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Journal: Radiation protection dosimetry


The proposed European commission report radiation protection 162 (EC RP 162) provides a set of tests and reference criteria that reflect European Union requirements for the acceptability of fluoroscopy X-ray systems. The report updates and expands on the current criteria established in report radiation protection (RP) 91 (1997). There is no universally accepted set of test methods due to differing national regulations and professional opinions. This paper provides a sample of such differences in the context of the proposed RP 162 criteria. A review of some fundamental fluoroscopic tests from both an Irish European Union and a US perspective is presented. The criteria proposed in EC RP 162 provide sufficient information about basic acceptability of interventional fluoroscopes and ideally, evaluations should be extended further to include specific clinical requirements.

Concepts: European Union, X-ray, Radiology, European Commission, European Parliament, European Council, European Coal and Steel Community, Fluoroscopy


Since the development of the CT scanner in the early 1970s, CT scanner technology has continuously developed through technical advancement, faster computer processing, superior detectors and helical and multi-detector scanning modes. As a result, the scope of clinical examinations has broadened considerably, and in parallel, this has been achieved with improvement in image quality and radiation dose efficiency. Despite this, and perhaps because image quality can always be improved at the expense of increased radiation dose, CT examinations are among the highest-dose procedures encountered routinely in medical imaging. The qualitative criteria for acceptability in RP 162 address some functional and operational issues, and the quantitative criteria, in the form of suspension levels, focus primarily around hardware aspects of the CT scanner, though consideration is also given to software, operator aspects and selection of scan protocols. Some of the specific aspects and challenges in modern CT systems, in particular multi-slice and wide beams are also addressed.

Concepts: Medicine, Improve, X-ray, Radiobiology, Radiology, Qualitative research, Scan, Scanner


Radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure from wireless telecommunication base station antennae can lead to debates, conflicts or litigations among the adjacent residents if inappropriately managed. This paper presents a measurement campaign for the GSM band EMF exposure in the vicinity of 827 base station sites (totally 6207 measurement points) in Guangxi, China. Measurement specifications are designed for risk communication with the residents who previously complained of over-exposure. The EMF power densities with the global positioning system coordinate at each measured point were recorded. Compliance with the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines and Chinese environmental EMF safety standards was studied. The results show that the GSM band EMF level near the base stations is very low. The measurement results and the EMF risk communication procedures positively influence public perception of the RF EMF exposure from the base stations and promote the exchange of EMF exposure-related knowledge.

Concepts: Ionizing radiation, Electromagnetism, Electromagnetic field, Quantum mechanics, Field, Radio, Surveying, Mobile phone radiation and health


The transition to a fully digital breast screening programme, utilising three different full-field digital mammography (FFDM) systems has presented many challenges to the implementation of the European guidelines for physico-technical quality assurance (QA) testing. An analysis of the QA results collected from the FFDM systems in the screening programme over a 2-y period indicates that the three different systems have similar QA performances. Generally, the same tests were failed by all systems and failure rates were low. The findings provide some assurance that the QA guidelines are being correctly implemented. They also suggest that there is more scope for the development of the relevance of the guidelines with respect to modern FFDM systems. This study has also shown that a summary review of the QA data can be achieved by simple organisation of the QA data storage and by automation of data query and retrieval using commonly available software.

Concepts: Breast cancer, Type I and type II errors, Quality assurance, Breast, Mammography, Digital Mammography and PACS, Failure rate, The Europeans


As a result of dense installations of public mobile base station, additional electromagnetic radiation occurs in the living environment. In order to determine the level of radio-frequency radiation generated by base stations, extensive electromagnetic field strength measurements were carried out for 664 base station locations. Base station locations were classified into three categories: indoor, masts and locations with installations on buildings. Having in mind the large percentage (47 %) of sites with antenna masts, a detailed analysis of this location category was performed, and the measurement results were presented. It was concluded that the total electric field strength in the vicinity of base station antenna masts in no case exceeded 10 V m(-1), which is quite below the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection reference levels. At horizontal distances >50 m from the mast bottom, the median and maximum values were <1 and 2 V m(-1), respectively.

Concepts: Electromagnetism, Electromagnetic field, Magnetic field, Photon, Maxwell's equations, Electromagnetic spectrum, Radio, Mobile phone radiation and health


Occupational exposure to non-ionising electromagnetic radiation emitted by train protection (TP) systems operating at ∼27 MHz is investigated in situ. In total, five TP systems of two different types, i.e. KVB (Contrôle de Vitesse par Balises) and TBL1+ (Transmission Balise-Locomotive), are considered. For each type, the boundaries outside which the field levels are in compliance with the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines for occupational exposure (‘compliance boundaries’) are determined. Maximal fields of 4.7 A m(-1) and 0.2 kV m(-1) for KVB, and 51 A m(-1) and 1.5 kV m(-1) for TBL1+ are measured, at distances between 10 and 25 cm from the respective antennas. Compliance boundaries for occupational exposure are maximally 0.6 m for KVB to 1 m for TBL1+, while no specific compliance boundary is needed for the general public.

