Parent in the generator system for producing the positron-emitting copper-62


Radioimmunotherapy, positron emitter

NOTE: PET = positron emission tomography; SPECT = single photon emission tomography. SOURCE: Adelstein and Manning (1995), Isotopes for Medicine and the Life Sciences, Table 4.1, page 59; reprinted with permission. Copyright 1995 by the National Academy of Sciences.

13,500 person-Sv in 1982. Because nuclear medicine is not expanding faster than the population, collective dose for 1993 should scale to the U.S. population in that year. This would result in a collective dose of 35,400 person-Sv and a per-person dose still at 0.14 mSv.

Radiation Regulation and Control

Radiation regulation and control of medical nuclides and radiation safety in nuclear medicine are historically rooted in federal statutes. Many of the radionuclides used in nuclear medicine are produced using a nuclear reactor. Reactor development grew out of the World War II Manhattan Project, and all reactor related issues were regulated by the federal government through the Atomic Energy Commission until 1974. When the Atomic Energy Commission was split in that year into the NRC and the Energy Research and Development Agency (now the Department of Energy), regulation of the medical use of reactor-produced radionuclides was given to the NRC.

The NRC does not regulate all aspects of medical radionuclides, however. Accelerator-produced radionuclides, such as T1-201, Ga-67, and indium-111 (In-111), are controlled by state regulation. Table 2.9 lists byproduct radionuclides that fall within NRC regulatory authority, and Table 2.10 lists accelerator-produced radionuclides that are regulated, if at all, by the states.

As noted in Chapter 3, regulation in this area is widely dispersed across agencies in the federal government. For example, shipping and receiving of radionuclides are regulated by the Department of Transportation. Disposal of non-reactor-produced radionuclides is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

A further complication is that states may agree to regulate reactor-produced nuclides on their own. Such Agreement States (see Chapter 3) must have state regulations that meet or exceed federal regulations. Twenty-nine states, including most of the heavily populated states, are Agreement States. Hence most nuclear medicine procedures are performed in Agreement States, under the direction of state regulations.

Because state regulations cannot be weaker than federal regulations, the regulation of nuclear medicine is essentially determined by 10 CFR Parts 20 and 35. Part 20 sets forth general radiation protection standards and regulations; Part

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