Jr., “Dosimetry for a Radium Dial Painter Cohort – Past Approaches and Improvements,” Presentation at the 2021 Health Physics Society Midyear Workshop, 2021 May 24.
- Lawrence T. Dauer, “The U.S. Million Person Study – Medical Worker Cohort,” Presentation at the 2021 Robert Forrest Memorial Medical Health Physics Symposium, Delaware Valley Society for Radiation Safety, 2021 Jun 9.
- Kathryn D. Held, “Low Dose Radiation Therapy for COCID-19: Benefits or Risks? Update for MSKCC Medical Physics,” Grand Rounds presentation for MSKCC Medical Physics Department, 2021 Sep 7.
- Armin Ansari, “Overview of the Recent Radiological/Nuclear Preparedness Guidance from the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements,” Presentation for the Mid-Atlantic States Radiation Control Programs Conference (virtual), 2021 Sep 21-22.
- Mahadevappa Mahesh, “To Shield, or Not to Shield? Perspectives on Changes to Gonadal Shielding, Practical Implications, Views from ACR, AAPM, NCRP, ASRT,” Presentation for the Mid-Atlantic States Radiation Control Programs Conference (virtual), 2021 Sep 21.
- John D. Boice, Jr, “Health Risks among Nuclear Power Plant Workers and Industrial Radiographers,” virtual Nuclear Regulatory Commission RES Technical Seminar, 2021 Sep 29.
- John D. Boice, Jr, “Radiation, Cognition, and Parkinson’s Disease,” Symposium presentation at the 67th Annual Meeting of the Radiation Research Society (virtual), 2021 Oct.
- Michael B. Bellamy, “An Overview of the Dosimetry Approaches for the Million Person Study,” Symposium presentation at the 67th Annual Meeting of the Radiation Research Society (virtual), 2021 Oct.
- Lawrence T. Dauer. “Cardiovascular Risk Following Fractionated Low-Dose Radiation in Occupational Cohorts: An Update from the Million Person Study,” Symposium presentation at the 67th Annual Meeting of the Radiation Research Society (virtual), 2021 Oct.
- Ashley P. Golden, “Sex-Specific Lung Cancer Risk Following Fractionated Low-Dose Radiation in Occupational Cohorts: An Update from the Million Person Study,” Symposium presentation at the 67th Annual Meeting of the Radiation Research Society (virtual), 2021 Oct.
- Lawrence T. Dauer, “The U.S. Million Person Study of Low-Level and Low-Dose-Rate Health Effects: Status, Results, Expansion and Vision,” Virtual presentation for GNYCHPS’ Ginny’s Chips Rad Café, 2021 Nov 9.
- Lawrence T. Dauer and John D. Boice, Jr., “U.S. Million Person Study of Low-Level and Low-Dose-Rate Health Effects: Status, Results, Expansion and Vision,” EPRI Internal Dose Effect Alliance (IDEA) Virtual Workshop, 2021 Nov 30.
- John D. Boice, Jr, and Lawrence T. Dauer, “Million Person Study of Low-Dose Radiation Health Effects,” 2021 ANS Winter Meeting and Technology Expo. Radiation Protection and Shielding: General (virtual), 2021 Dec 1.
I hope that we have captured all the presentations given on behalf of NCRP. I apologize if we’ve missed any; please let me know about them. We thank all the individuals who have given of their time and effort to represent NCRP so well to a variety of stakeholders.
In 2021 NCRP received new grants from the CRCPD (SC 4-10 and 4-12), CDC (SC 8-1), and FDA (SC 4-12) (listed above), and we received a large addition to an existing grant from NASA to expand the MPS-related study of the effects of alpha particles on the central nervous system to low-LET radiations (see below re MPS).
