Beam hardening filters used to reduce patient doses typically consist of aluminium, copper, or a combination of both. Optically transparent filters containing lead in plumbiferous acrylic became available. One vendor also uses a combination of aluminium and gold. Data is provided to compare filter thicknesses in terms of half-value layer (HVL) for clinically relevant kVp.
Equivalent filter thicknesses were defined by identical kVp and 1st HVL. Equivalent copper filter thicknesses were calculated for aluminium and typical filters found in radiographic and interventional systems. A verified semi-empirical spectrum calculation programme and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) mass attenuation coefficients were applied. Lead acrylic filters were simulated by a two-component model of acrylic plus lead with mass thicknesses determined by matching 1 HVLs in Al at RQR5 using filter specifications.
Coefficients are provided to convert mm Cu to mm Al and vice versa for tube potentials from 40 to 150 kVp. 1 mm Al corresponds to 27.8 ± 1 μm Cu over the entire energy range simulated. Using this simple model as opposed to simulations of all individual filters made from Al/Cu combinations (1 and 2 mm Al, 1 Al + 0.1 and 0.2 Cu, 1.5 Al plus 0.3 and 0.6 Cu, 2 Al plus 0.1 Cu) for the entire energy range results in differences in equivalent Cu thicknesses below 4 μm Cu (3 μm for 50-150 kVp). kVp dependence is larger for filters containing larger Z elements. 1 mm Al plus 10 μm gold used by Shimadzu corresponds to 75-80 μm Cu, depending on kVp; plumbiferous acrylic with nominal filtrations of 1 Al plus 0.1 Cu, and 1 Al plus 0.2 Cu corresponded to 124-132 μm, and 206-232 μm Cu, respectively.
Experimental verification of the equivalence of aluminium and combined aluminium plus copper filters showed excellent agreement between calculated copper equivalent thickness and measurements with copper filters for clinical beams from 40 to 150 kVp.
Collaboration of multiple staff groups has resulted in significant reduction in the risk of radiation-induced cancer from radiographic x-ray exposure during childhood. In this study at an acute NHS hospital trust, a preliminary audit identified initial exposure factors. These were compared with European and UK guidance, leading to the introduction of new factors that were in compliance with European guidance on x-ray tube potentials. Image quality was assessed using standard anatomical criteria scoring, and visual grading characteristics analysis assessed the impact on image quality of changes in exposure factors. This analysis determined the acceptability of gradual radiation dose reduction below the European and UK guidance levels. Chest and pelvis exposures were optimised, achieving dose reduction for each age group, with 7%-55% decrease in critical organ dose. Clinicians confirmed diagnostic image quality throughout the iterative process. Analysis of images acquired with preliminary and final exposure factors indicated an average visual grading analysis result of 0.5, demonstrating equivalent image quality. The optimisation process and final radiation doses are reported for Carestream computed radiography to aid other hospitals in minimising radiation risks to children.
Data related to radioactivity released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident on 15 March 2011 gathered by residents of Miharu, Fukushima Prefecture, and by Tohoku University are presented. These data sets consist of (1) the earliest radiation monitoring by a Geiger counter in the town, (2) ratios of radioactivity between Te-132 and Cs-137 for a wide area between Fukushima and Tokyo, (3) radiation measurement of soil samples collected from 18 school grounds, and (4) external radiation exposure of 1400 students using OSL badges. By combining and analysing these various data sets, a curve for the cumulative total external exposure as a function of time, with 16 : 00 h on 15 March 2011 being time zero, is obtained. The average cumulative external dosage is estimated to be 10 mSv (sigma = 4.2 mSv) over 10 years. In addition, the initiative that the residents of Miharu took in response to the FDNPP accident, which became known as The Misho Project (MP), is documented; in particular, the time at which the municipality instructed the immediate ingestion of iodine tablets by those under the age of 40, 13 : 00 h on 15 March 2011, is assessed.
