Comparisons between results of in vivo counting measurements of americium burden and results from radiochemical analyses of organ samples taken at autopsy of 11 cases of former Mayak workers were made. The in vivo counting measurements were performed 3–8 y before death. The best agreement between in vivo counting measurements for americium and autopsy data was observed for the skull. For lungs and liver, the ratios of burden measured by in vivo counting to those obtained from radiochemical analyses data ranged from 0.7–3.8, while those for the skull were from 1.0–1.1. There was a good correlation between the estimates of americium burden in the entire skeleton obtained from in vivo counting with those obtained from autopsy data. Specifically, the skeletal burden ratio, in vivo counting/autopsy, averaged 0.9 ± 0.1. The prior human americium model, D-Am2010, used in vivo counting measurements for americium in the skeleton to estimate the contents of americium and plutonium at death. The results using this model indicate that in vivo counting measurements of the skull can be used to estimate internal doses from americium in the Mayak workers. Additionally, these measurements may also be used to provide a qualitative assessment of internal doses from plutonium.
*Southern Urals Biophysics Institute (SUBI), Ozyorsk, Chelyabinsk Region, Russia; †Radiobiology Division, School of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
For correspondence contact: Alexandra B. Sokolova, Southern Urals Biophysics Institute (SUBI), Ozyorskoe Shosse 19, Ozyorsk, Chelyabinsk Region, 456780 Russia, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Manuscript accepted 10 December 2013)