|Year : 2007 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 185-188
New Delhi-110 075, India
New Delhi-110 075
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Ganesh T. News. J Med Phys 2007;32:185-8
| Recent Publications of interest from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)|| |
Update of X-ray and gamma ray decay data standards for detector calibration and other applications (parts 1 and 2)
High quality decay data are essential for the efficient calibration of X and gamma ray detectors that are used to quantify the radionuclidic content of a sample by determining the intensities of any resulting X and gamma rays. This latest report from IAEA presents the results of a coordinated research project on X ray and gamma ray decay data standards for detector calibration and other applications.
Comparative evaluation of therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals
Technical reports series no. 458
Radionuclide therapy employing unsealed radiotherapeutic agents has emerged as an important tool for cancer management. This report describes in detail the analytical techniques, biological assays, animal tumour models and protocols for the evaluation of therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals and summarizes the results. The information contained in this book will be of interest to those working in radiopharmaceutical chemistry and development, pharmacology, dosimetry and preclinical studies.
Dosimetry in diagnostic radiology: An international code of practice
Technical reports series no. 457
This publication is intended to support those working in the field of diagnostic radiology dosimetry, both in standards laboratories involved in the calibration of dosimeters and those in clinical centers and hospitals where patient dosimetry and quality assurance measurements are of vital concern. This Code of Practice covers diverse dosimetric situations corresponding to the range of examinations found clinically and includes guidance on dosimetry for general radiography, fluoroscopy, mammography, computed tomography and dental radiography.
Radiation protection programmes for the transport of radioactive material safety guide
Safety standards series no. TS-G-1.3
This Safety Guide provides guidance on meeting the requirements for the establishment of radiation protection programmes (RPPs) for the transport of radioactive material, to optimize radiation protection in order to meet the requirements for radiation protection that underlie the Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material.
A Syllabus for the education and training of radiation oncology nurses
Training course series no. 28
This publication provides the basic contents of an education course for radiation oncology nurses. It is a minimally essential syllabus which can and should be adapted to the particular needs and characteristics of the centre and country. This syllabus provides specific guidelines for the education of nurses new to radiation oncology and for the practice of quality radiation oncology nursing care. It can also assist with articulation of the role of the radiation oncology nurse, justification of nursing staff positions in the department of radiation oncology and with the evaluation of radiation oncology nurses' performance.
[These publications can be freely downloaded from the IAEA website using the following links:
| International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) Drafts Definition of Radiation Protection Expert (RPE)|| |
The International Labor Organization (ILO) framed the first International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO-58) in the year 1957. Revised classifications were published as ISCO-68 and ISCO-88. ISCO is a tool for categorizing jobs into well defined set of groups according to the tasks and duties undertaken in the job. Currently radiation protection is not in the list of ISCO. The IRPA has now taken initiatives to propose the registration of the Radiation Protection Expert in the upcoming version of ISCO-08 to be published in early 2008. The draft proposal can be downloaded from the IRPA website using the link:
| NCRP Releases Report No. 155: Management of Radionuclide Therapy Patients|| |
NCRP report no. 155, Management of Radionuclide Therapy Patients, is intended for use by a wide readership including physicians, medical physicists, health physicists, administrators, nurses, other professional and medical staff and patients. The approaches originally suggested in NCRP report no. 37, Precautions in the Management of Patients Who Have Received Therapeutic Amounts of Radionuclides (1970), are incorporated and updated.
This Report makes recommendations on explaining risks from therapeutic procedures and obtaining adequate, informed patient consent; dose limits for members of the patient's family; patient confinement in a hospital or skilled-care facility; and patient records including the radionuclide and activity used, the treating physician and contact information.
| Stripping of Blue Lady Rakes up Concerns over Possible Radiation Health Hazard|| |
On September 11, 2007 the Supreme Court of India finally cleared the dismantling of the Norwegian ship Blue Lady currently anchored off Alang coast, Gujarat. Blue Lady was one of the longest passenger lines to be ever built. The verdict was preceded by a long battle and concerns raised by environmentalists about possible radiation health hazards due to the 5500 smoke detectors installed in the ship powered by radioactive material Americium-241, besides several other health hazards. However the Technical Expert Committee appointed by the apex court could come across only 12 such smoke detectors.
A typical Am-241 smoke detector has about 1 µCi of Am-241 in the form of americium oxide. The radiation dose to the occupants of a house from a domestic smoke detector is essentially zero and in any case very much less than that from natural background radiation. The small amount of radioactive material that is used in these detectors is not a health hazard. Even swallowing the radioactive material from a smoke detector would not lead to significant internal absorption of Am-241, since the dioxide is insoluble. It will pass through the digestive tract, without delivering a significant radiation dose. However, if taken in the soluble form, it poses a significant health hazard.
In view of the above facts it can be reasoned that while these smoke detectors may not pose a grave health hazard as such it is still essential to educate the ship breakers to handle these devices carefully. Presently the ship is being stripped off her removable fittings and furnishings.
[From PTI dated July 25, 2007, Times of India dated Sept 6 & 12, 2007 and Uranium Information Centre Ltd, Melbourne, Australia - www.uic.com.au]
| Chernobyl's New Safe Confinement|| |
The Chernobyl reactor - scene of world's worst reactor accident - is to be entombed in a giant steel shelter. A $1.4bn structure will replace the crumbling concrete sarcophagus erected after the 1986 accident. The precarious structure has been leaking radiation for more than a decade. It will take about 1˝ years to design the New Safe Confinement (NSC) and another four to build it. The NSC is to be built in sections and slid into place on Teflon-coated rails. Multiple layer end walls will seal NSC around plant building and sarcophagus. When built, NSC will measure 105 m tall, 150 m long and span 275 m. The NSC will be the largest movable structure ever built.
