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A Bioassay Program For Biomedical Research Programs

Ring, Joseph P.; Osborne, Frank*

doi: 10.1097/01.HP.0000147811.73685.a7
A Guide to SI Units in Radiation Protection: Operational Topic

An effective radiation safety program for biomedical research minimizes both external and internal exposures. Limited time and resources can make it difficult to find the right balance between the external dosimetry and internal bioassay components: research typically involves chronic use of small activities rather than acute use of large quantities; concern for external exposures, especially extremities, distracts from the potential for intake; regulatory guidance for only tritium and iodine leave the impression there is little need to monitor for other radionuclides; conversely some licensees over rely on frequent bioassays. Too often researchers discount the potential for intake, especially those who repeatedly use small quantities. This program emphasizes minimizing external and internal exposures while providing the radiation protection staff with criteria for determining the need to assay for any radionuclide under a wide variety of working conditions.

* Harvard University, Environmental Health and Safety, 175 North Harvard Street, Boston, MA 02134.

A method is presented that allows for the direct determination of a need to perform bioassay.

©2005Health Physics Society