For information only - not an official document

3 November 2017

Plain language UN Publication "Radiation: Effects and Sources" now available in eleven languages

NEW YORK/VIENNA, 2 November (UN Information Service) - The secretariat of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) released today the online translations of the UNEP booklet entitled " Radiation: Effects and Sources" in ten languages, including the official languages of the United Nations.

The booklet provides information in plain language on basic science related to radiation, on radiation effects on humans and the environment and on natural and artificial sources of radiation. It is based on the major scientific reports of UNSCEAR published in the past 25 years and aims to expand public knowledge on levels of exposure to ionizing radiation and its possible effects.

"The booklet is now available to a much wider audience as we are publishing it in additional ten  languages and I hope the public will find it a useful source of information on what radiation is and what it does to us," said Hans Vanmarcke, Chair of UNSCEAR. He added: "I thank UN Environment and the many Member States involved for their technical and financial support, which made these translations possible."

The booklet is available online on UN Environment's Publication knowledge repository in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, Czech, Dutch, German, Japanese and Portuguese as well as on UNSCEAR's website under


The mandate of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), established in 1955, is to undertake broad reviews of the sources of ionizing radiation and the effects on human health and the environment. Its assessments provide a scientific foundation for United Nations agencies and governments to formulate standards and programmes for protection against ionizing radiation. It does not deal with or assess nuclear safety or emergency planning issues. The secretariat in Vienna, which is functionally linked to UN Environment, organizes the annual sessions and manages the preparation of documents for the Committee's scrutiny.

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For further information, contact:

Ferid Shannoun
Scientific Officer, UNSCEAR
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060 4331
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459 4331

Email: ferid.shannoun[at]