Skin contamination of nuclear medicine technologists: incidence, routes, dosimetry and decontamination

Peter Covens, Danielle Berus, Vicky Caveliers, Lara Struelens, Dirk Verellen, Filip Vanhavere

    Research outputpeer-review


    Nuclear medicine technologists are exposed daily to risk of skin contamination with radiopharmaceuticals. This study deals with the different elements associated with skin contaminations. In 10 months 560 inspections were carried out. Local contamination was found on the fingers in 40 cases, but increasing awareness caused a significant reduction over time. The measured activities ranged from 211 Bq/cm² to 460 kBq/cm², resulting in cumulated skin doses between 0.02 and 809 mSv. The poor efficacy of the decontamination during daily practice is supported by the in-vitro results. The course of contamination is characterized by an effective first decontamination, followed by relatively ineffective steps. Single contaminations can result in local skin doses exceeding the yearly dose limit because of contribution of electrons at shallow depths and should therefore be prevented at any time.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1024-1031
    JournalNuclear Medicine Communications
    Issue number10
    StatePublished - 30 May 2012

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