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Marino, Stephen A.*; Johnson, Gary W.*; Schiff, Peter B.; Brenner, David J.*

doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e31820153d4

Preliminary results are presented for a personal radiation dosimeter in the form of a clothing button to provide gamma-ray dose estimation for clinically-significant external radiation exposures to the general public due to a radiological incident, such as use of a radiological dispersal device. Rods of thermoluminescent material (LiF:Mg,Ti and LiF:Mg,Cu,P) were encapsulated in plastic “buttons,” attached to shirts, and subjected to three cycles of home or commercial laundering or dry cleaning, including ironing or pressing. The buttons were subsequently exposed to doses of 137Cs gamma rays ranging from 0.75 to 8.2 Gy. The rods were removed from the buttons and their light output compared to their responses when bare or to the responses of a set of calibration rods of the same type and from the same manufacturer. In all three of the comparisons for LiF:Mg,Ti rods, the relative responses of the rods in buttons changed by 2–6% relative to the same rods before cleaning. In both comparisons for LiF:Mg,Cu,P rods, the response of laundered rods was 1–3% lower than for the same rods before cleaning. Both these materials are potential candidates for button dosimeters.

* Center for Radiological Research, Columbia University, New York, NY; Department of Radiation Oncology, New York University, New York, NY, and Columbia University, New York, NY.

For correspondence contact: Stephen Marino, RARAF, 136 S Broadway/P.O. Box 21, Irvington, NY 10533, or email at

(Manuscript accepted 12 October 2010)

©2011Health Physics Society