Trump's EPA wants to weaken radiation exposure limits

Credit: David Goldman/AP

Bowing to the nuclear industry, the Trump administration appears to be relying on fringe researchers who reject mainstream science to roll back radiation safety laws. Despite substantial evidence that any level of ionizing radiation poses a cancer risk, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently pursuing a little-noticed change that could lead to weaker protections for workers at nuclear plants, medical technicians conducting X-rays, and those living near Superfund sites contaminated by radioactive material. The EPA currently uses the linear no-threshold model, based on the scientific evidence that any level of radiation is harmful to our health, but its new proposal pulls from scientific outliers friendly to the nuclear industry who claim low-level exposure to this and other toxins could actually benefit the body. One problem: The National Academies of Science and the EPA’s own scientists have studied this idea and summarily dismissed it as bunk.


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