United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

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).

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012