Policy Concerning Dose to the Embryo/Fetus of an Occupationally Exposed Radiation Worker

Revision 0 (8/2003)

As recommended by The National Council of Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), 10 CFR Part 20.1208 Dose to an embryo/fetus, states that the licensee shall ensure that the dose to an embryo/fetus during the entire pregnancy, due to occupational exposure of a declared pregnant worker, does not exceed 0.5 Rem (5 mSv). Efforts must also be made to avoid substantial variation above a uniform monthly exposure rate of 0.05 Rem (0.5 mSv).

A radiation worker who is at risk for occupational exposure and who becomes pregnant may voluntarily notify Radiation Safety and/or The Administration in writing of her pregnancy and the estimated date of conception. The radiation worker has the right to discuss the situation, risks and possible consequences with the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) and/or The Administration.

An investigation will be conducted concerning the nature of the work and the radiation levels in the working areas. If a reasonable possibility exists that the fetus could receive 0.5 Rem (5 mSv) before birth, the RSO or supervisor in consultation with the radiation worker will be asked to

  1. modify the worker's assignments to reduce her exposure by decreasing the amount of time spent in radiation areas, increasing the distance between the fetus and radiation sources and increasing the use of shielding wherever possible, or
  2. reassign the radiation worker to an area involving less radiation exposure.

In the event option (a) is chosen, the RSO will, at his/her discretion, make available additional personnel monitoring device(s) so that rapid and accurate exposure evaluations can be obtained and the absorbed dose equivalent to the fetus can be estimated. Every effort will be made to keep the total dose equivalent to the fetus as low as reasonably achievable and within accepted regulatory standards.

It is realized that the individual radiation worker may choose to maintain her pregnancy status as personally confidential for a time. Any employee may still obtain fetal dose and related radiation safety information at any time through the RSO without declaring her pregnancy status.

Every potentially pregnant radiation worker is urged to involve her supervisor and/or the RSO in all work-related situations.

Juniata College has no responsibility for providing specific fetal radiation dose precautions until a radiation worker openly declares her pregnancy status in writing to the RSO and/or The Administration.

Declared Pregnancy
When an employee wishes Juniata College to be involved in protecting her fetus under the 500 millirems dose guideline, she must declare in writing her actual, suspected or planned pregnancy to the RSO and/or her supervisor (see page 3). A safety consultation will be scheduled with the employee, her supervisor and the RSO or authorized designee.

During the meeting, the employee and her supervisor will be asked to sign a statement confirming that fetal dose information has been received and that personnel monitoring has been established (see pages 4 & 5).

Fetal Dose Control Procedures
The radiation worker will be assigned a monthly radiation monitoring badge, if one is not currently assigned. Personnel monitoring devices are provided exclusively through the RSO. At the RSO's discretion, the worker may be placed on a monthly bioassay program.

Control of the fetal dose will be carried out with full cooperation of the employee and without economic penalty or loss of job opportunity. Work assignment changes, consistent with Juniata College personnel policy, may be initiated if necessary.

When the occupational radiation dose of a radiation worker, who has declared her actual, suspected or planned pregnancy, exceeds 0.05 Rem (0.5 mSv) in a month or 0.250 Rem (2.5 mSv) since conception:

  1. The radiation worker may request:
    1. Reassignment within her work area, or
    2. Transfer.
  2. The supervisor and/or RSO shall elect to:
    1. Change the employee's work assignment or
    2. Transfer the worker.

Pregnant radiation workers shall not participate specific higher dose potential duties as named on a case-by-case basis by the RSO. Specific procedures for responding to any occupational radiation dose which exceeds the limits described in 10 CFR Part 20 have been established.

All radiation employees have the individual responsibility of adhering to Juniata College radiation protection policies and procedures.