[ RadSafe ] Sv (and rems) are NOT restricted to stochastic effects

Cindy Bloom radbloom at comcast.net
Wed Nov 29 12:53:08 CST 2006

ICRP 60 section 2 provides information on the use of radiation weighting 
factors.  Also paragraph 17 of ICRP 30 indicates Q is for delayed 
stochastic effects.  Maybe I'm missing an important reference?

At 12:21 PM 11/29/2006 -0600, Douglas Simpkin wrote:
>Perhaps it's the neurons misfiring, but I'm confused.
>In the discussion of the past couple of weeks on the Po-210 poisoning, a 
>number of folks have indicated that the Quality Factor (QF) or radiation 
>weighting factor for alphas should not be considered when stating the 
>magnitude of deterministic effects. Rather, they presume the QF is 
>restricted to describing stochastic effects.
>This is absolutely wrong.
>The QF is based on radiobiological experiments of cell killing effects, 
>and you can't get much more deterministic than that! The QF for alphas is 
>20 because the alphas dump so much more energy across the cell nucleus, 
>and therefore cause that much more deterministic biological damage 
>compared to sparsely ionizing x rays.
>Indeed, the effective dose, or effective dose equivalent, (also 
>confusingly in Sv or rem) is defined only for stochastic effects. But 
>that's not the concern here.
>My rough estimate of 0.12 ug = 0.53 mCi (the amount of Po-210 stated by 
>that great repository of societal wisdom, Wikipedia, as lethal) uniformly 
>spread through the liver yields a liver dose in the 1000-2000 rad range, 
>or 20,000 to 40,000 rem to the liver.
>Enough to mess up anyone's day.
>ps. And no, I'm not apologizing for non-SI units!
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