Radiation Information from Other Agencies
EPA sets protective limits on the radioactivityradioactivityThe emission of ionizing radiation released by a source in a given time period. The units used to measure radioactivity are curie (Ci) and becquerel (Bq). in soil, water and air that comes from human use of radioactive elements such as uranium. EPA also provides technical advice on federal radiation protection and helps state and local responders respond to radiological emergencies.
Electromagnetic radiation, such as radiation from cell phones, power lines, smart meters and other wireless devices is regulated by a combination of other state and federal agencies.
Cell phones use radiofrequency radiationradiationEnergy given off as either particles or rays. (RF), which is addressed in part by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). FCC works with other federal health and safety agencies to monitor and investigate issues related to RF exposure. For more information, please visit:
- Wireless Devices and Health Concerns
U.S. Federal Communications Commission, Wireless Devices and Health Concerns
Several federal agencies play a role in nuclear power plant safety.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is responsible for licensing facilities, commercial use of nuclear materials, facility inspection and the creation of standards and regulations for nuclear power plant safety. For information about NRC's regulatory role, please visit:
- Licensing and Oversight
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Operator Licensing
- Regulations and Standards
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NRC Regulations
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) oversees radiological emergency response planning for state and local authorities in the event of a nuclear power plant incident. For more information, see:
- Nuclear Power Plants
Federal Emergency Management Agency, Ready.gov
EPA's role in nuclear power generation is to set public health and environmental radiation protection standards. Please visit:
- Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Nuclear Power Operations (40 CFR Part 190)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Radiation Regulations
EPA does not regulate or set standards for smart meters or power lines.
Smart meters use radiofrequency radiation (RF), a type of non-ionizing radiationnon-ionizing radiationRadiation that has enough energy to move atoms or cause them to vibrate, but not enough to remove electrons. Examples of this kind of radiation are radio waves, visible light and microwaves.. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets exposure limits for RF radiation. FCC works with other federal health and safety agencies to monitor and investigate issues related to RF exposure.
- Radiofrequency Safety
U.S. Federal Communication Commission
- Questions and Answers about Biological Effects and Potential Hazards of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields
U.S. Federal Communication Commission, Office of Engineering and Technology
There are no U.S. federal standards limiting residential or occupational exposure to electric and magnetic fields (EMF) from power lines. For more information, please visit:
- Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)
World Health Organization, Programmes and projects
- Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF) Radiation from Power Lines
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, RadTown USA
- Electric & Magnetic Fields
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Some medical procedures use radiationradiationEnergy given off as either particles or rays. to help diagnose or treat illnesses. These procedures can include x-rays, mammograms, CT scans, fluoroscopy treatments and radiation therapy to treat cancer. Different medical procedures expose patients to different amounts of radiation. When considering any medical use of radiation, patients should consult with their health care providers to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks.
Depending on the type of radiation and how it is used in medical procedures, different federal agencies may play a role in regulation.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates medical devices and ensures device safety in all medical settings. FDA also regulates radiation-emitting products and procedures. See: Medical Device Safety and Radiation-Emitting Products.
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information about medical procedures which use radiation. Please see, Radiation and Your Health.
- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulates the manufacture and use of radioactive materials in nuclear medicine, radiation therapy and research. See: Regulation of Radioactive Materials and Medical Uses of Nuclear Materials.
EPA has an indirect role in the use of radiation in medicine. EPA develops and issues general radiation guidance to other federal agencies. These agencies use EPA's radiation protection federal guidance as a reference to develop rules and regulations to protect public health.
These organizations offer information and reports about ionizing and non-ionizing radiation:
- American Nuclear Society (ANS) Exit
- Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD) Exit
- Health Physics Society (HPS) Exit
- National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP) Exit