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"41Ca - A Neutron Specific Biomarker in Tooth Enamel"
A. Wallner, A. Arazi, T. Faestermann, K. Knie, G. Korschinek, H.J. Maier, N. Nakamura, W. Rühm and G. Rugel
Proc. of the "9th International Conference on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry", Nagoya, Japan, September 9-13, 2002. Ed. T. Nakamura, K. Kobayashi, H. Matsuzaki, M. Murayama, Y. Nagashima, H. Oda, Y. Shibata, Y. Tanaka and M. Furukawa
Nucl. Instrum. Meth. B 223-224 (2004) 759-764
The measurement of long-lived radionuclides, produced by neutrons originating from the atomic bomb explosions, offers the possibility to reconstruct neutron fluences to which survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were exposed. The long-lived radionuclide, 41Ca (T1/2 = 103 000 years), is suggested here as a means for a retrospective determination of thermal neutron fluences, directly within the human body of a survivor. As proper material tooth enamel is proposed. The 41Ca signal in tooth enamel may be correlated with the exposure to A-bomb induced thermal neutron fluences, provided the natural background level of 41Ca/Ca is significantly lower. Therefore, tooth samples of unexposed survivors of the A-bomb explosions have been examined by means of accelerator mass spectrometry, in order to quantify the natural background level of 41Ca/Ca. Measured 41Ca/Ca ratios were confirmed to be as low as about 2*10-15. Thus, the A-bomb induced additional signal should be detectable for survivors at epidemiological relevant distances. Since tooth enamel had already been used as dosemeter for gamma radiation from the A-bomb explosion, the detection of 41Ca in tooth enamel would allow, for the first time, an assessment of both, γ-ray and neutron exposures in the same biological material.
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