The recommendation from the International Commission on Radiological Protection that the occupational equivalent dose limit for the lens of the eye should be reduced to 20 mSv year−1, averaged over 5 years with no year exceeding 50 mSv, has stimulated a discussion on the practicalities of implementation of this revised dose limit, and the most appropriate risk and protection framework to adopt. This brief paper provides an overview of some of the drivers behind the move to a lower recommended dose limit. The issue of implementation in the medical sector in the UK has been addressed through a small-scale survey of doses to the lens of the eye amongst interventional cardiologists and radiologists. In addition, a mechanistic study of early and late post-irradiation changes in the lens of the eye in in-vivo-exposed mice is outlined. Surveys and studies such as those described can contribute to a deeper understanding of fundamental and practical issues, and therefore contribute to a robust evidence base for ensuring adequate protection of the eye while avoiding undesirable restrictions to working practices.
- Eye lens