In 2021 NCRP work continued with grants and contracts funded by a number of sources including (active SCs during 2021 supported by each in parentheses):
- ABR Foundation (SC 4-10 and SC 4-11)
- CDC (SC 3-2, SC 3-3, and SC 8-1)
- CRCPD (SC 3-2)
- DOE (SC 6-12, SC 6-13, and MPS)
- NASA (SC 1-27, SC 6-11, and MPS)
- U.S. Navy (MPS)
We are so very grateful for the significant monetary and programmatic support from these agencies and organizations and thank them for their continued interest in and funding of NCRP and our programs. This support is vital to our ability to provide the scientific service to the nation that is NCRP’s mission.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 57th Annual Meeting of the NCRP on “Radiation and Flight: A Down-to-Earth Look at Risks” was held virtually on April 19-20, 2021, for the scientific program and our Council Business Meeting was held virtually on April 21, 2021. The scientific program started off with an inspiring special message from Astronaut Shannon Walker on board the International Space Station, followed by the 17th Warren K. Sinclair Keynote Address by Astronaut Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor, a fascinating discussion on “Perception of Radiation Risk from the Astronaut Office.” The Annual Meeting also included the 44th Lauriston S. Taylor Lecture by Robert L. Ullrich on “Taking Up Space: The Path to Understanding Radiation Risks” and the 4th Thomas S. Tenforde Topical Lecture by Paul A. Locke entitled “Collision or Cooperation? The Law, Ethics and Science of Personalized Risk Assessments for Space and Air Travel.” Although we greatly missed seeing everyone in person, one advantage of a virtual meeting was that many individuals who would not normally have been able to join us for a meeting in Bethesda were able to join virtually, so we had a high meeting attendance and the meeting received rave reviews. Kudos to the Program Committee Co-Chairs and members for putting together such an exciting and interesting meeting.
The 58th Annual Meeting, on “Opportunities in Radiation Science: From Low Dose to Climate Change” will be held March 28-29, 2022, unfortunately also virtually. The Program Committee, led by Co-Chairs Jessica S. Wieder and Evagelia C. Laiakis, has planned an innovative, interactive meeting to highlight the work of NCRP and its impact and to discuss the future of radiation protection, radiation sciences and NCRP’s role and opportunities in that future. A wide range of topics will be presented, and it will be an honor to have distinguished speakers including the 45th Lauriston Taylor Lecturer, Gayle E. Woloschak, discussing “Long-Term Radiation Animal Studies: A Story Continues,” the 18th Annual Sinclair Keynote Address by Joe W. Gray on “Developing a Long-Term Strategy for Low-Dose Radiation Research in the United States,” and the 5th Tenforde Topical Lecture by Jill A. Lipoti on “Opportunities in Radiation Science: Applying Our Collective Knowledge to the Challenges of Our Time.” We are looking forward to a stimulating meeting.
We are in early stages of planning the 2023 Annual Meeting, which will be held on March 27-28, 2023. The meeting topic is “Integration of Physics, Biology and Epidemiology in Radiation Risk Assessment,” and the Program Committee will be chaired by Eric Grant. More information to come.
As COVID-19 has continued to impede the ability of the PACs to meet face-to-face, the PAC chairs/co-chairs have done a great job facing the challenges. The PACs all met at least once virtually in 2021, around the time of the annual meeting, and several PACs met virtually more frequently to discuss PAC business and have scientific presentations and discussions. Some of the meetings have been combined activities of two or three PACs meeting jointly. I continue to meet every few months with the PAC chairs and find the sessions very helpful as they provide some great ideas for new activities for NCRP and important insight about ongoings in the radiation community and potential funding discussions.
Much of the valuable work done by the PACs involves their oversight of and assistance to NCRP scientific committees, described above. A few noteworthy items about the PACs include:
- As mentioned above, the former Advisory Panel on Nonionizing Radiation has been changed to PAC 8 and is currently chaired by Jerrold T. Bushberg. This “upgrade” was a result of our new CDC grant including substantial emphasis on work on health effects of wireless technology, so it was felt that a PAC designation was needed for the oversight group. We anticipate changes in the membership of PAC 8 over the next few months so it will incorporate all the expertise now needed.
- Although impeded somewhat by COVID, PAC 7, working with other PACs, is continuing to plan a revamp of the NCRP website (https://ncrponline.org) to improve its usability and increase our content that could be useful to many stakeholders, including our supporting and collaborating organizations, educators, and members of the general public. In addition, website information is being developed by SC 8-1 regarding health effects of wireless technology.
As mentioned above, we received several new grants and additional funding from NASA in 2021, so NCRP’s finances improved somewhat. Furthermore, not having a face-to-face annual meeting in 2021 helped the bottom line as that is a large financial drain that is unfunded. However, finances remain our biggest challenge in the long run. You can see details in the financial statements later in this Annual Report, but I have a few comments here. The value of our net assets has increased slightly, mostly in sync with the stock market, but our net assets are still well below levels some years back. As in 2020, our expenses, but also our income, for 2021 were below the levels we had projected going into the year because of the lack of face-to-face scientific committee meetings, staff and staff consultant travel and time on meetings in the office, etc. through the year due to COVID, which impacted those bottom lines negatively. These are all activities that cost money, but also bring in overhead from our grants. As discussed above, we learned how to get work done well by virtual meetings and work from home, but with an impact on finances. Some of that decrease was offset by the expanded funding from NASA for the MPS component on cognition.
