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Waste and Cleanup Risk Assessment


Preliminary Remediation Goals for Radionuclides (PRG)

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PRG What's New

The What's New section keeps users informed of toxicity value changes, exposure parameter changes, chemical-specific parameter changes, and any equation format changes. Please check this site frequently to be advised of any recent changes.

July 2017

  • When the secular equilibrium PRG output option is selected, the PRG Calculator now gives the option to show the individual progeny contributions for the PRG (and risk) output.
  • The soil gamma shielding factor (GSFo and GSFb) database has been updated:
    • Zr-97 GSFo values have been added for the 2 - 10 m cover depths.
    • Ra-226 and Ra-228 GSFo values have been added for the 0 to 100 cm cover depths. These missing values impacted any secular equilibrium PRG and risk outputs that included Ra-226 or Ra-228 as parents or progeny.
    • For the soil volume source thickness, the GSFo values have been corrected to match the supporting documentation for the 0 to 100 cm cover depths. The values incorporated represent a source depth of 1 meter to simulate infinite soil volume; previous values were based on a 2 meter simulation depth.

April 2017

  • New soil to plant transfer factors are available for carbon isotopes. See section 2.5.4 in the User's Guide.
  • Corrections to the secular equilibrium output were made for the soil to groundwater PRGs and the user-provided risk results.

January 2017

  • New inhalation Risk and Dose Coefficients are avilable for Rn-222, Rn-220, Bi-212, Bi-214, Pb-212, Pb-214, and Po-218.
  • The ingestion rate while swimming was updated based on Table 3.5 in EFH 2011. The recommended values of 120 ml/hr for children and 71 ml/hr for adults are now used.

December 2016 (revised)

  • The secular equilibrium (SE) PRG calculation has been revised. An unexpected error occurred in the SE PRGs when the ability to select more than one isotope was provided. The results have been restored to their initial values prior to the ability to select more than one isotope for SE PRG calculation.

December 2016

  • The +D and +E isotopes have been removed from the selection list. Now, a user may select the 'Assume secular equilibrium' to see PRG output for the entire chain.
  • In the resident, farmer, and indoor worker soil external exposure equations, a new variable has been added (GSFb) to account for the gamma shielding provided by clean soil cover under a building. It is combined with GSFi, the shielding provided by the building, to reduce exposures to receptors inside a building which is on top of clean soil over contaminated soil.
  • Previously, produce intake rates were based on general fruit and vegetable consumption rates. Now, the produce intake rates are derived from 22 individual produce items, found in the 2011 Exposure Factors Handbook, that contribute to the overall produce ingestion PRG. Mass loading factors (MLFs) were also improved, from a single MLF that was applied to all produce, to 22 individual MLFs that correspond with the 22 individual produce items that make up the new produce intake rates. In site-specific mode, users will now able to select additional animal products including Goat Milk, Sheep Milk, Goat Meat, and Sheep Meat, which are not included in the default animal product PRGs. Users will also be able to select Rice and Grains, which are not included in the default produce PRG. Formerly, the transfer factors used in this risk assessment tool were specific to element only. Now, the transfer factors are element, climate zone, soil type, and produce specific. For more detailed information, Biota Modeling in EPA's Preliminary Remediation Goal and Dose Compliance Concentration Calculators explains where these new intake rates, MLFs, and transfer factors were sourced and how they will be applied to the PRG calculator. This file is engineered for 2 sided printing.
  • The MCL document was modified to remove +D and +E isotopes.

November 2015

  • Additional source depth-specific soil gamma shielding factors (GSF) are now given for cover depths of 2 to 10 meters. The values are presented in this appendix.

September 2015

  • The MCL concentrations used in the soil to groundwater land use scenario have been updated.
  • The spreadsheet deriving the child and adult intake rates for biota was revised and derivation of the indoor and outdoor exposure times was added.

November 2014

  • The OSWER Directive concerning use of exposure parameters from the 2011 Exposure Factors Handbook recommends an adult body weight of 80 kg. While body weight isn't directly used in the PRG equations, the biota intakes in the Exposure Factors Handbook are given in g/kg body weight - day. New child and adult intake rates from the 2011 Exposure Factors Handbook were added for produce, milk, beef, pork, fish, eggs and poultry for the farmer and resident. See the User Guide for details on biota intake derivations. This spreadsheet shows how the child and adult intakes were derived from the data presented in the 2011 Exposure Factors Handbook.
  • The decay function was added to the resident, recreator and farmer biota PRGs that are back-calculated to soil.

