Author(s): Laroche P, Cazoulat A, Rotger C, Petitot F, Grasimo P
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Abstract The use of thoriated tungsten electrodes may be at the origin of a potential hazard for the personnel involved in the use of electrodes, as well as the general population. To assess this hazard, the electrode radioactivity measurements by alpha and beta counting has been conducted. The radioelements were identified by alpha and gamma spectromety. It appeared that there was a radioactive disequilibrium between thorium-232 (Th-232) and it daughters atoms. Additionally, some thorium 230 (Th-230) belonging to the uranium chain, was present. The chemical separation and the milling processing had affected the radioactive composition and the thorium in the electrodes, doesn't exactly corresponds to natural thorium. Radiation doses were also assessed: film and photoluminescence dosimetry were undertaken. Finally smears method showed a alpha removable area contamination. Even if the hazard is weak. As a matter of fact, it must not be neglected because it was complex, for the thorium was always accompanied by Th-232 progeny, alpha emitters but also beta and gamma emitters.
This article was published in Ann Pharm Fr
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Toxicology