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In medical applications, non-homogeneous radiation exposure conditions may be encountered and whole-body monitoring alone may not be an adequate assessment of doses received by workers. This paper investigated the exposure to extremities in medical applications in the Philippines in terms of personal dose equivalent Hp(0.07). Profiles of monitored workers, dose levels, implications on optimization of occupational exposures, and factors affecting the extremity monitoring implementation were studied. The results show that <3% of workers are monitored for extremities, and there is no monitoring of eye lens dose. There is no extremity monitoring in diagnostic radiology, particularly interventional radiology. Dose levels to extremities were higher and more varied than whole-body doses. In nuclear medicine, the median annual extremity dose is 1.2 mSv, the interquartile range (IQR) is 7.6 mSv (Q1 = 0.5 mSv, Q3 = 8.1 mSv), and the maximum dose is 35 mSv. These median and IQR dose values are four and eight times higher, respectively, compared to the whole-body dose. In radiopharmaceutical distribution, the extremity median annual dose is five times higher than the whole-body dose, and the IQR value is 12 times higher where IQR is 12.1 mSv (Q1 = 0.1 mSv, Q3 = 12.2 mSv). Most notable is in cyclotron operations where <40% of workers were monitored on their extremities; however, the median dose is 100 times higher than the whole-body dose, with a maximum dose of 148 mSv. The results imply that there may be an underassessment of occupational exposure of workers in medical applications. As monitoring results are used for the establishment of a radiation protection program, lack of consideration of extremity doses can lead to inadequate measures in the optimization of worker protection. This study thus shows the need to enhance the implementation of extremity and eye lens dose monitoring in the Philippines to further strengthen the radiation protection of workers in medical applications. © 2022 Society for Radiological Protection. Published on behalf of SRP by IOP Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.


Kristine Marie Romallosa Dean, Angelo Panlaqui, Christy Mae Betos, Jericissa Amberrose Acha. Radiation exposure to extremities in medical applications and its implications for the radiation protection of workers in the Philippines. Journal of radiological protection : official journal of the Society for Radiological Protection. 2022 Sep 26;42(3)

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PMID: 35942873

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