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Trace Level Detection


  1. Tom Tadfor Little,
  2. Guthrie Miller,
  3. Harry F. Martz,
  4. William C.T. Inkret,
  5. Mario E. Schillaci

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.vat017

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Little, T. T., Miller, G., Martz, H. F., Inkret, W. C. and Schillaci, M. E. 2006. Trace Level Detection. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 6.

Author Information

  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


An important component of protecting individuals from the hazards of radiation exposure is to be able to determine whether radionuclides have been taken into the body, and in what quantities. For example, a urine sample from an individual who works with plutonium can be analyzed by α spectroscopy or mass spectroscopy to determine if plutonium is present in the sample, and hence to make an inference about possible plutonium intakes in the individual's history. Often, the quantities of plutonium that one seeks to detect are comparable to the measurement uncertainties. Hence, statistical considerations are a very important aspect of the detection methodology.


  • hazards;
  • exposure;
  • bioassay;
  • lognormal;
  • Bayesian methods;
  • credible interval