Room: AAPM ePoster Library
Purpose: To date, there is immense uncertainty on the relationship between low-dose radiation exposure and cancer risk. The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) recommends the adoption of the linear, no-threshold model as a predictive model for purposes of radiation protection. Medical radiation workers (MRW) are subject to occupational radiation exposures and differences in workload, area of work and types of occupational radiation exposure can lead to variations in exposures between occupational groups. In this work, we investigated the average annual and collective effective deep [Hp(10)], shallow [Hp(0.7)] and eye [Hp(3)] doses of MRW at two local hospitals in order to identify occupational groups with the highest radiation exposure and provide practical tools for occupational dose reductions.
Methods: The occupational dose information of 575 MRW from the Cancer Centre (CC), Main Hospital (MH), Nuclear Medicine (NM) department and Catheterization Lab (CL) from January 2015 to December 2019 was acquired. In total, 18 occupational groups were studied. Dose data was analyzed to identify the distribution of each occupational group, the total number of monitored workers and the average and collective effective Hp(10), Hp(0.7) and Hp(3) doses. The occupational groups with the highest radiation exposure were determined and MRW were observed in order to identify areas of improvement in work practices.
Results: The exposure of MRW in the CC were below the detection limit. Conversely, exposure in the other three areas varied by occupational group, with the highest radiation exposure present in technologists in the NM department and interventional radiologists at the MH. This was mainly due to the preparation of radiopharmaceuticals and proximity to patients during procedures, respectively.
Conclusion: All staff exposure doses were below the dose limits set by the ICRP. Despite this, we are providing additional remedial actions to ensure that staff doses are as low as reasonably achievable.