Over the past several decades, governments and international organisations around the world have put significant resources into improving our understanding of radiological health risks that might be caused by exposure to low radiation doses (below 100 mSv). There is an enormous body of research done in this area in order to reduce uncertainties regarding the effects of exposures to ionising radiation at low-dose and low-dose-rate..
In this context, the NEA established the High-Level Group on Low-Dose Research (HLG-LDR) in 2019, under the auspices of the Committee on Radiological Protection and Public Health (CRPPH), in order to help member countries conduct low-dose research programmes across the globe in a co-ordinated fashion. The group supports radiological protection policy, regulation and implementation choices by improving the effectiveness and efficiency of low-dose research through global networking. It also facilitates the communication of research project objectives and results to stakeholders.
The group held its fifth plenary meeting on 23 March 2021 to discuss its ongoing work and develop a roadmap for the next three years. Building on the group’s past work, the participants unanimously agreed on the creation of three topical groups, each with the mission of achieving deliverables with added value at the national, regional and the international levels:
- The Low-Dose Research database Group will be responsible for creating and implementing a database of ongoing and planned low-dose research projects. This database will help researchers around the world identify collaboration opportunities and avoid duplication of research efforts.
- The Radiological and Chemical AOP Group will help advance radiological and chemical toxicology research using the OECD’s Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOP) platform. The group will facilitate collaboration and co-ordination between the chemical and radiation toxicology fields for effective adoption of the AOP framework.
- The Policy-Oriented and Promotional Communication Strategy Group will focus on issues in the low-dose radiation field that would benefit from clearer communication and translate technical results into policy-oriented messages.