In India, for the past five decades, whole body radiation dose of radiation workers has been monitored by means of film and thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) badges worn on the body. However, there are no provision/regulatory requirements to monitor doses received at the extremities, i.e., to fingers. Finger dose monitoring is essential for controlling the extremity dose limits for occupational personnel handling unsealed radioactive sources. In order to estimate the doses received in various types of procedures using unsealed sources, finger dose monitoring was carried out in 54 major institutions in the country using a specially designed plastic finger ring embedded with a TLD. The maximum finger dose of occupational workers involved in handling 99mTc in such activities as extraction and radiopharmacy work is 0.35 mSv GBq−1; during injection of radiopharmaceuticals and scintigraphy, the doses were observed to be 1 and 0.95 mSv GBq−1, respectively. Similarly, while handling 18F-FDG, the maximum doses received during dispensing, injection, and scintigraphy were 0.098, 0.324, and 0.56 mSv GBq−1, respectively. The maximum radiation dose received during 188Re/186Re balloon angioplasty and while handling 153Sm was 3.92 and 6.5 mSv GBq−1, respectively. All the doses recorded were well within the prescribed limit. However, monitoring of these doses periodically would help in compiling the feedback regarding the work practices followed in institutions handling radioisotopes in the country and would also help in maintaining a record of safe work procedures while handling radioisotopes.
* Radiological Physics & Advisory Division (RP&AD), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, CT&CRS Building Anushaktinagar, Mumbai—400 094, India; † Radiopharmaceuticals Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, CT&CRS Building Anushaktinagar, Mumbai—400 094, India; ‡ Emeritus Scientist (CSIR), c/o RP&AD, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, CT&CRS Building Anushaktinagar, Mumbai—400 094, India.
For correspondence contact: Pankaj Tandon, Scientific Officer, Radiological Physics & Advisory Division, CT&CRS Building, Anushaktinagar, Mumbai—400 094, India, or email at email@example.com.
(Manuscript accepted 5 July 2006)