Radiation exposure of radiological staff caused by radiography of small mammals, reptiles and birds.
The aim of the study was to measure the radiation exposure of radiological staff caused by radiography of small mammals, reptiles and birds. Measurements were carried out in the Clinic for Exotic Pets, Reptiles, Pet and Feral Birds of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Germany. The exposure of radiosensitive organs and body parts was measured using thermoluminescence dosimetry. The focus of the examination was on the eye lenses and the fingers. The maximum value of 182 µSv per image was measured in the fingers. The maximum values for the other measuring positions were 11.4 µSv in the eye lenses, 11.5 µSv in the thyroid, 5.67 µSv in the thoracic region under the protective clothes, 3.53 µSv in the thoracic region above the protective clothes, 1.84 µSv in the gonads and 2.05 µSv in the feet. Results show that there was no significant exposure during radiography and that the protective clothes adequately protected the radiological staff. In conclusion, the measured values were, also in the long term, markedly below the national occupational dose limits. Taking into account the anaesthetic risks of the animals and the costs of anaesthesia, a manual fixation of the patients during radiograph examination is justified.