Radiological Health Support Operations
PART 4 Handling Radiologically Contaminated Personnel
541 Skin Contamination
Survey techniques should be established to determine the extent of skin contamination.
When personnel detect skin contamination, they should notify the radiological control organization.
The extent of skin contamination should be determined prior to initiating decontamination procedures.
Skin decontamination methods should be established for site-specific radionuclides. Skin abrasion should be
avoided during the decontamination process. Intrusive decontamination methods, such as tissue removal, require
Levels of skin contamination that trigger the need for dose assessments should be established for site-specific
radionuclides. These trigger levels should not exceed 100 millirem.
Individuals with skin contamination that triggers the need for dose assessment should be informed of the initial dose
estimate to their skin as soon as practicable, preferably prior to the end of their work day.
Individuals with skin contamination for which dose assessment was not performed should be informed of the nature
of the contamination and an upper estimate on the potential dose (such as less than 10 millirem) as soon as
practicable, preferably prior to the end of their work day.
An assessment of skin exposure requires time to conduct a detailed evaluation. Requirements for assessments are
provided in Appendix 2C. Promptly after completion, the results should be explained to the persons affected.
542 Contaminated Wounds
Emergency medical care should be administered immediately for injuries involving radioactive materials in
accordance with National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements Report Number 65. Medical
treatment of injuries takes precedence over radiological control considerations.
The treatment of contaminated injuries should include the following:
Treatment of contaminated wounds by medically qualified personnel
Monitoring of wounds and associated bandages for contamination, including alpha emitters if applicable
Identification of the radionuclides involved
Medical determination of the need for therapeutic intervention such as blocking or chelating agents
Initiation of appropriate bioassay monitoring
Determination of need for work restrictions.
An injured individual should be counseled promptly on the medical and radiological implications resulting from
contaminated wounds that result in internal doses greater than 2 percent of the Table 2-1 limits. The counseling
should be performed by senior radiological control and medical professionals.