[From The Hindu dated September 18, 2007]
| Windscale Nuclear Accident Estimated to be Worse Than Previously Thought|| |
On the 50 th anniversary of Britain's worst nuclear accident, it is now estimated that the Windscale fire in Cumbria, released twice as much radioactive debris as was previously thought. Scientists studying weather patterns and amounts of radioactive material distributed after the 1957 blaze say previous estimates have played down its deadly impact. The UK Atomic Energy Authority has doubled the estimates of radioactivity amount that were released. Accordingly cancer incidences would also have to be raised.
[From Guardian Unlimited dated October 7, 2007]
| New Dye Test to Detect Failing Chemotherapy|| |
Scientists from University of New South Wales in Sydney have developed an innovative test that detects within days whether chemotherapy is actually killing a patient's cancer cells. The test involves the injection of a molecular dye, which attached to dying or dead cancer cells, within 24 to 48 hours of patient's first dose of chemotherapy or radiotherapy. An oncologist can immediately change the treatment in case none of the cancer cells dies. It would help to tailor the treatment and to prevent people from the trauma of going through a chemotherapy cycle for months only to find out it didn't work. The dye was expected to work on the cancers of lung, breast, colon and prostate. However, it would not be suitable for leukemia. Clinical trials are expected to start 2 years from now.
[From The Hindu dated October 9, 2007 and www.topnews.in]
| Under Developed Countries Become Backyard for Dumping Hazardous Wastes|| |
Authorities in Italy are investigating members of a mafia clan accused of trafficking nuclear and radioactive waste for dumping in Somalia. Two members of the clang are involved in getting rid of about 600 drums of toxic and radioactive wastes from developed countries, including Italy, with Somalia as the destination. But due to shortage of space in ship, 100 drums were buried in the southern Italian region of Basilicata. Investigators are yet to locate the radioactive drums. The mafia clan is also believed to have blown up shiploads of waste, including radioactive hospital waste and sending them to the sea bed off the Calabrian coast.
[From The Hindu dated October 10, 2007]
| NRI Scientist Solves 7-decade-old Crystal Mystery|| |
An Indian origin researcher from the Florida State this line seems to have no spaces between the words. Kindly check the same and place space between the words. Nacional de Rosario in Argentina has solved a seven-decade-old mystery - why the crystal known as ammonium dihydrogen phosphate or ADP displays certain unusual electrical properties - that could lead to the development of more powerful computer memories and lasers.
[From The Times of India dated October 21, 2007]
| European Commission Lifts Threat to MRI Scans|| |
In 2004, European Commission issued a physical agents directive, due to be in force in 2008, which had set limits on people's occupational exposure to electromagnetic radiation. The exposure limits are so low that many routine MRI procedures would have been deemed illegal on enforcement of the directive. In 2005, a group of leading scientists including Nobel laureate Sir Peter Mansfield, whose pioneering work led to the development of MRI scanners, initiated a sustained effort to highlight the lack of scientific evidence behind the directive and sought its withdrawal. On October 22, 2007, the commission announced that it would defer the introduction of the physical agents directive for another four years, pending a review of the latest research in the area.
[From Guardian Unlimited dated October 22, 2007]
| UK Team Make Light Work of Redefining the Kilogram|| |
It is the only object in the universe with a mass of exactly 1 kg, but to the great embarrassment of scientists it does not weigh the same as it used to. The object in question is a cylindrical lump of platinum and iridium held in a high-security underground safe on the outskirts of Paris at Sevres. It has been the guardian of the kilogram since the 19th century, the one lucky object given the distinction of being - by definition - equal to that measure. Of all the standard units of measurement, the kilogram is the only one that is awkwardly defined in terms of a physical thing.
Now British researchers are well on the way to dispensing with this scientific embarrassment. They have produced an exquisitely accurate measurement of a fundamental physical property called the Planck constant. Defining the kilogram in such terms will base the measurement unit on the fundamental laws of physics, so rendering the Paris kilogram redundant.
[From Guardian Unlimited dated October 29, 2007]
| New Therapy Targets Cancers, Not Healthy Tissues|| |
A radical light-activated cancer therapy that destroys tumors while leaving healthy tissues untouched has been demonstrated for the first time by a team of British scientists. The cancer drug only switches on when it is illuminated by a beam of ultraviolet light, allowing doctors to target the therapy at tumors with unprecedented precision. The Newcastle University team is planning the first human trials of the therapy early next year, which will likely be aimed at treating skin cancer. Further safety trials could take 10 years to complete before the treatment is available routinely to patients.
[From Guardian Unlimited dated October 30, 2007]
| Patient Doses in Multi-Detector Computed Tomography (MDCT)|| |
The multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) scanners continue to fuel debates on their benefits versus raised risks of cancer. In the recently concluded American Heart Association Conference, researchers from National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute presented the results of the first ever direct comparison between conventional cardiac angiography and the 64-slice CT angiography. They found that the CT method delivered 10 times more radiation than a standard angiogram. They concluded that it might spur thousands of additional cases if the scans were widely used in the population.
The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has recently (November 2007) published its publication No. 102 titled Managing Patient Dose in Multi-Detector Computed Tomography. This document briefly reviews the MDCT technology, radiation dose in MDCT, including differences from SDCT and factors that affect dose, radiation risks and the responsibilities for patient dose management. The document recommends that users need to understand the relationship between patient dose and image quality.
[From The Hindu dated November 7, 2007 and http://intl.elsevierhealth.com/catalogue/title.cfm?ISBN= 9780702030475].