In a smaller number of children participating in the questionnaire survey, we are also measuring radiation using dosimeters and collecting detailed information daily activities. This data will allow us to estimate actual doses received by children and how their activities, including time spent indoors and outdoors, affect these doses. We are measuring exposure to both ionising radiation and UV radiation using two personal dosimeters, which children carry on themselves over period of 5 days. During these five days parents record their children’s activities in a diary..
Information for families interested in participating
If you have received and filled in the survey questionnaire (read more on the survey), you can volunteer to participate in dosimeter measurements by signing and returning to us the form sent to you with the questionnaire. We will then contact you to discuss any questions you may have and, if you agree to participate, to arrange a suitable period for the measurements (between February and October 2019). Be assured that by sending us back the form you are simply expressing you interested and are not committing to participate. We will contact you and ask you for your agreement. Furthermore, you can retract from the study at any time. Given the limited number of dosimeters, it may not be possible to include all families.
Your child will be requested to carry two dosimeters (one measuring ionising radiation and one measuring UV radiation) for a period of 5 days including a weekend and 3 weekdays. The devices are small in size and are attached to shoulder straps that have to be worn over the child’s clothing (see pictures below). The straps have been designed specifically for this project and can fit many body sizes. They should be worn when the child gets dressed in the morning and kept on throughout the day. When the child is sleeping, the dosimeters should be kept near their bed.
During the 5 days, you will be asked to keep a detailed diary of the child’s activities including where your child was (address, indoor/outdoor) and for how long. This information will allow us to relate the measured doses with his/her locations and activities.
You can download the template of the activity diary here:
D-Shuttle: The D-Shuttle dosimeter was specifically designed to measure natural background radiation in the aftermath of the Fukushima accident. The dosimeters were previously used to compare exposures of high school students in the Fukushima district with high school students in Europe [1,2]. The dosimeters measure doses received from background radiation each hour.
UV dosimeter: This dosimeter was developed for the UV-GENESIS project in Germany. The dosimeters for our study were kindly provided by the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Statutory Accident Insurance. They need to be carried at the body surface, at a predefined location to achieve comparable measurements. They will measure exposure to UV radiation indoors and outdoors in 6 minute intervals.
In situ measurements
In addition to individual measurements using personal dosimeters we will measure radiation levels at certain locations using large and more precise measurement devices (in situ spectroscopy, here you can find more details). These measurements will be conducted together with the Federal Office of Public Health at selected locations including children’s homes as well as in schools and public spaces were children spend a significant amount of time. These measurements will only be conducted for few selected families based on the information obtained through questionnaire and measurements. Should your child be selected, we will you again.
1 Adachi N, Adamovitch V, Adjovi, Y et al. Measurement and comparison of individual external doses of high-school students living in Japan, France, Poland and Belarus—the ‘D-shuttle’ project—. J Rad Prot 2015; 36(1). doi: 10.1088/0952-4746/36/1/49
2 Hara, T., Anzai, S., Saito, M. & Fijiwara, Y. D-Shuttle project: measurement and comparison of individual doses of high school students. Annals of the ICRP 2016; 45, 141-148, doi:10.1177/0146645316666967.