Concentrations of tritium in sea water and marine biota as reported over the last similar to 10 years from monitoring programmes carried out by this laboratory under contract to the UK Food Standards Agency are reviewed from three areas: near Cardiff; Sellafield; and Hartlepool. Near Cardiff, enhancement of concentration factors (CFs) above an a priori value of similar to 1 have already been studied, and attributed to compounds containing organically bound tritium in local radioactive waste discharges. Further data for Cardiff up to 2006 are reported in this note. Up to 2001, CFs increased to values of more than similar to 7000 in flounders and similar to 4000 in mussels, but have subsequently reduced; this variability could be due to changes in the organic constitution of compounds discharged. Near Sellafield and Hartlepool, enhancements to the tritium concentration factor are observed but they are relatively small compared with those near Cardiff.
Near Sellafield, plaice and mussels appear to have a CF for tritium of similar to 10; in some cases concentrations of tritium in winkles are below detection limits and positively measured values indicate a CF of similar to 3. The variation could be due to mechanisms of uptake by the different organisms. Near Hartlepool there were only a few cases where tritium was positively measured. These data give a value of similar to 5 for the CF in plaice (on the basis of two samples); similar to 15 in winkles (eight samples); and >45 in mussels (two samples). Any differences between the behaviours at Sellafield and Hartlepool would need to be confirmed by improved measurements. Possible causes are the organic composition of the effluent and differences in environmental behaviour and uptake by organisms near the two sites. These potential causes need further investigation.
It is emphasised that results from tritium analyses are heavily method dependent; thus comparison with results from other programmes needs to take this into account. Further, the results for enhancement of CF will also depend on the definition of CF itself.
Radiation epidemiology is the study of human disease following radiation exposure to populations. Epidemiologic studies of radiation-exposed populations have been conducted for nearly 100 years, starting with the radium dial painters in the 1920s and most recently with large-scale studies of radiation workers. As radiation epidemiology has become increasingly sophisticated it is used for setting radiation protection standards as well as to guide the compensation programmes in place for nuclear weapons workers, nuclear weapons test participants, and other occupationally exposed workers in the United States and elsewhere. It is known with high assurance that radiation effects at levels above 100-150mGy can be detected as evidenced in multiple population studies conducted around the world. The challenge for radiation epidemiology is evaluating the effects at low doses, below about 100 mGy of low-linear energy transfer radiation, and assessing the risks following low dose-rate exposures over years. The weakness of radiation epidemiology in directly studying low dose and low dose-rate exposures is that the signal, i.e. the excess numbers of cancers associated with low-level radiation exposure, is so very small that it cannot be seen against the very high background occurrence of cancer in the population, i.e. a lifetime risk of incidence reaching up to about 38% (i.e. 1 in 3 persons will develop a cancer in their lifetime). Thus, extrapolation models are used for the management of risk at low doses and low dose rates, but having adequate information from low dose and low dose-rate studies would be highly desirable. An overview of recently conducted radiation epidemiologic studies which evaluate risk following low-level radiation exposures is presented. Future improvements in risk assessment for radiation protection may come from increasingly informative epidemiologic studies, combined with mechanistic radiobiologic understanding of adverse outcome pathways, with both incorporated into biologically based models.
Radiological assessments have assumed that the mass of irradiated uranium oxide particles inadvertently released to the atmosphere from the Windscale Piles, two nuclear reactors at Windscale Works, Sellafield, England, during the 1950s was 20 kg. This paper re-examines the assumptions upon which this figure was based and concludes that the value is a realistically conservative estimate of the release, consistent with current radiological protection practice. The mass estimate is derived from a reanalysis of plant data produced at the time. The environmental data on which the initial estimates were based are reconfirmed, and additional support is provided by an interpretation of modelling studies of both the total deposition and milk concentrations resulting from that deposition. Milk-monitoring data from the time are shown to be consistent with the release assumptions used in the dispersion modelling exercise. Finally, the issue of statistical undersampling is addressed using the particle numbers and size distributions produced by the modelling exercise.
