This paper reviews several inter-related aspects of partial-body exposures to ionizing radiation, with particular emphasis on hands. The topics featured in this review are: (1) the definition of extremity, (2) the radiobiological significance of extremity dose and its influence on dose standards, (3) current and future dose standards and regulatory limits, (4) monitoring requirements along with the availability and selection of suitable dosimeters, (5) the question of dose averaging and dosimeter placement and (6) practical considerations for the implementation of an extremity dosimetry program. The review is purposely kept general in nature and readers with a specific interest in a particular aspect are encouraged to read the original papers. This review is written from the perspective of a practicing health physicist who may wish to read the available literature on this topic and incorporate some of the information into an existing or planned extremity dosimetry program.
©1987Health Physics Society