Division of Radiation Protection

About

The Division of Radiation Protection performs studies in the field of radiation protection through scientific and research projects and professional activities within the public health scope.

The Division:

  • has been investigating environmental pollution with naturally occurring and fission-produced radionuclides in the Republic of Croatia since 1959;
  • implements measures of radiation protection and determines the level of irradiation of population in line with the Institute’s authorisations;
  • studies the mechanism of circulation of biologically important radionuclides, which may enter a living organism directly or indirectly, through the food chain or water;
  • monitors and determines the movements of radioactive elements through all components of biosphere – identifies those radiologically sensitive locations and media;
  • investigates natural radioactivity using the technological procedures of enhanced natural radioactivity (deposit sites of ash and slag, phosphogypsum, oil boreholes, mineral and geothermal sources);
  • carries out research of fission-produced radioactivity in all media of biosphere (air, precipitation, sea, water, soil, flora and fauna, human food and animal feed, bones) and in animal and human material (bioassay);
  • assesses and models the transfer of radionuclides from radioactive precipitation to humans, the risk of external irradiation, the risk of intake of radionuclides under normal conditions and during accidents, the risk of human exposure to radon in housing and working spaces;
  • develops radiochemical methods, measuring methods, dosimetry models, emergency models;
  • its associates participate in education at all levels; as visiting and full time lecturers and as trainees in the field of radiation protection

Activities

  1. Determining activity of any radionuclide in any sample.

Methods used:

  • High resolution gamma spectrometry
  • Determination of beta activity
  • determination of alpha activity
  • specific radiochemical analyses (for determination of radium, strontium, polonium, plutonium, lead, tritium, carbon…)

The methodology of each individual method is defined according to internationally established procedures: HASL-300 EML procedures manual, Environmental Measurements Laboratory, US Department of Energy, New York, Revision no. 27 of 1992.

  1. Determination of the ionising radiation dose in any point in space

The methods used:

  • field gammaspectrometry
  • field measurements with a gamma radiation detector
  • thermoluminescent dosimetry
  • measuring radon levels in closed and open spaces
  • determination of burden from radon offspring (Working Level)

Dosimetry

The Division of Radiation Protection is the oldest professional and technical service for the protection from ionising radiation in the Republic of Croatia. We have worked in this field since 1959. Personal dosimetry surveillance is performed by means of thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD) on a modern Panasonic dosimetry system.

After fulfilling the strict criteria of the Croatian Accreditation Agency, in 2011 the Division became an accredited laboratory for testing in the field of ionising radiation. In 2012, the accreditation was supplemented and expanded from “Determining Hp(10) by thermoluminescent dosimeters” to “Determining the speed of the ambiental (outdoor) dose equivalent; H*(10)/t”.

The Division comprises highly-qualified professionals and engineers of physics with years of experience in the field of radiation protection. Continuous professional and scientific growth and the most advanced measurement equipment have enabled the Division to become renowned both domestically and internationally. Apart from professional activities, employees of the Division also partake in domestic and international research projects, thus contributing to the field of radiation protection.

Tests on sources of ionising radiation imply a set of procedures for quality control relating to the functioning of electrical devices that emit ionising radiation (X-ray devices, computerised tomography (CT) devices, bone densitometry devices (densitometers), linear accelerators, etc.) and open and sealed radioisotopes. Quality control procedures include testing relevant parameters that influence safety during the handling and operation of the previously mentioned radiation sources for the people who work with them. Tests on ionising radiation sources are performed:

  1. prior to their initial use;
  2. at least every twelve months, pursuant to provisions on protective measures relating to ionising radiation protection and programmes of quality assurance and maintenance for performing activities involving ionising radiation sources;
  3. after major repairs, alterations or part replacements that could significantly affect the production of ionising radiation and before reintroduction into use;
  4. before use at a new location, if the ionising radiation sources had been transferred from place to another;
  5. after each architectural or building intervention on a space where an ionising radiation source is located that could negatively impact protection from ionising radiation within and outside the space.

Radiation source testing is performed for legal entities with approval for activities involving radioactive sources or electrical devices that emit ionising radiation, obtained from the State Office for Radiological and Nuclear Safety (DZRNS). Upon obtaining this approval, the legal entity must also obtain a procurement approval for an open/sealed radioactive source. After procuring a sealed radioactive source, it has to be registered with the DZRNS, which also applies to X-ray devices (or other electrical devices that emit ionising radiation). Applications for the abovementioned approvals must include the requested appendices, all of which are available at the website of the State Office for Radiological and Nuclear Safety.

