Radiobiology and Radiation Dosimetry for the Lens of the Eye

  • Günther Dietze


The lens of the eye is a radiosensitive tissue in the human body. The main detriment following an exposure by ionizing radiation is a cataract of the eye lens but not tumor induction. In 1990, the ICRP has recommended an annual dose limit for the eye lens of 150 mSv for occupational exposed persons and 15 mSv for the public. These limits have again been recommended by ICRP in 2007, but in a recent ICRP statement in 2011, it has been recommended to lower the limit from 150 to 20 mSv per year due to various new epidemiological data dealing with cataracts. The specific structure of the lens, where the stem cells are located in the frontal outer equator region of the lens only, results in a very different radiosensitivity within the eye lens. This becomes important in cases of exposure by low-penetrating radiation, e.g., electrons. The lens of the eye cannot be well modeled by the reference voxel phantoms of ICRP. A detailed geometrical model developed by Behrens et al. is described, and calculations of dose distribution and conversion coefficients for incident electrons and photons are presented. It is discussed which operational dose quantity is appropriate for measurements assessing the equivalent dose to the lens of the eye for incident electrons or photons. Neutrons are of less importance for this discussion.


Conversion Coefficient Electron Exposure Individual Monitoring Secondary Charged Particle Photon Exposure 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BraunschweigGermany

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