September 2014

  • This calculator follows the recommendations in the OSWER Directive concerning use of exposure parameters from the 2011 Exposure Factors Handbook.
  • New slope factors have been programmed that were derived following FGR 12 and 13 using the updated isotope list from ICRP 107. Cancer slope factors (SFs) used are provided by the Center for Radiation Protection Knowledge. The main report is Calculations of Slope Factors and Dose Coefficients and the tables of slope factors are in a separate appendix.
  • The resident (and farmer) tapwater scenario now includes the contribution from consuming produce irrigated with contaminated tapwater. This is analgous to the resident soil scenario including the contribution consuming produce grown in contaminated soil.
  • Immersion was added to the tap water and recreational scenarios to address external exposure from gamma and beta emitters.
  • The Agricultural uptake models were completely changed. Now users can back calculate protective concentrations in water and soil as well as the produce itself. The water concentrations also now include irrigation of crops.
  • Farmer output now provides an interactive graph that depicts PRGs for when both soil and water are contaminated.
  • New Biota transfer factors and soil to water partition coefficients from the IAEA Technical Report Series No. 472 have been programmed into a hierarchy of sources. Section 2.3 of the User Guide describes the sources of the parameters and gives the hierarchy for each.
  • A forward risk assessment option was added to the calulator page. By selecting this option the user is asked for media concentrations and the risk is returned using PRG equation inputs.
  • Recreator scenario added for soil/sediment, surface water and generic game (land and fowl). Because there are very few default values for exposure parameters, the user must provide most of the exposure inputs.
  • Source depth-specific soil area correction factors (ACF) are now provided. Unique ACFs are now given for the various slope factors (ground plane, 1 cm, 5 cm, 15 cm and infinite depth). For further information on the derivation of the isotope-specific/area-specific ACF values for 2-D areas see the Center for Radiation Protection Knowledge ACF report and appendix containing +D and +E values.
  • Source depth-specific soil gamma shielding factors (GSF) are now given for the various slope factors (ground plane, 1 cm, 5 cm, 15 cm and infinite depth) and various soil cover depths. The Center for Radiation Protection Knowledge has provided GSFo values here and appendix containing +D and +E values.
  • The radionuclide decay chains, provided in the calculator output, have been updated to reflect new decay information provided in ICRP 107. In addition to tabular results, a visual diagram is provided depicting the branching fractions.
  • Two construction worker scenarios were added for the assessment of particulates emitted into the air from standard vehicle traffic as well as activities such as dozing, grading, tilling and excavating.

March 2011

The calculator results, presented in Becquerels, were modified to correct a units conversion problem.

August 2010

New tables were generated to correct the use of the wrong gamma shielding factor for worker soils.

July 2010

New tables were generated to reflect the changes made in June.

June 2010

Many updates were performed to make this calculator current with the EPA Superfund guidance in the radiological BPRG and SPRG, and the chemical RSL calculators. They are:

  • An ambient air scenario was added that evaluates PRGs with and without radioacive decay, identical to the ambient air scenario in the radiological BPRG and SPRG calculators.
  • A composite worker was added to evaluate Industrial PRGs that is identical to the RSL website.
  • The indoor air dilution factor was removed from the indoor component pieces of the resident, worker and farmer inhalation PRG scenarios to be consistent with the RSL website.
  • The tapwater equations were modified to have the ingestion rate age-adjusted between children and adults consistent with the RSL website.
  • The ACF parameter was made isotope-specific and specific for eight different areas (slab sizes) similar to the SPRG caclulator.
  • Soil PRG equations for external exposure were added for ground plane, 1cm, 5cm and 15cm slope factors similar to the SPRG caclulator.
  • Exposure times for the resident and workers in the PRG equations were made identical to the RSL website.

March 2009

Half-lifes were added for Ba-133m+D, Cf-248+D, Fm-254+D, Hf-182+D, Ir-192m+D, Np-237+D, Pd-103+D, Ra-227+D, Ra-228+D, Sm-145+D, U-232+D and U-235+D. Because of these additions, PRG are now being generated in the calculator. Downoad tables will be updated at the next revision.

December 2008

The half-life of Am-242m was changed from 152 to 141 years.

July 2004

The default values for ETowo (Outdoor Worker Exposure Time Outdoor) and ETiwi (Indoor Worker Time Indoor) have been changed back to 0.33 from 1.0. This change is because the external exposure route was inadvertently affected. To sustain the desired intention of a worker being exposed 8 hours of the 8 hour worker day, the inhalation rate for workers was changed to 60 m3/day (this reflects an hourly inhalation rate of 2.5m3/hour).

The default values for ETowo (Outdoor Worker Exposure Time Outdoor) and ETiwi (Indoor Worker Time Indoor) have been changed from 0.33 to 1.0. This change reflects the desired intention of a worker being exposed 8 hours of the 8 hour worker day.

September 2002

The format of the PRG website has been updated to reflect the new EPA standard template.

August 2002

The agricultural equations have been updated to include ingestion of swine, ingestion of eggs, and ingestion of poultry.

May 2002

Adult-only ingestion slope factors for workers have been updated for the following radionuclides:

  • Ra-226+D => 2.95E-10 (risk/pCi)
  • U-235+D => 5.03-11 (risk/pCi)
  • U-238+D => 5.62E-11 (risk/pCi)

Also, the soil equations for tritium (H-3) have been modified to reflect a soil-to-air volatilization factor of 17 (m3/kg) which replaces the Particulate Emission Factor.

August 2001

Please note that this PRG database is maintaining new, nonstandard PRGs when compared to EPA Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund (RAGS) Part B. The worker soil exposure PRGs have been separated to indoor and outdoor scenarios. Also fish ingestion has been added.

January 2001

Note to Users: There has been a new release of toxicity values for radionuclides as presented in HEAST. Essentially, every slope factor has changed. In addition, oral values are tabulated separately for ingestion of tap water, dietary intakes (food), and incidental soil ingestion. Please consult the User's Guide section on radionuclide carcinogenicity for the derivation of radionuclide slope factors and guidance on their use. Also please note that the output of the Preliminary Remediation Goal and Human Health Exposure Modeling sections will reflect these changes in toxicity values.

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