Dose estimate of exposure to radioisotopes in molecular and cellular biology

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A method for prospectively evaluating the annual equivalent doses and effective dose to biomedical researchers working with unsealed radioisotopes, and their classification, is presented here. Simplified formulae relate occupational data to a reasonable overestimate of the annual effective dose, and the equivalent doses to the hands and to the skin. The procedure, up to the classification of personnel and laboratories, can be made fully automatic, using a common spreadsheet on a personal computer. The method is based on occupational data, accounting for the amounts of each radioisotope used by a researcher, the time of exposure and the overall amounts employed in the laboratories where experiments are performed. The former data serve to forecast a contribution to the dose arising from a researcher's own work, the latter to a forecast of an 'environmental' contribution deriving simply from the presence in a laboratory where other people are working with radioisotopes. The estimates of the doses due to one's own radioisotope handling and to 'environment' were corrected for accidental exposure, considered as a linear function of the manipulated activity or of the time spent in the laboratories respectively, and summed up to give the effective dose. The effective dose associated with some common experiments in molecular and cellular biology is pre-evaluated by this method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-141
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Radiological Protection
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Chemical Health and Safety


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