Cancer Risk Assessment due to Accidental Exposure inside Neutron Laboratories using BEIR VII Model

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Young Researchers Club, Abhar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Abhar, Iran

2 Physics Department, Hakim Sabzavari University, Sabzavar, Iran

3 Dept. of Medical Physics, Faculty of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences

4 Radiation Medicine Department, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: Environmental and occupational human exposure from neutron source can lead to the serious biologic effects. The aim of this study is to evaluate the cancer incidence risk for various human organs at different neutron dose levels due to exposure from an Americium-241/Beryllium (Am-241/Be), a standard neutron source for calibration purposes.
Material and Methods: We measured ambient dose equivalent H*(10) at different distances from Am-241/Be mixed neutron source by Berthold LB 6411 detector and determined cancer incidence risk for different organs of both male and female subjects at different neutron exposure levels by BEIR VII model.
Results: Exposure age had a reverse impact on cancer incidence risk of different organs. We found that as H*(10) increases, cancer incidence risk increments as well. Colon (for men) and bladder (for women) had the highest sensitivity to neutron exposure, while prostate and uterus showed the lowest risk of cancer incidence among male and female subjects, respectively.
Conclusion: Older exposed persons are at a lower risk of cancer incidence. The risk of cancer incidence for various organs is considerably associated with gender, such that radiation sensitivity of female organs was higher at all the measured neutron dose levels.


Main Subjects

  1. Kuhne WW, Gersey BB, Wilkins R, Wu H, Wender SA, George V, et al. Biological effects of high-energy neutrons measured in vivo using a vertebrate model. Radiat Res. 2009; 172: 473-480.
  2. Olsher RH, McLean TD, Mallett MW, Seagraves DT, Gadd MS, Markham RL, et al. Characterization of neutron reference fields at US department of energy calibrations fields. Radiat Prot Dosim. 2007; 126: 52-57.
  3. Bedogni R, Gualdrini G, Monteventi F. Field parameters and dosimetric characteristics of a fast neutron calibration facility: experimental and Monte Carlo evaluations. Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res A. 2002; 476: 381-385.
  4. ICRU. 1993. Quantities and units in radiation protection dosimetry. Report No.  51.  ICRU, Bethesda, MD.
  5. IAEA, Assessment  of  occupational  exposure  due  to  external  sources  of  radiation.  Safety standards series, No. RS-G-1.3. Vienna: Austria. 1999. 
  6. ICRP, The 2007 recommendations of the international commission on radiological protection. ICRP Publication 103. Ann ICRP. 2007; 37: 2-4.
  7. ICRP, 1990 recommendations of the international commission on radiological protection. ICRP publication 60. Ann ICRP. 1991; 21: 1-3.
  8. NRC (National Research Council), Health risks from exposure to low levels of ionizing radiation: Beir VII Phase II. National Academic Press. 2006. 
  9. Berthold technologies, Neutron probe LB 6411 for measurement of the ambient dose equivalent for Accessed 10 February 2017.
  10. Leuthold G, Mares V, Schraube H.  Calculation of the neutron ambient dose equivalent on the basis of the ICRP revised quality factors. Radiat Prot Dosim. 1992; 40: 77-84.
  11. Klett A, Burgkhardt B. The new remcounter LB 6411: measurement of neutron ambient dose equivalent H*(10) according to ICRP 60 with high sensitivity. IEEE. Trans Nucl Sci 1997; 44: 757-759.
  12. Klett A, Mayer S, Theis C, Vincke H. A neutron dose rate monitor for high energies. Radiat Meas. 2006; 41: 279-282.
  13. Burgkhardt B, Fieg G, Klett A, Plewnia A, Siebert BR. The neutron fluence and H*(10) response of the new LB 6411 rem counter. Radiat Prot Dosim. 1997; 70: 361-364.
  14. Barros S, Gallego E, Lorente A, Gonçalves IF, Vaz P, Vega-Carrillo HR. Dosimetric assessment and characterization of the neutron field around a Howitzer container using a Bonner sphere spectrometer, Monte Carlo simulations and the NSDann and NSDUAZ unfolding codes. Radiat Prot Dosim. 2013; 154: 346-355.
  15. Hakimabad HM, Izadi R, Vejdani AR, Panjeh H. Reduction  of  the  gamma  dose  equivalent due  to 252 Cf  and 241Am-Be  neutron  sources  in  the  patient’s  soft  tissues  when  using  body  chemical composition analyzer bed. Asian J Exp Sci. 2007; 21: 133-144.
  16. ISO. Reference neutron radiations. Part 1: Characteristics and methods of production.  Geneva: Switzerland. 2001.
  17. Hosseini Aghdam MR, Baghani HR, Hosseini Aghdam A. Cancer risk incidence from hypothetical accident of VVER-1000 nuclear power plant based on BEIR VII model. J Radiother Pract. 2018; 17: 212-218.


Volume 15, Issue 4 - Serial Number 4
October 2018
Pages 251-255
  • Receive Date: 02 January 2018
  • Revise Date: 20 March 2018
  • Accept Date: 27 March 2018
  • First Publish Date: 01 October 2018