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Supplementing Routine Bioassay Programs When DIL < MDA
Internal Dosimetry - index
Example 4.4. Improving Detection Capabilities of Air Sampling Using Averaging

Example 4.3. Use of Breathing Zone Air Samples to Supplement Routine Bioassay for
To illustrate the detection capability of breathing zone air monitoring, consider the DAC for
class Y  Pu of 6E-12 :Ci/mL (10 CFR 835, Appendix A). Multiplying by 2.4E9 mL/year breathed
by Reference Man, one derives DOE's nonstochastic annual limit on intake (NALI) for class Y 239Pu
as 1.44 E-2 :Ci = 14.4 nCi (533 Bq). The complementary "5-rem" stochastic annual limit on intake
(SALI) from ICRP 30 is 16.2 nCi (600 Bq). Then, 2% of a SALI (that is, the intake that would result
in a HE,50 of 100 mrem) is 324 pCi (12 Bq), or 720 dpm of Pu. (The SALI for class W material is
about 3 times lower.)
Suppose a worker was exposed to an atmosphere in which, breathing at Reference Man's rate
of 20 liters per minute, he would experience an intake of 2% of a SALI. A BZ or personal air sampler
operating at 20 L/min would collect this same 720 dpm of Pu activity. A lapel air sampler operating
at 1.8 L/min would accumulate about 64 dpm (1.1 Bq). Thus, for a single air sample, there is no
difficulty (in the sense of counting statistics problems) achieving detection capabilities comparable to
those that the DOE requires for external radiation monitoring using BZ or personal air samples for a
single filter.
Personal air sampler filters are likely to be changed every day, or 250 times in a year. Thus,
the 720 dpm, which is 2% of the SALI, could be on one filter or spread among many or all. The
minimum detectable intake for uniform, chronic exposure based on 250 samples is higher than the
minimum detectable intake for a single, acute exposure. See Example 4.4.
Another benefit of BZ air monitoring programs is that they give workers feedback about work
practices. The experience at Apollo, Pennsylvania, showed that workers develop better radiological
control habits based on BZ air sample results.
It is well known that bioassay is much more accurate than BZ or personal air monitoring when
bioassay results are available and adequate. However, when bioassay methods are not adequate or
unavailable, BZ or personal air monitoring should be used. (See 10 CFR 835.209(b).) When there is
technology shortfall for routine bioassay, DOE sites should consider using BZ or personal air monitoring
programs to supplement their routine bioassay programs. Such use should be tempered with an
understanding of the limitations described in Example 4.5.
4.4.6 Performance Specifications for a Bioassay Laboratory
10 CFR 835.402 requires internal dose monitoring programs implemented to demonstrate
compliance with 10 CFR 835 be accredited by the U.S. Department of Energy Laboratory Accreditation
Program (DOELAP) for Radiobioassay (DOE 1998a). Radiobioassay laboratories utilized by the internal
dose monitoring programs will be evaluated against the requirements of the "Department of Energy
Laboratory Accreditation Program for Radiobioassay" (DOE 1998b) which incorporates the
recommendations of HPS N13.30-1996, "Performance Criteria for Radiobioassay" (HPS 1996a). In
addition, they may wish to consider the requirements of ANSI N42.23-1996, "Measurement and
Associated Instrumentation Quality Assurance for Radioassay Laboratories" (ANSI 1996). Additional
specifications for the bioassay or service laboratory should be negotiated between the site and the
laboratory. Example 4.7 gives performance specifications for a radiobioassay laboratory.

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