Implementation of bioassay methods to improve assessment of incorporated radionuclides.
ABSTRACT The present work which was carried out in the framework of an EU project (IDEA: Internal Dosimetry-Enhancements in Application; Contract Number: FIKR CT2001 00164) shall provide commonly acceptable guidelines for optimum performance of ICP-MS measurements with focus on urinary measurements of uranium, thorium and actinides. From the results of this work it is recommended that, whenever feasible, 24 h urine sampling should be conducted to avoid large uncertainties in the quantitation of daily urinary excretion values. For storage, urine samples should be acidified and kept frozen before analysis. Measurement of total uranium in urine by ICP-MS at physiological levels (<10 ng.l(-1)) requires no sample preparation besides UV photolysis and/or dilution. For the measurement of thorium in urine by ICP-MS, it can be concluded, that salt removal from the urine samples is not recommended. For the measurement of actinides in urine it is shown that ICP-MS is well-suited and a good alternative to alpha-spectrometry for isotopes with T1/2>5x10(4) years. In general, ICP-MS measurements are an easy, fast and cost-saving methodology. New improved measuring techniques (HR-SF-ICP-MS) with detection limits in urine of 150 pg.l(-1) (1.9 microBq.l(-1)) for 238U, 30 pg.l(-1) (2.4 microBq.l(-1)) for 235U and 100 pg.l(-1) (0.4 microBq.l(-1)) for (232)Th, respectively, meet all necessary requirements. This method should therefore become the routine technique for incorporation monitoring of workers and of members of the general public, in particular for uranium contamination.