NE Seminar: “Radium Dial Workers and the Internal Dosimetry of Radium”


1:55 pm
Add to Outlook/iCal
Add to Google Calendar


Rhines Hall Room 125
549 Gale Lemerand Drive
Gainesville, FL 32611



The radium dial workers (RDW) comprise a well-known and influential cohort of (primarily) young women occupationally exposed to radium through the painting of dials and gauges with radioluminescent paint. The last epidemiological follow-up of this cohort was over 30 years ago, as the Radium Studies program at Argonne National Laboratory was terminated in the early 1990s. The study of the RDW is being revisited (to include updated dosimetric analysis) as part of the Million Person Study of low-dose health effects in healthy American workers and veterans.

This presentation reviews the history of the RDW and describes the progression of approaches to computational internal dosimetry as applied to this cohort. Modern updates include the use of individual measurements at multiple times following chronic intake of radium; applying reference models corresponding to an individual’s age at exposure and length of exposure; improvements to age and sex-dependent models; evaluation over the lifetime of workers; consideration of intake rate by workplace and workplace practice; and potential incorporation of biodosimetry. Applying modern dosimetric (and subsequently epidemiological) models to this cohort will provide additional insight into dose-response relationships for alpha emitters, with broad applications for radiation protection from medicine to space travel.


Nicole E. Martinez, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Clemson University

Dr. Nicole Martinez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences at Clemson University and is also a Joint Faculty Appointee within the Center for Radiation Protection Knowledge at ORNL. Her first professional position was as an officer in the U.S. Navy where she served just under four years, first as a nuclear power instructor and later a radiation health officer. She then worked for 2 years in industry before attending graduate school at Colorado State University where she specialized in health physics and radioecology.

Dr. Martinez’s current research focuses on dosimetric modeling and the behavior and effects of radiological contaminants in the environment for applications ranging from risk assessment to biosensing. In addition, she is interested in non-technical issues relevant to the field such as the roles of ethics, art, and culture in science and engineering. She is a Certified Health Physicist, vice-chair of Committee 4 of the International Commission on Radiological Protection, and a member of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements. She currently serves as the lead for TA3: Ultrasensitive Measurements in the UF-led Consortium for Nuclear Forensics.


Hosted by

Department of Materials Science & Engineering