Microdosimetric calculation of absorption fraction and the resulting dose conversion factor for radon progeny
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It is an established fact that radon progeny can induce lung cancers. However, there is a well-known discrepancy between the epidemiologically derived dose conversion factor for radon progeny (4 mSv/WLM) and the dosimetrically derived value (15 mSv/WLM) (mSv is a unit of the dose while WLM is a unit of exposure to radon progeny). Up to now there is no satisfactory explanation to this. In the present study we propose that microdosimetry will help reduce the discrepancy significantly. The ICRP Human Respiratory Tract Model (HRTM) has been applied to calculate the effective dose conversion factor. All parameters have been kept at their best estimates. Modifications were made in the calculation of the absorbed fractions of alpha particles. In contrast to the ICRP approach where the energy has been considered to be deposited in the layer containing the sensitive cells, we used a microdosimetric approach in which the alpha particles deposit their energy only in the nuclei of sensitive cells. This modification alone has lowered the dose conversion factor by about one-third (from 15 mSv/WLM down to approximately 10 mSv/ WLM).
KeywordsLung Cancer Effective Dose Conversion Factor Alpha Particle Sensitive Cell
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