Exposure of critical groups to nuclear medicine patients

Appl Radiat Isot. 1999 Jan;50(1):89-111. doi: 10.1016/s0969-8043(98)00074-8.


When a radiopharmaceutical has been administered to a patient, assessment of the risk to critical groups from emitted photon radiation is by measurement of the integral dose received by an individual, or by measurements of the dose rate external to the patient coupled with appropriate occupancy factors. Estimations have been made from the available data of the dose to critical groups exposed to patients who have undergone diagnostic or therapeutic procedures. These dose estimations can be used to assess the impact of the proposed changes in statutory requirements, and to allow appropriate recommendations to be formulated. Two areas for consideration are that pregnant staff exposed to nuclear medicine patients will require an abdominal surface dose limit lower than 2 mSv to restrict their foetal dose to 1 mSv, and the current UK restrictions for the behaviour of patients who have undergone 131I treatment are either already adequate or can even be relaxed in order to restrict the exposure of members of the public to the proposed lower dose limits. Agreement is needed on the value (e.g. 95th percentile) from a study of the dose to a number of individuals which should serve as the basis for radiation protection recommendations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding / adverse effects
  • Child, Preschool
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / adverse effects
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / therapeutic use
  • Medical Laboratory Science
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Parents
  • Personnel, Hospital
  • Pregnancy
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiation Protection
  • Radiometry
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / adverse effects*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / therapeutic use
  • United Kingdom


  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals