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Regarding Action Levels for Contamination by Alpha and Beta Emitting Radionuclides

Boson, Jonas; Ulvsand, Thomas; Plamboeck, Agneta H.*

doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000061

Today, there exist a number of different international documents, regulating both civilian and military operations, which present action levels regarding contamination of alpha- and/or beta-emitting radionuclides. There are, however, inconsistencies among the action levels suggested in different documents, which can be explained only in part by differences in their intended use. Many of the suggested action levels are calculated using conservative estimates. This work presents some of the suggested action levels for skin contamination, their background and rationale, and discusses which implications they might have. The focus is on action levels and guidelines aimed at emergency situations and operations in radioactively contaminated areas.

*FOI, Swedish Defence Research Agency, Division of CBRN Defence and Security, Cementvägen 20, SE‐901 82 Umeå, Sweden

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

For correspondence contact: Agneta H. Plamboeck, Swedish Defence Research Agency FOI, CBRN Defence and Security, SE‐901 82 Umea, Sweden, or email at

(Manuscript accepted 29 October 2013)

© 2014 by the Health Physics Society