The Board and Budget and Finance Committee have struggled for the last several years with the issue of the outlay of funds needed to finance the annual meeting (which can be substantial when the meeting is in-person), since sources of funding for the meeting have been scarce. After much debate, it was decided to initiate a modest registration fee for the 2022 annual meeting. NCRP members, meeting speakers and session chairs are exempt from the fee, and any others who find it difficult to pay can register without paying the fee. We do not want a fee to discourage anyone from attending our Annual Meeting, so the latter category is designed to be especially mindful of early career individuals and those in positions where obtaining funding to attend the meeting is difficult. This is an experiment that we will assess after the meeting to determine whether to continue in the future.
The ongoing grants from DOE, NASA, CDC, the U.S. Navy, CRCPD, and ABR are vital to our work and are described above, as well as the new grants from CRCPD, CDC, FDA, and expansion from NASA. We continue to seek other sources of revenue in this challenging environment, but, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, we need to seek ways to increase funding and secure NCRP’s long-term financial position. We thank all the Council members and others who have made donations to NCRP directly or took advantage of the AmazonSmile® initiative, and we encourage you to remember NCRP with a charitable contribution or as a small percentage beneficiary of an individual retirement account or life insurance policy. Your ideas regarding potential fundraising opportunities are welcome!
Million Person Study:
The MPS of low-dose radiation health effects remains a major effort under the auspices NCRP. This important project is headed by John D. Boice, Jr., NCRP Director of Science and past President, with Lawrence T. Dauer playing a key leadership role, also. The MPS is designed to study the range of health effects from prolonged radiation exposures in healthy American workers and veterans who are more representative of today’s population than are the Japanese atomic-bomb survivors, exposed briefly to radiation in 1945, the population typically used as the epidemiological basis for many evaluations of radiation risk. As you can see from the lists of publications, presentations and funding above, the MPS had great productivity in 2021. Of note is that the NASA grant originally funded to assess impacts of high-LET radiations on the central nervous system, including such possible adverse outcomes as cognitive dysfunction, Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease, has been expanded to include low-LET radiation exposures. This is a unique study that will make use of outcomes data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, combined with the impressive dosimetry efforts from those involved in the MPS to obtain new insights on risk assessment. Over the years, the MPS has received critical support (financial and in-kind) from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, DOE, NASA, U.S. Department of Defense, National Cancer Institute, CDC, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Landauer, and national laboratories. Currently, funding to NCRP for the MPS comes from DOE, NASA, and the U.S. Navy. This important study will increase scientific understanding that can improve guidelines and guidance to protect workers and members of the public. We look forward to the continuing outstanding productivity and valuable new data and insights from the hard-working MPS team.
In addition to the partnerships with funding agencies described above, NCRP continues numerous active and fruitful partnerships with multiple national and international organizations that are listed on the NCRP website. Additionally, NCRP officers serve on advisory committees and boards and review panels of other groups (e.g., Image Gently®, ABR Test Assembly, National Institutes of Health, International Radiation Protection Association); NCRP organizes sessions and provides members to serve as speakers and session chairs at meetings of other entities (e.g., Health Physics Society, Radiation Research Society) (see list of presentations above); and NCRP officers and Board/scientific committee members provide NCRP-related educational activities and material for other organizations (e.g., CDC, NASA, Vanderbilt, Harvard, University of California Davis, University of Maryland, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute). These activities are critical to NCRP’s mission and help “spread the word” about NCRP. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you can recommend other opportunities for NCRP partnerships, formal or informal, and we’re always available to give presentations to other groups who are interested in NCRP’s work.
NCRP leadership is committed to encouraging more junior professionals in the radiation sciences and more diversity in our scientific committees, PACs, at our meetings, and as Council members. We strive to add diversity to our ranks by engaging qualified junior investigators, women, and minorities. We hope that our new efforts in internships and mentoring will help with that goal and look forward to increasing the efforts. Please encourage your junior and minority colleagues to become involved with NCRP and let us know of talented individuals that we should include in our activities.
