In the aftermath of an attack, the main aim of radiological protection must be to prevent the occurrence of acute health effects attributable to radiation exposure (termed 'deterministic' effects) and to restrict the likelihood of late health effects (termed 'stochastic' effects) such as cancers and some hereditable diseases. A supplementary aim is to minimise environmental contamination from radioactive residues and the subsequent general disruption of daily life.
The report notes that action taken to avert exposures is a much more effective protective measure than protective measure the provision of medical treatment after exposure has occurred. Responders involved in recovery, remediation and eventual restoration should be subject to the usual international standards for occupational radiological protection, which are based on ICRP recommendations, including the relevant requirements for occupational dose limitation established in such standards. These restrictions may be relaxed for informed volunteers undertaking urgent rescue operations, and they are not applicable for voluntary life-saving actions. However, specific protection measures are recommended for female workers who may be pregnant or nursing an infant.