Personal dosimetry surveillance includes measurements of external exposure to ionizing radiation for exposed workers or persons in training or education for work with ionising radiation sources. These measurements are performed using thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs), according to our own, accredited, methodology. The value measured and reported is called a personal dose equivalent Hp(10). Personal dosimetry surveillance also encompasses a set of procedures that ensure accuracy and reliability of measurements.

The procedure for initiating personal dosimetry surveillance begins by signing an Agreement on Personal Dosimetry Surveillance between the legal entity that employs the exposed worker and the Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health and registering the exposed worker with the State Office for Radiological and Nuclear Safety (DZRNS) via a registry form and all necessary appendices. Personal dosimeters for the upcoming measurement period alongside instructions on use are then sent by mail. Once a measurement period expires (approx. one month) and an exposed worker receives a new one, he/she must send the previously worn dosimeter back to the Institute for processing. After the received dosimeter is analysed, a dosimetry report is drafted and the radiation dose received is entered into the DZRNS database. The Institute sends out dosimeters every first Monday in a month.

In cases when the radiation dose exceeds the limit values for an exposed worker or is in any other way suspicious, the Institute initiates a procedure to determine the reason, which involves testing the accuracy of the dosimeter itself as well as verifying its contact with the surveyed person. All quality assurance procedures during dosimetry surveillance are performed continuously in order to ensure maximum quality and accuracy.

The Division is an authorised professional and technical service for performing the following activities in the field of ionising radiation protection in the Republic of Croatia:

  • measuring the personal external irradiation of workers or persons in training or being educated to work with sources of ionising radiation (thermoluminescent dosimeters, TLD);
  • testing X-ray machines, accelerators, and other devices that produce ionising radiation, and issuing risk assessments;
  • testing sealed radioactive sources and devices with closed radioactive sources, and issuing risk assessments;
  • testing open radioactive sources and issuing risk assessments;
  • testing spaces where sources of ionising radiation are used and issuing assessments of the level of protection.

Alongside these services, which cannot be performed without official approval from the State Office for Radiological and Nuclear Safety, the Division also provides the following services from the field of ionising radiation protection:

  • assistance to those that need permission to use sources of ionising radiation from registering to obtaining a license;
  • estimations of the thickness of protective walls in spaces where sources of ionising radiation are used;
  • drafting legislation on the structure and implementation of measures for ionising radiation protection;
  • risk analyses;
  • drafting assessments on purchasing sources of ionising radiation;
  • drafting studies and expert reports (with the authorisation of the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection);
  • expert studies on exposure to ionising radiation;
  • expert legal reports;
  • electronic dosimetry;
  • measuring the environmental dose equivalent H*(10) by using thermoluminescent and electronic dosimeters.

Other services:

  • measuring electromagnetic field levels for various sources (mobile telecommunication base stations, power transformer stations, radars, etc.);
  • studies on the impact of EM fields on the environment;
  • measuring asbestos in the environment and issuing assessments, studies…

In the Republic of Croatia, the field of ionising radiation protection is regulated by the Radiological and Nuclear Safety Act (OG 141/13) and other subordinate legislation, all of which are available here.

Clients

Our clients include:

Klinički bolnički centar Zagreb
Klinička bolnički centar “Sestre Milosrdnice”, Zagreb
Medicinski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Zavod za javno zdravstvo “dr. Andrija Štampar”, Zagreb
CROSCO d.o.o. član INA grupe, Zagreb
Dom zdravlja Splitsko-dalmatinske županije
MUP RH
Stomatološka poliklinika “Perkovčeva”, Zagreb
Poliklinika Nemetova, Zagreb
Bolnica za ortopedske bolesti i rehabilitaciju „dr. I. Horvat”, Rovinj
Državni zavod za radiološku i nuklearnu sigurnost, Zagreb
Sabor RH
Opća bolnica Varaždin
Opća bolnica “dr. Tomislav Bardek”, Koprivnica
Opća bolnica Virovitica
Opća bolnica Gospić
Opća bolnica Karlovac
Specijalna bolnica za ortopediju i opću kirurgiju dr. Nemec, Matulji
Psihijatrijska bolnica Rab
Dom zdravlja Dubrovnik
Dom zdravlja Ogulin
Dom zdravlja Senj
Dom zdravlja Županja
Zračne luke u RH
Đuro Đaković d.d.
Uljanik brodogradilište
Vivera d.o.o.
Našicecement
AKD Zaštita d.o.o.
Securitas Hrvatska d.o.o.
Osram d.o.o.
Cineplexx HR d.o.o.
Lagermax AED Croatia d.o.o.
Blitz Cinestar d.o.o.
Dcinex d.o.o.

Various private medical practices, dental medicine practices, and many others…

Equipment

Employees

Head of Division

Researchers and professional staff

Technical staff