It has been known for many years that radiation can cause biological damage to humans. The first case of human injury occurred just a few months after Wilhelm Roentgen's discovery of x-rays in 1895 and the first case of x-ray induced cancer occurred in 1902. More signs of the harmful effects of radiation surfaced in the 1920s and 1930s from studies of radiologists, underground miners, radium industry workers and other special occupational groups.
To prevent unnecessary radiation exposure to the public, the Bureau of Radiation Control
operates 5 main radiation control programs:
- the Ionizing Radiation Machine program, which registers and inspects
devices, such as x-ray machines, which produce ionizing radiation;
- the Radioactive Materials program, which licenses and inspects
facilities, such as hospitals and universities, which use radioactive materials;.
- the Radiologic Technology program, which certifies those who
operate radiation machines or administer radioactive materials;.
- the Environmental Radiation, Emergency Preparedness & Response program, which encompasses several
smaller programs that monitor Florida's radiological environment, including around
the state's five nuclear power reactors, and provide Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Response capabilites; and
- the Nonionizing Radiation Machine program, which regulates the use
of high-power lasers.