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Report No. 046 - Alpha-Emitting Particles in Lungs (1975)

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The potential for release of particles of plutonium and transplutonium alpha-emitting elements from nuclear power generating facilities poses urgent questions concerning spatial distribution of dose and the resultant biological effects. These questions &re of special importance in the setting of standards for radiation exposure. The major problems, and the pertinent information bearing on them, have been summarized in several recent compendia (ICRP, 1969; NCRP, 1971; ICRP, 1972; Hodge, et al., 1973; Bair, 1974; Bair and Thompson, 1974; Bair, et al., 1974; Tamplin and Cochran, 1974). We make no attempt, here, to review the general problem, but focus our attention on the specific problem of the biological effects of alpha-emitting particles in the lung. We address the question of whether the current practice of averaging over the lung the absorbed dose from particulate alpha-emitting radionuclides is a defensible procedure in the practice of radiation protection and whether exposure limits derived on this basis are more or less conservative than those that might result from a precise consideration of the spatial distribution of dose.
Scientific Committee:
William J. Bair, Chairman

Albrecht Kellerer
J. Newell Stannard
Roy C. Thompson
I Disagree
I Agree

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