Standard Article

Phosphorus: Radionuclides

  1. Kibong Kim,
  2. David G. Churchill

Published Online: 15 DEC 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781119951438.eibc0418

Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Kim, K. and Churchill, D. G. 2011. Phosphorus: Radionuclides. Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon, Republic of Korea

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2011


32P and 33P are important radionuclides of phosphorus with half-lives of 14.3 and 25.3 days, respectively, and which decay via β emission. These isotopes (of 23 known) have anthropogenic sources and are prepared by the enrichment of sulfur. The radionuclides are used in tracer studies primarily as phosphate, or other common phosphate forms such as “phosphate rock” or ortho-phosphoric acid. Various labeling and therapeutic studies have been performed in the fields of biology, botany, and in clinical medicine and are mentioned herein. Radioisotopes of phosphorus can be detected by liquid scintillation counting. There is, however, limited knowledge about remediation as 32P and 33P are short-lived.


  • 32-phosphorus;
  • 33-phosphorus;
  • radioisotope;
  • radionuclide;
  • half-life;
  • β decay;
  • phosphate;
  • β-energy;
  • liquid scintillation counting;
  • Japan criticality accident;
  • radiotherapy