Concepts: Ionizing radiation, Ultraviolet, Electromagnetism, X-ray, Electromagnetic radiation, Electromagnetic spectrum, Radio, Non-ionizing radiation


Heightened awareness of the ever-expanding use of radiofrequency (RF) techniques and technology has led to mounting concerns from the general public and the scientific community regarding the possible health effects that may arise as a consequence of exposure to RF radiations and has drawn the attention of many researchers the world over. A survey of the RF electromagnetic radiation at public access points in the vicinity of 20 frequency-modulated (FM) radio stations has been made in Accra, Ghana. The fundamental object was to determine the levels of RF fields from FM broadcast antennae within 10-200 m radius about the foot of the FM base station and at a height of 1.5 m above the ground at selected locations. A spectrum analyser and a bi-conical antenna element sensitive and effective within the frequency band of 30-300 MHz were used. Results obtained indicated that the levels of electric field strength ranged from 5.4E-04 V m(-1) at FM station ‘O’ to 7.4E-08 V m(-1) at FM station ’D'. At a transmission frequency range of 88-108 MHz, the variation of power densities is from 2.5E-10 to 1.5E-17 Wm(-2). These values are very low and are far below the reference level set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and therefore do not pose any known hazard to the inhabitants of Accra, Ghana. The electric field levels presented in this work are comparable with those reported from epidemiological studies conducted elsewhere.

Concepts: Electromagnetism, Electromagnetic radiation, Electromagnetic spectrum, Frequency, Radio, Frequency modulation, AM broadcasting, FM broadcasting


Unrecognised pregnancy during radioisotope therapy of thyroid cancer results in hardly definable embryo/fetus exposures, particularly when the thyroid gland is already removed. Sources of such difficulty include uncertainty in data like pregnancy commencing time, amount and distribution of metastasized thyroid cells in body, effect of the thyroidectomy on the fetus dose coefficient etc. Despite all these uncertainties, estimation of the order of the fetus dose in most cases is enough for medical and legal decision-making purposes. A model for adapting the dose coefficients recommended by the well-known methods to the problem of fetus dose assessment in athyrotic patients is proposed. The model defines a correction factor for the problem and ensures that the fetus dose in athyrotic pregnant patients is less than the normal patients. A case of pregnant patient undergone post-surgical therapy by I-131 is then studied for quantitative comparison of the methods. The results draw a range for the fetus dose in athyrotic patients using the derived factor. This reduces the concerns on under- or over-estimation of the embryo/fetus dose and is helpful for personal and/or legal decision-making on abortion.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Embryo, Fetus, Chernobyl disaster, Nuclear medicine, Thyroid disease, Fertility, Abortion


A 6- to 7-MeV high-energy gamma-ray field, produced by the nuclear reaction of (19)F(p, αγ)(16)O, has been established at the Facility of Radiation Standards (FRS) in Japan Atomic Energy Agency for calibration purposes. Basic dosimetric quantities (i.e. averaged gamma-ray energy, air-kerma-to-dose equivalent conversion coefficients and air kerma rates at the point of test) have been precisely determined through a series of measurements using the NaI(Tl) spectrometer and an ionisation chamber coupled with an appropriate build-up material. The measurements obtained comply with values recommended by the International Organization for Standardization for an ‘R-F field’. The neutron contamination component for the field has also been measured by means of a conventional neutron dose equivalent meter (the so-called neutron rem-counter) and determined to be ∼0.5 % of the total dose equivalent.

Concepts: Ionizing radiation, Metrology, Nuclear fission, Test method, International Atomic Energy Agency, Nuclear weapon, Gamma ray, Van de Graaff generator


In this study, based on the electrostatic integrating radon monitor (EIRM) developed by Iida et al., a new type of EIRM with the allyl glycol carbonate (CR-39) as alpha-particle detector was developed for outdoor radon measurements. Besides using the CR-39 to replace the cellulose nitrate film as alpha-particle detector, the electrode and the setting place of the CR-39 were also optimally designed based on the simulation results of the electric field and the detection efficiency. The calibration factor of the new EIRM was estimated to be 0.136±0.002 tracks cm(-2) (Bq m(-3) h)(-1), with the lower detection limit of 0.6 Bq m(-3) for a 2-month exposure. Furthermore, both the battery and the dry agent were also replaced to protect the environment. The results of intercomparison and field experiments showed that the performances of the new EIRM were much better than the original one. It suggests that the new type of ERIM is more suitable for large-scale and long-term outdoor radon surveys.

Concepts: Michael Faraday, Measurement, Natural environment, Cotton, Detection limit, Cellulose, Nitrocellulose, Celluloid