Answer to Question #12010 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"
Category: Radiation Workers
The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:
Does American National Standards Institute/Health Physics Society (ANSI/HPS) N13.12-2013 apply to people leaving a nuclear facility who might be contaminated at a low level (essentially at or below detectable limits)? If so, should contaminated people be treated in exactly the same way as contaminated objects with respect to the provisions of this standard?
No, ANSI/HPS N13.12-2013 does not apply to people. As indicated in Section 1, Purpose and Scope, of the standard, the standard does not apply to the screening of humans that might be contaminated or contain radioactive material.
From the purpose section of the standard (emphasis added): "This standard is intended to provide guidance for protecting human health from radiation exposure by specifying a primary radiation dose criterion and derived screening levels for the clearance of items or materials that could contain radioactive materials, in a manner consistent with the recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on clearance."
Furthermore, the scope section of the standard states: "The following are not included in the scope of this standard: . . . radioactive materials in or on persons, including 40K in the body . . ."
Certified Medical Health Physicist
Health Physics Society. Surface and volume radioactivity standards for clearance. McLean, VA: ANSI/HPS N13.12-2013; 2013.