“COMMISSIONING AND OPERATING A NEW PERSONAL RADIATION MONITORING DEVICE (PRMD) SERVICE IN SOUTH AFRICA: A ONE YEAR REVIEW OF DATA.” Nell I, de Vos HJ, African Journal of Medical Physics, Volume 2 (Suppl), 2019, https://globalmedicalphysics.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AJMP-2Supplement-SAAPMB.pdf
I Nell, H de Vos - Netcare Hospitals Pty. Ltd
Introduction: In South Africa (SA), it is required that, all radiation workers must be monitored using a PRMD supplied by an approved provider. PRMD technologies have evolved over time from earlier film and thermoluminescent based dosimeters to the current standard being Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dosimeter technology. The OSL dosimeter technology uses an aluminium oxide crystal structure doped with carbon (Al2O3:C) that offers many advantages like: high sensitivity, non-destructive readouts and improved environmental stability. Unfortunately SA doesn’t have an approved PRMD provider that uses OSL technology. The aim of this project is to commission and operate a new PRMD service in South Africa utilising OSL dosimeter technology and to evaluate the data generated.
Materials and Methods:
Commissioning a new PRMD service in SA requires: South African Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (SAPHRA) approval; South African National Accreditation Services (SANAS) ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation and; registration with the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) National Dose Registry (NDR). The new PRMD service, named Dosimeter Services (Pty) Ltd, has been commissioned using OSL dosimetry technology, readers and Individual Monitoring Lab Software (IMLS) supplied by Landauer ®.
The new PRMD service was successfully licensed and obtained all the required accreditation to operate commercially using OSL technology in SA. The service currently monitors 2102 radiation workers primarily in the private healthcare sector. The personal dosimetry records for the first year of operation indicate that the distribution of radiation workers are 54.7%, 17.5%, 17.2 %, 7.2 % and 3.4% in respectively general theaters, interventional theaters, emergency departments, general radiology and radiotherapy. The highest personal doses were measured in the interventional theatre environments.
The improved sensitivity and accuracy that OSL offers was found to be valuable for Radiation Protection Officers (RPO) and the medical physicists when evaluating if radiation worker doses are within safe levels and when to investigate any irregularities.