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Electron paramagnetic resonance radiation dose assessment in fingernails of the victim exposed to high dose as result of an accident

​Radiation and Environmental Biophysics / Volume 53, Issue 4, Pages 755-762, November 2014

Document type > *Article de revue

Keywords >


Authors > ROMANYUKHA Alexander A., TROMPIER François, REYES R., CHRISTENSEN Doran M., IDDINS Carol J., SUGARMAN Stephen L.

Publication Date > 01/11/2014


​In this paper, we report results of radiation dose measurements in fingernails of a worker who sustained a radiation injury to his right thumb while using 130 kVp X-ray for nondestructive testing. Clinically estimated absorbed dose was about 20–25 Gy. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) dose assessment was independently carried out by two laboratories, the Naval Dosimetry Center (NDC) and French Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN). The laboratories used different equipments and protocols to estimate doses in the same fingernail samples. NDC used an X-band transportable EPR spectrometer, e-scan produced by Bruker BioSpin, and a universal dose calibration curve. In contrast, IRSN used a more sensitive Q-band stationary spectrometer (EMXplus) with a new approach for the dose assessment (dose saturation method), derived by additional dose irradiation to known doses. The protocol used by NDC is significantly faster than that used by IRSN, nondestructive, and could be done in field conditions, but it is probably less accurate and requires more sample for the measurements. The IRSN protocol, on the other hand, potentially is more accurate and requires very small amount of sample but requires more time and labor. In both EPR laboratories, the intense radiation-induced signal was measured in the accidentally irradiated fingernails and the resulting dose assessments were different. The dose on the fingernails from the right thumb was estimated as 14 ± 3 Gy at NDC and as 19 ± 6 Gy at IRSN. Both EPR dose assessments are given in terms of tissue kerma. This paper discusses the experience gained by using EPR for dose assessment in fingernails with a stationary spectrometer versus a portable one, the reasons for the observed discrepancies in dose, and potential advantages and disadvantages of each approach for EPR measurements in fingernails.

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