A method of preparing and aerosolizing monodisperse particles of oxides of transuranic elements is discussed. A four-step process, involving source aerosol preparation, centrifugal separation, resuspension and aerosolization has been applied to plutonium dioxide. The procedure consists of generating an aerosol by nebulizing a solution of a transuranic element such as plutonium chloride, degrading the particles that are formed with a high temperature heating column to form a polydisperse aerosol of the oxide, separating and collecting this polydisperse aerosol in monodisperse aerodynamic size groups on a stainless steel collection foil in the Lovelace Aerosol Particle Separator (LAPS) and resuspending the monodisperse particles in water for future aerosolization by nebulization. The LAPS is a centrifugal device, that provides a continuous separation of aerosol particles down to an aerodynamic diameter of 0.5 μm. Air activity and particle size data obtained during an actual exposure of Beagle dogs to monodisperse aerosols of PuO2 obtained by this method are presented. The method was used to provide monodisperse aerosols of plutonium oxide, over a wide size range, with controlled and reproducible physico-chemical characteristics. Adaptation of the procedure for other transuranic oxides is discussed.
©1972Health Physics Society