Considerations for Bioassay Monitoring of Mixtures of Radionuclides
Complying with regulations for bioassay monitoring of radionuclide intakes is significantly more complex for mixtures than it is for pure radionuclides. Different constituents will naturally have different dose coefficients, be detectable at significantly different levels, and may require very different amounts of effort to bioassay. The ability to use certain constituents as surrogates for others will depend on how well characterized the mixture is, as well as whether the employee is also working with other radionuclides. This is further compounded by the fact that the composition of a mixture (or even of a pure radionuclide) is likely to change over time. Internal dosimetrists must decide how best to monitor employees who work with radionuclide mixtures. In particular, they must decide which constituents should be monitored routinely, which constituents only need to be monitored in the case of an intake, and how to estimate doses based on intakes of monitored and unmonitored constituents.