Keywords: low radiation dose, epistemology, radiation risk, radiation exposure, radiation protection, low dose exposure
Epistemology on the attribution of radiation risks and effects to low radiation dose exposure situations
The epistemology on the attribution of radiation risks and effects relates to the theories of knowledge applied for assigning harm to radiation exposure, especially with regard to methods, validity and scope. The attribution of radiation risk is associated with the concept of probability, including the plausibility of whether there is risk in prospective exposure situations. The attribution of radiation effects is based on the concept of provability, which involves demonstrability and counterfactuality and the attestability that actual effects have actually being incurred in retrospective exposure situations. Under present knowledge, radiation risks are attributable to low–dose radiation exposure situations, however small the doses may be. Thus, ascribing nominal radiation risks to prospective exposure situations for radiation protection purposes is required for reasons of duty, responsibility, prudence and precaution. However, the prospective attribution of radiation risk does not imply that actual effects can be automatically attributed to low–dose exposure situations.