During the first half of the twentieth century, radium, mixed with other components, was used to luminise many items, including watches, clocks, dials and meters. On many sites, and in particular MoD sites, luminised instruments and paint were disposed of by burning and burial. This paper presents a review of the potential for radium from such sites to migrate in the environment. The most likely mechanisms of migration of radium from former luminising sites in the UK are surface-water erosion and transport, and the action of animals and people. Plant uptake or rain splash followed by cropping of the plants is another possible mechanism, but the extent of impact is uncertain. The migration of significant quantities of radium through soils or rocks, or due to landsliding or wind transport, is considered to be of minimal importance to most UK sites. A low pH, high salinity (in particular of group 11 metals) or reducing groundwater would need to be present for migration through soils/rocks to occur and such conditions are unlikely to be present in most shallow aquifer systems in the UK. To reduce the potential for migration to occur it is recommended that luminising wastes at ground surface are removed or covered, that controls are put in place to limit animal activity and that human entry to former luminising sites is restricted.
Radionuclide analyses of ingested water from three selected estuaries within the coastal areas of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria have been carried out. Fifteen water samples collected at strategic points from the estuaries were pre- treated and each placed on the sodium iodide NaI (Tl) - model 802 detector for 3600 s to obtain the gamma radiation count rate. The activity concentrations and other radiological risk parameters were computed. The effective dose rate of radiation due to ingested water (E.D.I.W.)ranged between 0.25 and 1.86 mSv yr(-1), the effective equivalent dose rate due to absorbed radiation in air (Deq) ranged between 0.0065 and 0.0369 mSv yr(-1) and the total equivalent dose rate of radiation ranged between 0.257 and 1.87 mSv yr(-1). The E.D.I.W exceeded the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) permissible limit of 0.1 mSv yr(-1) set for ingested radionuclides from food. Most surveyed points had their total equivalent dose rate of radiation greater than the ICRP permissible dose limit of 1 mSv yr(-1) for radiation exposure from all internal and external sources. The annual gonadal dose equivalent ranged between 0.008 and 0.041 mSv yr(-1) and are below the world average value of 0.3 mSv yr(-1). The excess lifetime cancer risk ranged between 0.7 x 10(-3) and 5.07 x 10(-3) and are above the world average value of 0.29 x 10(-3). The elevation of most of the radiation risk parameters over the standard limits shows that oil production activities may have raised the background radiation levels of the area. This research also revealed that
The risks and the inconveniences of the oral administration of radionuclides for therapeutic purposes are examined. A remotely operated injector which permits the direct injection of the radioactive dose from the sealed bottle to the vein of the patient to lower the exposure dose to the operator is illustrated. The tele-injector can be also used each time a large dose of radioactive substance needs to be injected for diagnostic purposes, or if subdivision of the mother solution into other sterilised bottles is necessary.
This paper describes preliminary work to develop a cosmic-radiation dosemeter for use by military aircraft crew. The dosemeter is based on a combination of CR-39 etched-track detectors and TLD-700 thermoluminescent detectors. It is intended that the CR-39 be used to assess the neutron dose, while the TLD-700 is used to assess the photon and charged particle dose. The sensitivity of CR-39 to the neutron component of cosmic radiation was estimated by irradiating samples of the plastic at the CERN-CEC High Energy Reference Field Facility. This facility produced a radiation field with a neutron spectrum resembling that of the neutron component of cosmic radiation at typical airflight altitudes. The response of the CR-39 was linear over the range of doses studied (0.2-6.0 mSv) and there was no significant fading in the 6-month period after irradiation. The TLD-700 component of the dosemeter was calibrated using 137Cs gamma rays. The response of the TLD-700 was linear over the range of doses studied (0.01-5.0 mSv) with no significant fading in the 6-month period after irradiation. It was concluded that a combination of CR-39 and TLD-700 detectors would provide an effective cosmic-radiation dosemeter for use by military aircraft crew.
Natural radiation is the major source of human exposure to ionising radiation, and its largest contributing component to effective dose arises from inhalation of Rn-222 and its radioactive progeny. However, despite extensive knowledge of radiation risks gained through epidemiologic investigations and mechanistic considerations, the health effects of chronic low-level radiation exposure are still poorly understood. The present paper reviews the possible contribution of studies of populations living in high natural background radiation (HNBR) areas (Guarapari, Brazil; Kerala, India; Ramsar, Iran; Yangjiang, China), including radon-prone areas, to low dose risk estimation.
