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Calculating Doses from Intakes of Radionuclides

ICRP develops dose coefficients to simplify the calculation of equivalent dose and effective dose for inhaled or ingested radionuclides.

In simplest terms, calculating the dose from an intake involves multiplying the total amount inhaled or ingested (e.g. in Bq) by the right dose coefficient:

Effective dose (mSv) = intake (Bq) × dose coefficient (mSv/Bq)

Or, the bioassay results (measurements of radionuclides in the person or in samples such as urine) can be used, e.g.:

Effective dose (mSv) = daily excretion in urine (Bq) × dose coefficient (mSv/Bq)

Choosing the right dose coefficient depends on:

  • The radionuclide
  • Whether it’s inhaled or ingested
  • The particle size (for inhalation)
  • The chemical form
  • The time since the intake (if using bioassay data)

Watch a presentation by Francois Paquet, Chair of ICRP Task Group 95 on Internal Dose Coefficients, from ICRP’s 4th International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection, October 2017

Click here for pdf version of presentation

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