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Chronology of the First Half Century of Radiation

(Table 0.1)

by R. Kathren and P. Ziemer

Form edited for WWW publication

1895

November 8 - Discovery of X Rays----- W.K. Roentgen

1896

January 3 - X-Ray report made public
February - Discovery of Radioactivity -----H. Becquerel
March 3 - First reports of possible x-ray injury; damage to eyes -----T.A. Edison, W.J. Morton
March 14 - Concern expressed over possibility of x-ray injury -----F. Battelli
April 10 - Epilation noted from x-ray exposure -----J. Daniel
April 18 - Skin effects first noted -----L. G. Stevens
July - First x-ray protective device: a heavy glass plate to protect the eyes during dental radiography -----W.H. Rollins
Reports of accidental injury (burns) -----H.D. Hawks
November 18 - Deliberately induced experimental injury (burns) -----E. Thomson
Gold leaf electroscope used to make ionization measurements -----L. Benoist

1897

Air thermometer used to measure energy transfer by x-rays -----E. Dorn

1898

January - Aluminum filter used as protective device -----E. Thomson
May - Dark adaptation prior to fluoroscopy suggested -----F.H. Williams
July - Leaded x-ray tub housing; collimators -----W.H. Rollins
July - Word "radioactivity" coined -----P. & M. Curie
December - Radium discovered -----P. & M. Curie
Gamma rays discovered -----P. Villard

1899

April - Radiographer licensure recommended to protect public -----J. Dennis
May - Malpractice award for x-ray burns
Ozone hazard of x-ray generators noted
Listing of protective devices (gloves, aprons, etc.) in x-ray catalog -----R. Friedlander Co.

1900

Increased target to skin distance to reduce skin dose -----M.K. Kassabian

1901

January 3 - X-ray lethality to person alleged
Skin burn caused by radium carried on person -----H. Becquerel
X-ray lethality to mammals demonstrated experimentally -----W.H. Rollins

1902

X-ray lethality to mammalian fetus demonstrated -----W.H. Rollins

1903

Fractionation of exposure in fluoroscopy -----W.H. Rollins
Protection committee within ARRS proposed -----S.H. Monell
First direct reading radiation instrument; spinthariscope -----W. Crookes

1904

Ocotober - First death in x-ray pioneer attributed to cumulative overexposure -----C.M. Dally

1905

Radiation unit based on ionization first proposed -----M. Franklin

1906

Law of radiosensitivity of tissues put forth -----J. Bergonie & R. Tribondeau

1907

Mutation by x-ray reported in toads -----C.R. Bardeen
Photographic plate carried in pocket for monitoring x-ray exposure -----R.V. Wagner
Use of gas-filled tubes for detection of radiation -----E. Rutherford

1911

International radium standard and Curie unit -----M. Curie

1912

Half value layer concept -----T. Christan

1913

Hot cathode x-ray tubes and tungsten targets permitting higher voltages -----W.D. Coolidge

1915

British Roentgen Society adopts radiation protection recommendations

1920

First standing x-ray protection committee -----ARRS

1921

British X-Ray and Radium Protection Committee issues first memorandum

1922

American Roentgen Ray Society adopts radiation protection rules
Film badges for personnel monitoring -----G. Pfahler

1925

First "tolerance dose" proposed -----A. Mutscheller

1927

Genetic effects of x-rays shown -----H.J. Muller
First commercial U.S. ionization chamber -----J. Victoreen

1928

Roentgen unit formally adopted
International X-Ray and Radium Protection Committee formed (forerunner of ICRP)

1929

U.S. Advisory committee on X-Ray and Radium Protection formed (forerunner of NCRP)
First portable survey meter -----L.S. Taylor

1931

USACXRP publishes first recommendations - 0.2 R/day

1932

Concept of greater permissible dose for partial body irradiation (hands) introduced -----G. Failla
Discover of the neutron -----E. Chadwick

1934

ICXRP recommends permissible dose of 0.2 R/day
0.1 R/day (0.5 R/wk)

1935

Statement of the Bragg-Gray principle of cavity ionization -----L.H. Gray

1936

USACXRP recommends reduction in permissible dose to 0.1 R/day

1941

USACXRP recommends adoption of maximum body burden of 0.1 microCi for radium
Suggested maximum permissible dose of 0.02 R/day -----L.S. Taylor

1942-1945

Manhattan District

1943

4 R/wk shown to cause injury -----H.M. Parker

1944

Maximum permissible concentration for inhaled radioactivity introduced -----H.M. Parker
Rem and rep introduced -----H.M. Parker

1948

0.3 R/wk

1950

0.3 rem/wk

 

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