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November 17, 1962

Radiation Protection-Reply

Author Affiliations

Surgeon General, U.S. Public Health Service

JAMA. 1962;182(7):820. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050460112022

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To the Editor:—  I think it should be clear from the second paragraph on page 999 of the article that we are in general agreement with Dr. Newell's comment. The relevant passage follows."An additional comment is necessary in connection with environmental rather than source controls. The Federal Radiation Council recommendations are intended for guidance in normal peacetime operations. In these operations sources capable of releasing radioactive substances to our environment are generally under strict control. Therefore, the health risk permitted is extremely small. In situations where action possibilities are limited to the control of human exposure from contaminated air, water, and food, another very important consideration appears. Under these conditions it is essential that before any action is taken, its consequences should be carefully weighed against the risk of radiation exposure. In particular, drastic measures to control the air, water, and food supplies of large population groups might hold