HC Deb 13 February 1976 vol 905 cc410-1W
Mr. George Rodgers

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the internationally recognised danger level of radiation in human beings; what is the highest recorded level of radiation in an inhabitant of the United Kingdom; and in which region of the United Kingdom there is the greatest concentration of radiation.

Dr. Owen

I have been asked to reply.

There are no internationally recognized danger levels of radiation in human beings, but the International Commission on Radiological Protection makes recommendations on the amounts of radiation which are permissible for workers and for members of the public. The amounts vary according to the part of the body exposed. These recommendations are reflected in the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1968 and 1969 and in the Codes of Practice applicable to hospital, dental, and laboratory practice.

The Department has no record of the highest level of radiation in an inhabitant of the United Kingdom since very high doses are given to patients undergoing radiotherapy, directed at specific tumours.

The amount of naturally occurring background radiation varies from one part of the country to another and is appreciably lower in the South-East of England than in the North-East of Scotland.