Separation and determination of 241Am in urine samples from radiation workers using PC88-A and alpha spectrometry
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Bioassay technique is used for the estimation of actinides present in the body based on their excretion rate through body fluids. For occupational radiation workers urine assay is the preferred method for monitoring of chronic internal exposure. Determination of low concentrations of actinides such as plutonium, americium and uranium at low level of mBq in urine by alpha spectrometry requires pre-concentration of large volumes of urine. This article deals with standardization of analytical method for the determination of 241Am isotope in urine samples using Extraction Chromatography (EC) and 243Am tracer for radiochemical recovery. The method involves oxidation of urine followed by co-precipitation of americium along with calcium phosphate. This precipitate after treatment is further subjected to calcium oxalate co-precipitation. Separation of Am was carried out by EC column prepared by PC88-A (2-ethyl hexyl phosphonic acid 2-ethyl hexyl monoester) adsorbed on microporous resin XAD-7 (PC88A-XAD7). Am-fraction was electro-deposited and activity estimated using tracer recovery by alpha spectrometer. Ten routine urine samples of radiation workers were analyzed and consistent radiochemical recovery was obtained in the range 44–60% with a mean and standard deviation of 51 and 4.7% respectively.
KeywordsUrine assay 243Am tracer PC88-A Alpha spectrometry
The authors are thankful to Dr. P.K. Sarkar, Head, Health Physics Division for the guidance and Dr. A.K. Ghosh, Director, HSEG for the continued encouragements in carrying out the work.
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