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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Protocol for emergency EPR dosimetry in fingernails

item Trompier, F
item Kornak, L
item Calas, C
item Romanyukha, A
item Le Blanc, Blaise
item Mitchell, C
item Swartz, H
item Clairand, I

Submitted to: Elsevier
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/2007
Publication Date: 10/20/2007
Citation: Trompier, F., Kornak, L., Calas, C., Romanyukha, A., LeBlanc, B., Mitchell, C.A., Swartz, H.M., Clairand, I. 2007. Protocol for emergency EPR dosimetry in fingernails. ScienceDirect, Radiation Measurements 42:1085-1088.

Interpretive Summary: In the event of an accidental release of radiation or the intended use of a strategic nuclear weapon or "dirty bomb", there would be a need to estimate victims radiation dosage so that triage could be put into effect, and the proper medical treatment could be administered based on the dosage. The most accurate method of estimating radiation exposure involves estimating the dose from the victims teeth. But this involves extracting a tooth so the method is overly invasive. In the work presented a protocol was established for estimating the radiation dosage from fingernail clippings. The protocol measures far below the LD-50 for a human and is far less invasive than extracting a tooth.

Technical Abstract: There is an increased need for after-the fact dosimetry because of the high risk of radiation exposures due to terrorism or accidents. In case of such an event, a method is needed to make measurements of dose in a large number of individuals rapidly and with sufficient accuracy to facilitate effective medical triage. Dosimetry based on EPR measurements of fingernails potentially could be an effective tool for this purpose. This paper presents the first operational protocols for EPR fingernail dosimetry, including guidelines for collection and storage of samples, parameters for EPT measurements, and the method of dose assessment. In a blinded test of this protocol application was carried out on nails freshly sampled and irradiated to 4 and 20 Gy; this protocol gave dose estimates with an error of less than 30%.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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