Calculating Capstone depleted uranium aerosol concentrations from beta activity measurements.
ABSTRACT Beta activity measurements were used as surrogate measurements of uranium mass in aerosol samples collected during the field testing phase of the Capstone Depleted Uranium (DU) Aerosol Study. These aerosol samples generated by the perforation of armored combat vehicles were used to characterize the DU source term for the subsequent Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) of Capstone aerosols. Establishing a calibration curve between beta activity measurements and uranium mass measurements is straightforward if the uranium isotopes are in equilibrium with their immediate short-lived, beta-emitting progeny. For DU samples collected during the Capstone study, it was determined that the equilibrium between the uranium isotopes and their immediate short-lived, beta-emitting progeny had been disrupted when penetrators had perforated target vehicles. Adjustments were made to account for the disrupted equilibrium and for wall losses in the aerosol samplers. Values for the equilibrium fraction ranged from 0.16 to 1, and the wall loss correction factors ranged from 1 to 1.92. This paper describes the process used and adjustments necessary to calculate uranium mass from proportional counting measurements.
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ABSTRACT: During the Capstone Depleted Uranium (DU) Aerosol Study, aerosols containing DU were produced inside unventilated armored vehicles (i.e., Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles) by perforation with large-caliber DU penetrators. These aerosols were collected and characterized, and the data were subsequently used to assess human health risks to personnel exposed to DU aerosols. The DU content of each aerosol sample was first quantified by radioanalytical methods, and selected samples, primarily those from the cyclone separator grit chambers, were analyzed radiochemically. Deposition occurred inside the vehicles as particles settled on interior surfaces. Settling rates of uranium from the aerosols were evaluated using filter cassette samples that collected aerosol as total mass over eight sequential time intervals. A moving filter was used to collect aerosol samples over time, particularly within the first minute after a shot. The results demonstrate that the peak uranium concentration in the aerosol occurred in the first 10 s after perforation, and the concentration decreased in the Abrams tank shots to about 50% within 1 min and to less than 2% after 30 min. The initial and maximum uranium concentrations were lower in the Bradley vehicle than those observed in the Abrams tank, and the concentration levels decreased more slowly. Uranium mass concentrations in the aerosols as a function of particle size were evaluated using samples collected in a cyclone sampler, which collected aerosol continuously for 2 h after perforation. The percentages of uranium mass in the cyclone separator stages ranged from 38 to 72% for the Abrams tank with conventional armor. In most cases, it varied with particle size, typically with less uranium associated with the smaller particle sizes. Neither the Abrams tank with DU armor nor the Bradley vehicle results were specifically correlated with particle size and can best be represented by their average uranium mass concentrations of 65 and 24%, respectively.Health physics 04/2009; 96(3):251-65. DOI:10.1097/01.HP.0000311549.85594.a3 · 0.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Depleted uranium (DU) intake rates and subsequent dose rates were estimated for personnel entering armored combat vehicles perforated with DU penetrators (level II and level III personnel) using data generated during the Capstone DU Aerosol Study. Inhalation intake rates and associated dose rates were estimated from cascade impactors worn by sample recovery personnel and from cascade impactors that served as area monitors. Ingestion intake rates and associated dose rates were estimated from cotton gloves worn by sample recovery personnel and from wipe-tests samples from the interior of vehicles perforated with large-caliber DU munitions. The mean DU inhalation intake rate for level II personnel ranged from 0.447 mg h(-1) based on breathing zone monitor data (in and around a perforated vehicle) to 14.5 mg h(-1) based on area monitor data (in a perforated vehicle). The mean DU ingestion intake rate for level II ranged from 4.8 mg h(-1) to 38.9 mg h(-1) based on the wipe-tests data including surface-to-glove transfer factors derived from the Capstone data. Based on glove contamination data, the mean DU ingestion intake rates for level II and level III personnel were 10.6 mg h(-1) and 1.78 mg h(-1), respectively. Effective dose rates and peak kidney uranium concentration rates were calculated based on the intake rates. The peak kidney uranium concentration rate cannot be multiplied by the total exposure duration when multiple intakes occur because uranium will clear from the kidney between the exposures.Health physics 04/2009; 96(3):363-79. DOI:10.1097/01.HP.0000334063.95622.f9 · 0.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Capstone Depleted Uranium (DU) Aerosol Study was undertaken to obtain aerosol samples resulting from a large-caliber DU penetrator striking an Abrams or Bradley test vehicle. The sampling strategy was designed to (1) optimize the performance of the samplers and maintain their integrity in the extreme environment created during perforation of an armored vehicle by a DU penetrator, (2) collect aerosols as a function of time post perforation, and (3) obtain size-classified samples for analysis of chemical composition, particle morphology, and solubility in lung fluid. This paper describes the experimental setup and sampling methodologies used to achieve these objectives. Custom-designed arrays of sampling heads were secured to the inside of the target in locations approximating the breathing zones of the crew locations in the test vehicles. Each array was designed to support nine filter cassettes and nine cascade impactors mounted with quick-disconnect fittings. Shielding and sampler placement strategies were used to minimize sampler loss caused by the penetrator impact and the resulting fragments of eroded penetrator and perforated armor. A cyclone train was used to collect larger quantities of DU aerosol for measurement of chemical composition and solubility. A moving filter sample was used to obtain semicontinuous samples for DU concentration determination. Control for the air samplers was provided by five remotely located valve control and pressure monitoring units located inside and around the test vehicle. These units were connected to a computer interface chassis and controlled using a customized LabVIEW engineering computer control program. The aerosol sampling arrays and control systems for the Capstone study provided the needed aerosol samples for physicochemical analysis, and the resultant data were used for risk assessment of exposure to DU aerosol.Health physics 04/2009; 96(3):221-37. DOI:10.1097/01.HP.0000290610.53663.57 · 0.77 Impact Factor