Biology:Standard person

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The standard person or reference person is a theoretical individual that has perfectly "normal" characteristics. This model is used for much research into radiation safety. For many years, the standard person was called reference man because the work assumed a healthy, young adult male. In recent years, reference woman and reference child models have been created, along with variations on body size, age, sex, and race.[1]

In the future, the model may be expanded to include selected plants and animals.[2] Eventually, for medical purposes, the concept may be replaced by effective attention to measuring the exposure of individual patients to radiation.[3]

Official definition

According to the International Commission on Radiological Protection's 1974 definition, “Reference man is defined as being between 20-30 years of age, weighing 70 kg, is 170 cm in height, and lives in a climate with an average temperature of from 10°C to 20°C. He is a Caucasian and is a Western European or North American in habitat and custom.”[4]


  1. Ellis KJ (1990). "Reference man and woman more fully characterized. Variations on the basis of body size, age, sex, and race". Biol Trace Elem Res 26-27: 385–400. doi:10.1007/bf02992693. PMID 1704742. 
  2. Pentreath RJ (2004). "Ethics, genetics and dynamics: an emerging systematic approach to radiation protection of the environment". J Environ Radioact 74 (1–3): 19–30. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2004.01.024. PMID 15063533. 
  3. Stabin MG (1999). "Internal dosimetry in the use of radiopharmaceuticals in therapy--science at a crossroads?". Cancer Biother. Radiopharm. 14 (2): 81–89. doi:10.1089/cbr.1999.14.81. PMID 10850291. 
  4. prepared by a task group of Committee 2 of the International Commission on Radiological Protection. (1975). Report of the Task Group on Reference Man: a report. New York: Pergamon Press. ISBN 0-08-017024-2. person was the original source. Read more.