EEAE has the appropriate infrastructure for monitoring internal exposure of radionuclides emitting α, β and γ rays; this concerns occupationally exposed workers in places with increased radioactive concentration or workers dealing with open radioactive sources, as well as the general public in cases of radiological emergencies.
Internal exposure measurements are usually applied to workers in the sectors listed below:
- nuclear reactors
- radioisotopes production
- handling of open sources in medical, research
- and other applications, including radiopharmaceuticals
- handling of volatile radioactive substances and aerosols
- processing with plutonium or other transuranic elements
- mining, treatment and use of minerals and thorium compounds
- uranium mining and exploration
- places with increased natural radioactivity
- response to radiological incidents/accidents.
The intake of radionuclides can be obtained by four routes:
- Inhalation of radioactive particles that may be suspended in the air
Inhalation is the main route of intake of radionuclides for occupationally exposed workers.
The extent of incorporated radionuclides, as well as the radiation dose, can be estimated by using the results of monitoring techniques. These results are further analyzed with specified computational algorithms. In vivo monitoring involves direct measurement of radionuclides deposited in the body or organs like the thyroid, the lungs and the scalp, while in vitro monitoring techniques, involve the indirect measurement of radionuclides in biological samples.