Much of the direct information about risk related to HNBR comes from case-control studies of radon and lung cancer, which provide convincing evidence of an association between long-term protracted radiation exposures in the general population and disease incidence. The success of these studies is mainly due to the careful organ dose reconstruction (with relatively high doses to the lung), and to the fact that large-scale collaborative studies have been conducted to maximise the statistical power and to ensure the systematic collection of information on potential confounding factors. In contrast, studies in other (non-radon) HNBR areas have provided little information, relying mainly on ecological designs and very rough effective dose categorisations. Recent steps taken in China and India to establish cohorts for follow-up and to conduct nested case-control studies may provide useful information about risks in the future, provided that careful organ dose reconstruction is possible and information is collected on potential confounding factors.
The aim of this study was to review recent literature in order to provide updated values of the typical effective doses associated with the top 20 imaging tests for adults and children and for the most widely used set of weights (ICRP60) as well as for the most recent one (ICRP103). We performed a systematic research on radiation dosimetry in radiology published from 2007 onwards through the Medline, Embase and Cochrane Library Plus databases. We also included studies backed by scientific or governmental organizations. Other variables included: year and type of study (survey or descriptive), country, method and sample used for the measurement. Mean effective dose, minimum, maximum and standard deviation were calculated. We compared our results with previous evidence and with data from DDM2. We included 27 articles and 5 web references in the study. A total of 378 values from the 20 procedures included were obtained, 280 (74%) using ICRP60 and 98 (26%) using ICRP103.
Effective doses for CT procedures in children were very similar to those for adults, with the exception of CT Trunk, but fluoroscopy procedures had consistently lower dose. There were differences between the current data with either ICRP60 or ICRP103, and the previous published data. In conclusion, we provided the best available evidence from literature to evaluate the effective dose received by each patient for the most typical examinations. According to the recommendations from the Report 154 and from the European Council Directive, these results could also be useful to estimate the range of average exposures to the population.
Residential radon exposure is a major public health problem. It is the second greatest cause of lung cancer, after smoking, and the greatest in never-smokers. This study shows the indoor radon exposure distribution in Galicia and estimates the percentage of dwellings exceeding reference levels. It is based on 3245 residential radon measurements obtained from the Galician Radon Map project and from controls of two previous case-control studies on residential radon and lung cancer. Results show a high median residential radon concentration in Galicia (99 Bq m(-3)), with 49.3% of dwellings having a radon concentration above 100 Bq m(-3) and 11.1% having a concentration above 300 Bq m(-3). Ourense and Pontevedra, located in South Galicia, are the provinces with the highest median indoor radon concentrations (137 Bq m(-3) and 123.5 Bq m(-3), respectively). Results also show lower radon levels in progressively higher building storeys. These high residential radon concentrations confirm Galicia as a radon-prone area. A policy on radon should be developed and implemented in Galicia to minimize the residential radon exposure of the population.
Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is significantly higher at aviation altitudes with respect to sea level. Cockpit windshields protect pilots from UV-B radiation but studies have shown that this is not necessarily the case for UV-A radiation. This work investigates the spectral properties of several windshields under flight conditions. Only one of the investigated windshields showed good UV-A attenuation. Furthermore, the altitude dependence of UV-A irradiance behind a windshield was measured with high spatial resolution. Measurements of the maximal UV irradiance behind the windshield surfaces and at the pilot's position are compared to the recommendations by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection. Some recommended limits were exceeded at the surface of the windshields with direct sunlight and a large field of view. At the pilot's position, with a more realistic field of view, the unweighted recommended level could have been exceeded within tens of minutes by looking in the direction of the Sun without visor or other protective measures. The weighted recommended maximal UVR exposure was not exceeded, neither with the use of the visor at the pilot's position nor without it. The use of the visor for filtering direct sunlight was very effective in terms of UV-A reduction.