It is with great sadness that I report the passing of four Council members in 2021:
Bruce B. Boecker, July 9, 1932 – December 1, 2021
Dr. Boecker was first elected to NCRP in 1987 and became a Distinguished Emeritus Member in 1999. However, Bruce’s first formal involvement with NCRP began in 1976 when he became a member of SC 54 on Bioassay for Assessment of Control of Intake of Radionuclides. Soon thereafter (1977), Bruce became Chairman of Task Group 3 of SC 57 on Metabolic Models for Internally Deposited Radionuclides. During the period 1985 to 1999, Dr. Boecker became a full member of SC 57 on Dosimetry and Metabolism of Radionuclides and served as Chair for the last 5 y of that umbrella and program area committee. Bruce’s contributions to the science of internal emitter dosimetry and health effects, plus his superior management skills led to the publication of several important and impressive NCRP reports, most of which have not been superseded despite their varied vintages (Report No. 89 – Genetic Effects from Internally Deposited Radionuclides; Report No. 90 – Neptunium: Radiation Protection Guidelines; Report No. 110 – Some Aspects of Strontium Radiobiology; Report No. 117 – Research Needs for Radiation Protection; Report No. 128 – Radionuclide exposure of the Embryo/Fetus; Report No. 135 – Liver Cancer Risk from Internally-Deposited Radionuclides; Report No. 156 – Development of a Biokinetic Model for Radionuclide- Contaminated Wounds and Procedures for their Assessment, Dosimetry and Treatment).
Thomas B. Borak, August 2, 1942-January 25, 2021
Dr. Borak was first elected to NCRP in 2001 and became a Distinguished Emeritus Member in 2013. During his tenure, he served as a Member of SC 6-2 that published NCRP Report No. 160, Ionizing Radiation Exposure of the Population of the United States (2009) and SC 46-15 that published NCRP Report No. 142, Operational Radiation Safety Program for Astronauts in Low-Earth Orbit: A Basic Framework (2002). Dr. Borak also served as a Session Chair during the 2011 NCRP Annual Meeting on “Scientific and Policy Challenges of Particle Radiations in Medical Therapy and Space Missions.”
Robert L. Brent, October 6, 1927 – February 24, 2021
Dr. Brent was first elected to NCRP in 1973 and became a Distinguished Emeritus Member in 1997. He was a member of the 1992 Budget and Finance Committee and served as Chair from 1993 to 1996. Dr. Brent was Chair of the 1997 Annual Meeting Program Committee, an Annual Meeting speaker in 2014, and in 2006 presented the 30th Lauriston S. Taylor Lecture entitled “Fifty Years of Scientific Investigation: The Importance of Scholarship and the Influence of Politics and Controversy.” Dr. Brent was Chair of NCRP SC 4-4 that published Report No. 174, Preconception and Prenatal Radiation Exposure: Health Effects and Protective Guidance in 2013; and a member of SC 76 that published NCRP Report No. 54, Medical Radiation Exposure of Pregnant and Potentially Pregnant Women in 1977.
John P. Winston, July 30, 1961 – February 27, 2021
Mr. Winston was first elected to NCRP in 2018. He served as a Member of Program Area Committee 4 on Radiation Protection in Medicine, on SC 4-6 that published NCRP Statement No. 11, Outline of Administrative Policies for Quality Assurance and Peer Review of Tissue Reactions Associated with Fluoroscopically-Guided Interventions (2014), and SC 4-11 that published Statement No. 13 on NCRP Recommendations for Ending Routine Gonadal Shielding During Abdominal and Pelvic Radiography (2021).
2021 was a unique year, following on the challenging 2020. We’ve all had to continue to learn new ways to accomplish the NCRP mission and do our jobs. But, as you can see from the above, 2021 was also a productive year for NCRP. We look forward to another productive year in 2022, and hope that we’ll be able to interact in person much more. Despite challenges, there are plentiful opportunities, and it will be wonderful to continue working with all the many terrific scientific and professional colleagues and partnering organizations who work so hard to support NCRP in our mission to serve our great nation.
Many thanks to the NCRP staff, Board of Directors, and Council members for assistance in all NCRP work. Special thanks to Laura J. Atwell, John D. Boice, Jr., Jerrold T. Bushberg, and Lawrence T. Dauer for all they have done for NCRP over many productive years and for their dedication and tireless support and sage advice to me throughout the last several years.
Kathryn D. Held, President