Exposure to ionizing radiation by service personnel working with cyclotrons used to produce radiopharmaceuticals in PET diagnostics
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Medical University of Lodz, Łódź, Poland (Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Imaging Technology)
Copernicus Memorial Hospital in Lodz, Łódź, Poland (Comprehensive Cancer Center and Traumatology, Department of Medical Physics)
Lodz University of Technology, Łódź, Poland, (Institute of Applied Radiation Chemistry)
University of Lodz, Łódź, Poland (Faculty of Physics and Applied Informatics, Department of Nuclear Physics and Radiation Safety)
Michał Biegała   

Medical University of Lodz, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Imaging Technology, Lindleya 6, 90-131 Łódź, Poland
Online publication date: 2022-09-05
Objectives: While working with cyclotrons used for the production of radiopharmaceuticals, workers can experience significant exposure to the adverse effects of ionizing radiation. The aim of this paper was to determine the typical level of such exposure received by such personnel while servicing cyclotrons. Material and Methods: Exposure was assessed using TLD detectors placed in an anthropomorphic phantom, as well as dose meter to determine whole body and eye lens exposure. The phantom was placed in locations receiving the greatest exposure to ionizing radiation during service activities. The time spent by employees during servicing was assessed based on routine visits by service technicians. The obtained results were compared with readings of detectors worn by employees during service activities. Results: The highest equivalent doses in the thoracic area were found to be received by the lungs (211.16 μSv/year). In the head and neck area, the highest dose was measured in the eye lens (3410 μSv/year). The effective dose for the whole body was found to be 1154.4 μSv/year, based on the phantom, and 149 μSv per service visit (1192 μSv/year), based on the dose meters carried by the workers. Conclusions: Service workers are exposed to significant doses of ionizing radiation, representing a clear radiological protection issue. To reduce exposure to eye lenses, it is recommended to use protective goggles when working with highly-radioactive elements.