A bipartisan group of Members of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee have introduced a bill to expand research on the health effects of exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation.

H.R. 4733, the Low-Dose Radiation Research Act of 2019, authorizes a low-dose radiation basic research program at the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Humans are exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation every day from natural and man-made sources ranging from cosmic rays to CT scans.

However, there is a lack of research and analysis on the biological effects of this kind of radiation. A better understanding of low-dose radiation is necessary for informed decisions on medical treatments, energy production, and space exploration.  Because of the widespread implications of this research, the bill directs the Department of Energy to coordinate with other relevant federal agencies with an interest in low-dose radiation.

The bill’s sponsors include Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX), and Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX).

“This important bipartisan legislation will benefit research being conducted in so many fields including deep space exploration and our understanding of the effects of low-dose radiation on our astronauts as they venture to other worlds,” said Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL). I thank Reps. Dan Lipinski, Randy Weber and Brian Babin for their leadership on this issue.”

“Nuclear science has implications for our national defense, energy security, and medical needs,” said Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-IL). “This Nuclear Science Week, I am proud to help introduce this legislation to ensure that we also prioritize research that ensures workers in these fields are safe.”

“I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation to improve our understanding of exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation,” said Congressman Randy Weber (R-TX). “This research is critical to our ability to further develop America’s nuclear energy industry in a safe and cost-effective manner. This bill, combined with my Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act, which became law last year, will ensure our continued leadership in nuclear technology.”

“Our lack of understanding on the effects of low-dose ionizing radiation impairs our ability to make informed decisions about safe exposure levels,” said Congressman Brian Babin (R-TX). “As humans once again return to deep space exploration, we need hard data to make appropriate decisions on how to best protect our astronauts. I’m proud to support this bill which not only authorizes low-dose radiation research at the Department of Energy, but also enables coordination with NASA on this critical issue.”