Health Physics

Last Updated: January 17, 2024
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​Information on the potential hazards associated with the operation of or exposure to sources of ionizing radiation such as x-rays, radiopharmaceuticals, depleted uranium, and radioactive commodities.

Ionizing radiation, both natural and man-made, is one of many potential health hazards to which military personnel, Department of Defense (DOD) civilians and contractors, and the public may be exposed.  The DOD uses radioactive materials and ionizing radiation producing devices for many purposes.  Some of these uses are military unique, however, the majority of the DOD’s use of ionizing radiation (for example, luminous dials and gauges, nondestructive testing, medical x-ray and nuclear medicine procedures) are also common in the private sector.  DOD personnel may also be exposed to ionizing radiation from foreign industrial, nuclear power, and military sources during deployments and training exercises.

The Defense Centers for Public Health – Aberdeen (DCPH-A) provides a variety of services to protect the health of military personnel, civilians and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation. These services include:

  • ​Radiation dose assessments and health risk assessments for soldiers and the general public.
  • Development of guidance documents concerning the safe use of ionizing radiation.
  • Technical assistance in developing Army doctrine and policy concerning ionizing radiation.
  • Periodic evaluations of the radiation protection programs at DOD installations and organizations (such as medical facilities, research laboratories and reactors).
  • Historical site assessments and surveys in support of decommissioning of DOD facilities.
  • Response and consultation in the event of any accident or incident involving radiation or radioactive materials.
  • We also provide health physics consultation and support to various programs within the DCPH-A.  ​