A puzzling case of contamination with241Am
Two people were exposed to and contaminated with 241Am. In vivo determinations of the incorporated 241Am were performed using a whole-body counter and two partial-body counters for the skull and lung, respectively. Additionally, urine samples were analysed to estimate the systemic activity removed from the body. To improve the geometry of the skull measurements, an optimised detector configuration was used, a calibration with three physical phantoms of the human head was conducted, and the morphological variability between the individuals was also considered. The results of the measurements indicate that activity is not deposited in the deep tissues, rather in the skin tissues close to the body surface. Unfortunately, the many open questions relating to the actual circumstances during and after the incident make the interpretation of this case difficult if at all possible.