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Assessing internal exposure in the absence of an appropriate model: two cases involving an incidental inhalation of transuranic elements

  • N. Blanchin (a1), P. Bérard (a2), E. Blanchardon (a3), R. Fottorino (a4), L. Grappin (a1), A.-M. Guillermin (a1), P. Lafon (a1) and A. Miele (a1)...

Two incidents involving internal exposure by inhalation of transuranic compounds are presented herein. The results of the measurements of urinary and faecal excretions of the two individuals involved do not concur with the values predicted by the ICRP models that should be applied by default, according to the circumstances of the incidents and the chemical form of the products involved: oxide in the first case and nitrate in the second. These cases are remarkable in the similarity of their biokinetic behaviour even though they occurred in different situations and involved different chemical compounds. Both situations provide an illustration of the management of internal contamination events. The precautions to be taken and the questions that the physician should ask himself in the estimation of the internal dose are listed as follows: What type of examinations should be prescribed and at what frequency? What analysis results should be used in assessing the dose? How can the effect of the Ca-DTPA treatment be assessed? How long is it necessary to perform radiotoxicological exams before assessing the dose? What should be done if the ICRP model corresponding to the initial circumstances does not fit the measurement data? Finally, our selected hypotheses, used to explain specific biokinetic behaviour and to estimate its intake in both cases, are detailed. These incidental contaminations suggest that further studies should be carried out to develop a new model for inhalation of transuranic compounds that would follow neither the S nor the M absorption type of the respiratory tract model of ICRP publication 66.

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[1] Birchall, A. et al. (1998) The IMBA suite: Integrated Modules for Bioassays Analysis, Radiat. Prot. Dosim. 79, 107-110.
[2] Blanchardon, E., Flüry-Hérard, A., Paquet, F. (2007) Les méthodes et les limites de la dosimétrie après contamination interne, Radioprotection 42, 501-507.
[3] Blanchin, N., Desloires, S., Grappin, L., Guillermin, A.-M., Lafon, P., Miele, A. (2004) Protocoles de prise en charge des incidents d’expositions internes au plutonium dans un service médical d’installation nucléaire de base : Elaboration, mise en place, évaluation, validation de 1996 à 2002, Radioprotection 39, 59-75.
[4] Decree n°2003-295 (2003) 01/09/03, Décret relatif à la protection des travailleurs contre les dangers des rayonnements ionisants.
[5] Fritsch P., Raynaud P., Blanchin N., Mièle A. (2006) Incertitudes sur les expositions, les niveaux contamination de et les doses après inhalation d’actinides, Radioprotection 41, 287-308.
[6] Grappin, L., Bérard, P., Ménétrier, F., Carbone, L., Courtay, C., Castagnet, X., Le Goff, J.P., Néron, M.O., Beau, P., Piechowski, J. (2007) Exposure to actinides : report on Ca-DTPA injections in CEA-AREVA Centres, Radioprotection 42, 163-196.
[7] ICRP Publication 66 (1994) Human respiratory tract model for radiological protection, Ann. ICPR 24(1-3).
[8] ICRP Publication 78 (1997) International commission on radiological protection, Individual monitoring for internal exposure of workers, Ann. ICPR 27(3-4).
[9] ISO Norm 20553 (2006) Surveillance professionnelle des travailleurs exposés à un risque de contamination interne par des matériaux radio-actifs (juillet 2006).
[10] Métivier, H., Guillaumont, R. (2007) Mieux connaître le devenir biologique des futurs matériaux nucléaires, une nécessité pour maintenir un bon niveau de radioprotection, Radioprotection 42, 315-335.
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  • ISSN: 0033-8451
  • EISSN: 1769-700X
  • URL: /core/journals/radioprotection
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