In the spring of 2012, based on recommendations from the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) proposed three amendments to reduce current radiation exposure limits for radiation workers. The NRC proposals have caused some concern within the radiopharmaceutical industry. The regulatory changes may affect the ability of radiopharmacy workers to remain on the job, thereby inflicting additional costs to radiopharmacies if they are required to replace workers who have reached their yearly exposure limits.
This research sought to determine whether or not the new regulatory proposals will in fact have a financial impact on the radiopharmaceutical industry. This research was a retrospective case study that analyzed four radiopharmaceutical production facilities and their employee radiation exposure reports. Results of the study suggest that the NRC's proposed amendments to reduce radiation levels will not have a great adverse effect, either financially or from an employee exposure standpoint, on the current radiopharmacy system. The research demonstrated that existing as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) standards have resulted in radiopharmacy workers receiving exposures well below the current limits, and within the NRC proposed limits. Of 77 employees studied over a 10 year period, only seven employees (9 %) would have been removed from the production process for overexposure to any one of the NRC's proposed limits. However, this research reviewed small a subset of four radiopharmacies and did not examine other industries and professions utilizing ionizing radiation.
|Commitee:||Draus, Peter, Hall, Brian, Harvey, Richard, Kohun, Frederick|
|School:||Robert Morris University|
|Department:||Information Systems and Communications|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-B 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Occupational health, Information Technology, Medical imaging|
|Keywords:||Dose equivalent, Exposure limits, Occupational exposure, Radiation exposure, Radiopharmacy, Total effective dose equivalent|
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