ICRU Report 68, Retrospective Assessment of Exposure to Ionising Radiation


Basic dose quantities used in dose reconstruction are defined. The following dose reconstruction methods based on measurements performed for individual persons are reviewed: electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) measurements with tooth enamel, analyses of dicentric chromosomes and chromosome translocations, counting of micronuclei in lymphocytes, somatic mutation assays, and measurements of radionuclide activities in the human body.

 Methods based on measurements in environmental media include luminescence methods applied to minerals to determine absorbed doses in ceramics such as bricks or porcelain, accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) to determine small quantities of man-made long-lived radionuclides, methods based on existing measurements of absorbed dose-rates in air , and modelling based on radionuclide-activities in the environment. The application of different methods of dose reconstruction to the same individuals is reviewed for the atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (dosimetry system DS86, EPR with teeth, chromosomal aberrations in lymphocytes, and somatic-mutation assays) and the workers of the Mayak Production Association (occupational film-badge dosimetry, EPR with teeth, and fluorescence in-situ hybridisation (FISH) with lymphocytes). Examples of reconstruction of absorbed doses in environmental media are Hiroshima and Nagaski (luminescence measurements, AMS and the DS86 system), the Nevada test site (measurements of 137Cs activity in the soil, thermoluminescence of bricks and gamma-dose rate in air), and settlements contaminated by the Chernobyl accident (luminescence methods and modeling based on measured 137Cs activity in the ground). The Report concludes with an overview under which conditions the various methods of the dose reconstruction are best applied.