Assessing the effectiveness of risk communication for maintenance workers who deal with induced radioactivity management of medical linear accelerators

Hiroshi Watanabe, Yoshiaki Maehara, Toshioh Fujibuchi, Mitsue Koizumi, Ichiro Yamaguchi, Tetsuo Kida, Masaya Ooyama, Genki Horitsugi, Hitoshi Hiraki, Atsuko Tsukamoto, Jyun Itami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In Japan, an amended law that mandates levels of unintended induced radioactivity has been in effect since 1 April 2012. According to the new regulation, if the concentration of induced radioactivity in affected parts is above the clearance level, the parts must be regarded as radioactive even if they weigh less than 1 kg. This regulation reform raises several new issues concerning medical linear accelerators, including how to determine the decay period for induced radioactivity before maintenance can be performed and how to identify what parts should be considered radioactive waste. The authors performed several risk communication (RC) activities aimed at improving the understanding of maintenance workers at medical accelerator manufacturers and establishing good guidelines by involving stakeholders. For this purpose, a working group was established and conducted RC activities, such as holding opinion exchange meetings between medical staff and maintenance workers and creating a booklet to answer questions from maintenance workers. To evaluate these activities, three questionnaire surveys were conducted between 2011 and 2014. According to the results of this study, the ratio of maintenance workers who accepted "The decay period is within one week" was approximately 60% at the third survey and significantly increased (P < 0.0001) during the survey period. Approximately 25% of the maintenance workers felt that not enough information was provided about the decay period, and approximately 63% thought that the information provided on the health effects of radiation was sufficient. These results suggest that the present RC was successful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-156
Number of pages12
JournalHealth physics
Volume109
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 9 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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