[ RadSafe ] Beta emitters and external risks

Dale Boyce daleboyce at charter.net
Sat Oct 15 10:47:51 CDT 2005

Hi John,

I wouldn't ignore skin dose as a radiation hazard. At around 9 
rad/hr/microcurie/cm^2 high energy beta emitters are probably the biggest 
radiation hazard normally encountered in a research environment.

There are other beta emitters that present a hazard, and some come 
disguised. F-18 is known for its use in PETT with the 511 annihilation 
radiation, but the intermediate energy positrons can give one heck of a beta 
burn (and have in the past) before the gamma dose is significant.

While low energy beta emitters such as C-14 may present a reduced risk due 
to air and dead layer absorption, one shouldn't ignore the potential rish 
from beta emitters.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Jacobus" <crispy_bird at yahoo.com>
To: "radsafe" <radsafe at radlab.nl>
Sent: Friday, October 14, 2005 4:42 PM
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Beta emitters and external risks

> Question:  Would you say that beta emitters pose an
> external radiation hazard or risk?  I am not consider
> skin contamination.
> Are there any (other) beta emitters that you would
> consider to be a significant external hazard?
> What is your criteria for this judgement?
> (Background:  I would in a medical research facility,
> and we require beta shields for work involving large,
> e.g., 10 mCi/370 MBq, amounts of P-32.  Are there
> other beta emitters we should worry about?)
> +++++++++++++++++++
> On Oct. 5, 1947, in the first televised White House address, President 
> Truman asked Americans to refrain from eating meat on Tuesdays and poultry 
> on Thursdays to help stockpile grain for starving people in Europe.
> -- John
> John Jacobus, MS
> Certified Health Physicist
> e-mail:  crispy_bird at yahoo.com
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