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The Influence of Magnetic Fields (0.05 T ≤ B ≤ 7 T) on the Response of Personal Thermoluminescent Dosimeters to Ionizing Radiation

Copty, Atallah1; Rabineg, Günter1; Berg, Andreas2,3

doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000001101

We investigated the main question of whether thermoluminescent dosimeters indicate the correct dose when exposed to magnetic fields from low stray fields up to high magnetic resonance imaging fields inside human magnetic resonance imaging scanners (0.05 T ≤ B ≤ 7 T) during and after irradiation. Medical personnel working in radiology, oncology, or nuclear medicine are regularly monitored with thermoluminescent dosimeters. They might also enter the magnetic field of a magnetic resonance imaging scanner while supervising patients as well as during positron emission tomography-magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance imaging-linac integrated imaging systems and will therefore be exposed to the magnetic fields of magnetic resonance imaging scanners and low stray fields of several millitesla outside of the magnetic resonance imaging scanner, not only before and after, but also during irradiation. Panasonic thermoluminescent dosimetry badges and ring dosimeters for personal monitoring were exposed to magnetic fields originating from a 7 T and a 3 T magnetic resonance imaging scanner as well as neodymium permanent magnets. Four different sealed 137Cs sources were used in two sets of experiments: (1) magnetically induced fading: irradiated thermoluminescent dosimeters (D ≈ 100 mSv) were exposed to a strong magnetic field (B = 7 T) of a human high-field magnetic resonance imaging scanner after irradiation; no magnetically induced fading (magnetoluminescence) for LiBO:Cu or CaSO:Tm was observed; (2) magnetically induced attenuation: thermoluminescent dosimeters were placed during irradiation in a magnetic field for about 60 h; a significantly reduced dose response was observed for LiBO:Cu—interestingly not at maximum B ≈ 7 T but at B ≈ 0.2 T. This experimental observation is possibly relevant especially for medical and technical personnel in nuclear medicine before and during a magnetic resonance imaging scanning procedure. Follow-up studies need to be made to clarify the kinetics of this effect.

1Radiation Protection Laboratory, Vienna City Administration, Vienna, Austria

2Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

3High-field MR Centre, Medical University of Vienna/AKH, Vienna, Austria.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

For correspondence contact Atallah Copty, AKH-Waehringer Guertel 18-20/Leitstelle 4B, A-1090, Vienna, Austria, or email at

(Manuscript accepted 9 March 2019)

Online date: May 24, 2019

© 2019 by the Health Physics Society