The most common isotope used in medicine is the radioactive isotope Thorium. With the introduction of thorium in the medical world we now have something very different to deal with radiation.
The typical thorium particle can travel many feet down the hall before decaying. This allows us to take a sample from far away. We have the potential to do the study again, if necessary, and when we do we have something to compare. This is an excellent way to study how radionuclides affect human beings.
It is very common for hospitals and laboratories to use thorium as a substrate for cytology studies. Thorium has the ability to tolerate radiation and is the most common isotope used in cancer patients. It does this through the fact that it is extremely resilient.
If you are interested in looking at how many people have been exposed to radiation, then the following worksheet will show you how many individuals were in the area where the radioactive material was discovered. A sample of the area will be taken and sent to the laboratory for analysis. When the samples are analyzed, the results will tell you the highest dose the individual received and how much was due to radiation.
Case Study Number 1. Case Study Number one shows the ratio of one-time exposure and this is a rough estimate of the number of times a person has been exposed to radiation. The same thing applies to the background levels in the area. This is a simple example and the results will be the same if there is a thorium concentration in the air.
These are all important tools that we use in cytology work. If there is no thorium, or if the thorium is not used often, then this would greatly reduce the ability to use this material as a source of information.
The Cytoanalytic Technique used to identify these types of particles is based on the way they emit light when stimulated by x-rays. They are very sensitive and this can be used in combination with other techniques for more accurate results.
In the end, the thorium particle represents the simplest type of human tissue to work with. It is possible to do the research on other types of bodies but there is a greater difficulty in getting these samples. Using thorium means that one can easily get regular measurements in the amount of one-time and repeated radiation exposure.