The aim of this work was to investigate the potential of a selection of household salts (NaCl) as a retrospective dosemeter for ionising radiation using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL). The OSL-response of five brands of salt to an absorbed dose in the range from 1 mGy to 9 Gy was investigated using a Risø TL/OSL-15 reader and a (60)Co beam, allowing low dose-rate irradiations. The salt was optically stimulated with blue light (lambda = 470 +/- 30 nm) at a constant stimulation power (CW-OSL) of 20 mW cm(-2). A linear dose response relationship was found in the dose range from 1 mGy to about 100 mGy and above that level, the relationship becomes moderately supra-linear, at least up to 9 Gy. Depending on the sensitivity and background signal, the minimum detectable absorbed dose (MDD) for the household salt when kept at sealed conditions varied from 0.2 to 1.0 mGy, for the household salts investigated. In addition to its widespread abundance and availability, the low MDD suggests that household salt should seriously be considered as an emergency dosemeter. However, the OSL-properties of NaCl under normal household usage need to be more properly investigated as well as the variation in sensitivity by the quality of the radiation. A further optimisation of the read-out sequence for various brands of commercially available salt may further improve the sensitivity, in terms of luminescence yield, and the signal reproducibility.
- Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging