4.1.2 Purpose of Air Monitoring
Airborne contamination surveys are performed for the following reasons:
Prompt detection of airborne contaminants for worker protection.
Personnel exposure assessment.
Monitoring of trends within the workplace.
Of primary importance is the prompt detection of airborne contaminants. The rapid,
early detection of airborne releases requires knowledge of the potential sources and
characteristics of the airborne material, the locations of the personnel who are at risk,
and the capabilities of the detection devices. Optimally, the samples should be taken
between the source and the person to intercept the airborne materials before they
reach the individual. With the numerous sources and mobility of the workers,
interception under all conditions is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. To aid in
early detection samples of airborne materials should be taken as close to their points
of origin as practicable to maximize the probability of their detection (airborne
concentrations are at a maximum at their points of origin). Detailed guidance for the
placement of air samplers and monitors, selection of system characteristics and
requirements, and maintenance and calibration of the equipment is available in the
Health Physics Manual of Good Practices for the Prompt Detection of Airborne
Plutonium in the Workplace (Mishima et al., 1988) and Air Sampling in the
Workplace (NRC, 1993).
4.1.3 Regulations and Limits
The regulations for control of radiation work are covered in 10 CFR 835 (DOE,
1998a). Additional requirements and guidance for implementation is provided in the
DOE standard, Radiological Control, Ch. 1. (DOE, 2004), and the Implementation
Guides. While many of the topics included in the Implementation Guides relate to
plutonium contamination control, specific guidance on contamination control has not
been provided. The limits established for plutonium and other transuranic elements
are given in 10 CFR 835.603 and Appendix D of 10 CFR 835 and are summarized in