UNSCEAR Global Radiation Exposure Surveys

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The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) collects and analyses data on the global and regional levels and trends of human exposure to ionizing radiation. In 2014, it launched the UNSCEAR online platform, which is an electronic web-based database with an automatic importing module for submission of data. To date the platform consolidates data on medical, occupational and public exposure.

Since 2014 the UNSCEAR secretariat and the World Health Organization have coordinated arrangements for conducting the latest UNSCEAR Medical Exposure Survey. Information on levels and trends of radiation exposure in medicine were collected until 2019 to expand the previous UNSCEAR 2008 evaluations on the topic.

Further, the UNSCEAR Occupational Exposure Survey was completed in 2019 and it provides worldwide information regarding the radiation exposure at different workplaces.

The most recent survey is the UNSCEAR Public Exposure Survey, launched on 1 March 2021 and completed in 2023 to support the Committee’s ongoing evaluation and update of the UNSCEAR 2008 report.

National Contact Persons

The General Assembly of the United Nations has invited its Member States to provide the Committee with relevant data about exposure from various sources of radiation (see resolution A/76/56). The UNSCEAR secretariat has solicited information from designated National Contact Persons (NCP) from UN Member States. Governments are requested and very much encouraged to participate and communicate to the UNSCEAR secretariat the name and contact details of the official designated NCP who is responsible for collection and submission of data to the UNSCEAR secretariat. The list of UN Member States and their organizations is available here.

Nominated NCPs are required to register to be able to access the UNSCEAR online platform, which fosters secure submission and exchange of data, as well as fact cheking. Additional national experts can be registered to assist the NCP at country level to collect the requested information and data on radiation exposure of patients, workers and the public.

All contributions from Member States are acknowledged in the relevant UNSCEAR reports and annexes to the UN General Assembly.


The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) has a mandate to assess levels and effects of human exposures to ionizing radiation. This encompasses occupational exposure of workers, medical exposure of patients, and public exposure to both natural and human-made sources of ionizing radiation. Member State contribute country-specific data to the Committee, facilitating the compilation and reporting of regional and global exposure assessments. The National Contact Person (NCP) in each country acts as the primary point of contact for the Committee, providing realistic and reliable estimates on exposure levels (occupational, medical, and public) within their respective countries.


The NCPs for each country are nominated by their governments and appointed by the UNSCEAR secretariat. Typically, one country NCP is appointed for each exposure category (occupational, medical, and public). However, it is possible for one NCP to coordinate country data submission for more than one exposure category.

An alternate NCP may also be designated to assist each NCP ensuring continuity of collaboration with UNSCEAR. The alternate NCP must be aware of the actions of the NCP and/or assists the NCP as needed.

In the event that the NCP withdraws from this function or is unable to complete the task, they must notify the UNSCEAR secretariat and inform the alternate NCP. This ensures that the alternate NCP can maintain continuity of the work.


Participation in this important international scientific activity brings tangible benefits to contributing Member States such as:

  1. Better understanding of the national and regional levels and trends of radiation exposure of the public, workers, and patients;

  2. Assisting in the development of national policies, strategies and programmes to manage exposures to ionizing radiation, as appropriate;

  3. Providing Member States with comparative information on their radiation exposure levels in relation to global and regional levels, to identify challenges and priorities for improvements;

  4. Providing other national and international institutions with reliable information that can be used in the development of recommendations on safety and protection in processes and procedures that use ionizing radiation;

  5. Providing the scientific community with data that can be used in the development of its research and training tools;

  6. Recognizing each contributing Member States and their NCPs for their valuable contribution to this international scientific work and reporting to the UN General Assembly.


It is recognized that collection of radiation exposure data in the country is not possible by one person or one organization alone. Therefore, the main responsibility of the NCP is to:

  1. Identify individuals or organizations that have such exposure data in their country;

  2. Coordinate collection of such exposure data, however partial or incomplete they may be;

  3. Assemble and organize the data for submission to the UNSCEAR secretariat.

To accomplish such coordination, it is suggested that each NCP uses the following or a similar approach in their own country:

  • Create a working group composed of internal experts for the collection of relevant information, with the participation of other institutions, governmental or not, researchers, representatives of companies or other institutions, as necessary;

  • Identify, with the help of the working group, if there are databases, publications or reports by governmental or non-governmental entities that can inform on levels of radiation exposures in the country;

  • Hold internal meetings to discuss availability of other information (even if they may be limited to one facility or one institution), and to discuss ways to collect or obtain that information;

  • Evaluate the quality of the data available or collected, with the help of the working group of internal experts;

  • Estimate national exposure sources and levels based on the collected data, and if possible, prepare those estimates in the format requested by the UNSCEAR questionnaires [hyperlink here] and upload the data;

  • Forward any data or reports that could not be formatted to the UNSCEAR questionnaires to the UNSCEAR secretariat (NCPs can make their own summary table);

  • Participate in training seminars, webinars, and meetings scheduled by the UNSCEAR secretariat;

  • Be responsive to the contacts made by the UNSCEAR secretariat to clarify any questions that UNSCEAR experts may have regarding the data submitted;

  • Review the draft summaries prepared by UNSCEAR experts to provide any additional information or correct any misinterpretations, as necessary;

  • Disseminate the final reports published by the Committee among country colleagues and organizations who contributed to the report and raise awareness of UNSCEAR global surveys and of the Committee’s work in general.


Throughout the process, each NCP at any time can request individual meetings with UNSCEAR secretariat to ask for clarification about the requested exposure information or to communicate progress made or challenges encountered.

In addition, UNSCEAR and its secretariat will conduct periodic webinars to train and support NCPs, answer questions, and share experiences from NCPs from other countries.

Furthermore, an NCP Directory will soon be available so each country NCP can communicate with NCPs from other countries to ask questions, share experience, or possibly to collaborate.