Organ and effective dose rate coefficients for submersion exposure in occupational settings

by K. G. Veinot, Shaheen A. Dewji, Keith F. Eckerman, Clay E. Easterly


External dose coefficients for environmental exposure scenarios are often computed using assumption on infinite or semi-infinite radiation sources. For example, in the case of a person standing on contaminated ground, the source is assumed to be distributed at a given depth (or between various depths) and extending outwards to an essentially infinite distance. In the case of exposure to contaminated air, the person is modeled as standing within a cloud of infinite, or semi-infinite, source distribution. However, these scenarios do not mimic common workplace environments where scatter off walls and ceilings may significantly alter the energy spectrum and dose coefficients. In this paper, dose rate coefficients were calculated using the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) reference voxel phantoms positioned in rooms of three sizes representing an office, laboratory, and warehouse. For each room size calculations using the reference phantoms were performed for photons, electrons, and positrons as the source particles to derive mono-energetic dose rate coefficients. Since the voxel phantoms lack the resolution to perform dose calculations at the sensitive depth for the skin, a mathematical phantom was developed and calculations were performed in each room size with the three source particle types. Coefficients for the noble gas radionuclides of ICRP Publication 107 (e.g., Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe, and Rn) were generated by folding the corresponding photon, electron, and positron emissions over the mono-energetic dose rate coefficients. Results indicate that the smaller room sizes have a significant impact on the dose rate per unit air concentration compared to the semi-infinite cloud case. For example, for Kr-85 the warehouse dose rate coefficient is 7% higher than the office dose rate coefficient while it is 71% higher for Xe-133.

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Publication Citation

Radiation and Environmental Biophysics 2017 pp 1-10 September 7, 2017
DOI: 10.1007/s00411-017-0705-6