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PHOTON EXTREMITY ABSORBED DOSE AND KERMA CONVERSION COEFFICIENTS FOR CALIBRATION GEOMETRIES

Veinot, K G.*; Hertel, N E.

doi: 10.1097/01.HP.0000243165.43316.78
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Absorbed dose and dose equivalent conversion coefficients are routinely used in personnel dosimetry programs. These conversion coefficients can be applied to particle fluences or to measured air kerma values to determine appropriate operational monitoring quantities such as the ambient dose equivalent or personal dose equivalent for a specific geometry. For personnel directly handling materials, the absorbed dose to the extremities is of concern. This work presents photon conversion coefficients for two extremity calibration geometries using finger and wrist/arm phantoms described in HPS N13.32. These conversion coefficients have been calculated as a function of photon energy in terms of the kerma and the absorbed dose using Monte Carlo techniques and the calibration geometries specified in HPS N13.32. Additionally, kerma and absorbed dose conversion coefficients for commonly used x-ray spectra and calibration source fields are presented. The kerma values calculated in this work for the x-ray spectra and calibration sources compare well to those listed in HPS N13.32. The absorbed dose values, however, differ significantly for higher energy photons because charged particle equilibrium conditions have not been satisfied for the shallow depth. Thus, the air-kerma-to-dose and exposure-to-dose conversion coefficients for 137Cs and 60Co listed in HPS N13.32 overestimate the absorbed dose to the extremities. Applying the conversion coefficients listed in HPS N13.32 for 137Cs, for example, would result in an overestimate of absorbed dose of 62% for the finger phantom and 55% for the wrist phantom.

* Y-12 National Security Complex, P.O. Box 2009, M.S. 8105, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-8105; George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0405.

For correspondence contact: K. G. Veinot, Y-12 National Security Complex, P.O. Box 2009, M.S. 8105, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-8105, or email at veinotkg@y12.doe.gov.

(Manuscript accepted 11 August 2006)

©2007Health Physics Society