Research in Air Quality: Cross-Cutting Health Physics

Jeffrey J. Whicker
Health Physics Measurement and Dosimetry Group
Los Alamos National Laboratory


Research in health physics and radioecology has historically focused on improving our understanding of the impacts of radiation exposure on the body and the environment with the goal of protecting each from the harmful effects of radiation.  However, the contributions of the research have gone substantially beyond the traditional boundaries of health physics contributing to other scientific fields such as medicine, physics, chemistry, and the environmental sciences.  Looking forward at today’s biggest global issues, such as terrorism and environmental destruction, each require broad participation from many scientific fields, and the health physics profession has an important role.  In this presentation I provide specific examples of indoor and outdoor air quality research and show how these studies contribute not only to our health physics profession, but as important, how they can be applied to other critical areas, such as homeland defense and environmental preservation.