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Prepared under the auspices of
RICHARD D. COLEMAN
DIVISION OF RADIOLOGICAL HEALTH
PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 64-60034
For sale by the superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C., 20402 - Price $1.50
Through his request for a foreword to this volume devoted to practices concerned in low-level radiation waste management, Dr. Straub has honored me. When one has contributed in nowise to the technical matter presented here, he can only regard it as an honor to be able to comment on the devoted work of those who in the daily pursuit of their duties, and to borrow the words of an author whose name eludes me at the moment, "Lay a patient siege to the truth." Without such devotion we can hardly expect to arrive at a better understanding of the ways—old and new-by which we can increase man's comfort and the span of his years.
If I have contributed anything, it has been in the form of encouragement of this special effort through my position as Chief of the program in which the author and his collaborators have worked. This was a small thing measured against the response which necessitated so much work that was tedious, involved, and prolonged.
In my own view, and as an “observer of the observers,” a capacity in which my position places me, the present work selects, for the purpose of putting in one easily available place, techniques for lowlevel radioactive waste treatment. To be able to do this at all is an indicator of the enrichment of the body of scientific knowledge now appearing in the radiation sciences. In addition to pointing out throughout the text the relative importance of such low-level wastes, the author emphasizes the relatively greater general nature of the problem stemming from their direct discharge to the environment which can be interpreted to mean that the last opportunity for control has been seized. Therefore, aside from special situations, this becomes our most important peacetime problem involved in the radioactive contamination of the environment.
In the face of this problem, we hope that two things will prove to be true: (1) That the prevailing biological assumption of no radiation without some biological effects possesses sufficient latitude to the extent that no significant clinical effects will attend, now or in the future, the amounts now released and (2) That there are no “leaks” in the discharge system which would threaten or exceed present margins of safety.
In the applied sciences which find themselves at the core of publichealth work, the more widespread application of scientific principles