U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Question 449: Detectable, minor intakes may result for
some individuals who do not wear respirators during
specific radiological work activities for the purpose of
maintaining the total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) as
low as is reasonably achievable (ALARA), as required by
regulation. Such resulting intakes may involve substantial
follow-up activities in terms of bioassay, internal dose
assessment, and responses to various monitor alarms (e.g.,
hand-held friskers and portal monitors) as the individual
continues to perform work in the restricted area in the
period following the intake, due to the sensitivity of the
monitors and the low monitor alarm set points, established
to detect small amounts of contamination or hot particles
on individuals exiting work areas or the restricted area.
In evaluating whether or not to use respirators in a given
situation, may the assessment of costs versus benefits
appropriately include the resource costs associated with
follow-up activities to potential intakes, and ultimately
be factored into the decision making on wearing respirators?
Answer: Yes; however, there is no requirement that these
costs be considered. (Reference: 10 CFR 20.1702).