Revised estimates of dose from ores and mineral sands

T. J. Silk*, G. M. Kendall, Alan Phipps

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


There is a substantial world-wide industry involving the mining and milling of materials which contain uranium or thorium with their radioactive decay products. During these processes an inhalation hazard can arise if dusts are formed. For many years the appropriate ICRP advice for assessing the doses from these dusts was based on the model of the respiratory system and the element-specific biokinetic models recommended in ICRP Publication 30. Recently, ICRP has published a new model of the respiratory tract and also new physiologically based biokinetic models for some elements which have naturally occurring radioactive isotopes. This paper gives a brief account of the ores and sands involved and explores the implications for dose coefficients of the new ICRP models. It is concluded that, for insoluble ores, the new models generally lead to lower doses than those predicted under the ICRP 30 scheme. A substantial factor in reducing doses is the ICRP recommendation that, in the absence of specific information, the default aerosol size distribution for occupational exposures should be taken to be 5 mu m AMAD rather than 1 mu m AMAD as previously.

Original languageEnglish
Article number005
Pages (from-to)217-222
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Radiological Protection
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2007 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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