[ RadSafe ] Dosimetry Survey

Jim Talty jtalty at cc.usu.edu
Thu Apr 12 16:47:39 CDT 2007


The RSC at Utah State University is in the process of examining whether the
responsibility to badge individuals should be left to the RSO or covered by
a blanket policy that currently states'  that all individuals using high
energy beta, any gamma, X-ray or neutron sources shall be provided
dosimetry'. This policy came about in the early 1970's as a result of a
lawsuit filed by an individual who contented that his cancer was the result
of a radiation exposure at the university. Fortunately the university was
able to produce evidence (by dosimetry records) that demonstrated the
individual had not received any dose related to his occupation and the
lawsuit was summarily dismissed. The RSC at that time looking for cover
instituted the restrictive policy stated above and removed from the RSO any
discretion for the monitoring of individuals. This wasn't much of an issue
for me until lately as the percent of my dosimetry costs have risen from
several thousand dollars (for ~200 people in 1995) to greater than $14,000
for about the same amount of badges in recent years. Dosimetry costs now
consume ~ 40% of my budget. 

Last year we had no doses, I repeat no verified doses. In the 10 years prior
the doses never exceeded 100 mr/yr for any individual; and almost all of
these were shallow doses to the hand caused by the handling of 1-5 mCi of

The committee wants to know what other licensee's policies are (if they
exist) regarding the issuing of badges.


I am recommending to the committee that we monitor individuals at the
discretion of the RSO based on the actual hazard (> 10 % of the allowable
dose criteria). I would badge people who use > 1 mCi of high energy beta's
(P-32), those using open beam X-Ray machines, all nuclear gauge users, or
other engaged in other types of applications that could possibly trigger the
> 10% threshold regardless of the radiation type or source. The university
attorney is very conservative and wants to continue to badge everyone (and I
mean everyone that uses radioactive materials or devices regardless of the
actual risk).  

Hopefully the group can provide me with what your current policy is
regarding the issuing of badges and what criteria you use when it is issued.

By the way, the money I can save would be substantial. The costs would be
reduced to ~ $3000 or less. I hope to apply the difference to providing
Laser Safety Entryway Systems for our class 3b and 4 lasers which currently
have no protection. These can as most of you know cause extreme and real
damage to a person who enters unprotected. 

Any input you can provide would be very helpful.

Please reply off list unless you feel this is an issue to the group.

Thank You,

James Talty 

Utah State University

jtalty at cc.usu.edu  


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