4.3.5 ALARA Guidelines
The total dose to an individual and the collective dose to the work force should be
ALARA. When applied to personnel contamination or internal intakes, this generally
means less than detectable dose with the best available commercial technology.
4.3.6 Release Criteria
The decision to release personnel with detectable plutonium contamination is made
on a case-by-case basis. If the individual is injured and needs prompt medical
attention, medical treatment will always take precedence, with compensatory
measures made for the protection of medical personnel and facilities. If injuries are
absent or do not require immediate attention, decontamination is preferable to ensure
that the dose to the contaminated individual and the potential for inhalation by the
victim and medical staff are minimized and the spread of contamination is prevented.
In a case where decontamination is incomplete due to injury to the skin or other
reasons, the individual may be provisionally released with measures to prevent the
spread of contamination.
Skin decontamination should be performed by health physics technicians or other members
of the health physics staff. The treatment and decontamination of wounds should be
performed by medical staff.
Nonabrasive methods should be used for skin decontamination to protect the tissues from
deeper contamination. Masking tape should be used to remove dry contamination. Wet
decontamination should be used to remove residual contamination. The skin should be
gently scrubbed with soap and water. Household bleach may be applied as needed to
decontaminate more effectively. The following procedure is recommended:
1. Survey the worker to determine the contaminated areas of the skin. Have the medical
staff treat and decontaminate breaks in the skin.
2. Wipe loose contamination with a gauze sponge or cotton applicators dipped in mild
antiseptic detergent. Do not spread contamination to uncontaminated areas.
3. Rub the skin with the applicators to produce good sudsing.
4. Use soft bristle scrub brushes for fingernails and other difficult-to-clean areas as long
as the skin barrier is maintained intact. It may be difficult to decontaminate the cuticles
and under the nails.
5. Dry the skin area with cleansing tissue.
6. After the skin is thoroughly dry, survey it for any remaining contamination.
7. If no contamination is detected, apply a good-quality hand cream to prevent chapping.