Science Gateway
Radioisotope
Calcium - 45
Carbon - 14
Chromium - 51
Hydrogen - 3
Iodine - 125
Iron - 59
Manganese - 54
Phosphorus - 32
Phosphorus - 33
Sodium - 22
Sulfur - 35

IRON - 59

(59Fe)

Physical Half-life: 44.5 days
Radiations:- 466 (53%), 273 (45%) & 131 (1.4%) keV
Gamma 1291 (44%), 1099(56%), 192 (3%) & 142 (1%) keV
External Exposure:External hazard. Radiation dose from 1 mCi of 59Fe is 64 mR/hr from gamma and 5100 mRads/hr from at 10 cm away.
Biological Data: ALI 0.8 mCi (ingestion), 0.3 mCi (inhalation)
Biological half-life 700 days
Effective half-life 42 days
Critical Organs Lower Large Intestine (ingestion)
Spleen and Lungs (inhalation)
Bioassay Urinalysis (within 1st 24 hours)
Whole Body Counting
Shielding: HVL 1.01 cm of lead; TVL 3.36 cm of lead
(Shielding of betas is accomplished while shielding for gammas.)
Monitoring
& Efficiency
LSC (Eff. ~60%)
Thin-window GM (Eff. ~10%)

Special Considerations

  • Use forceps with rubber sleeves to handle unshielded sources and potentially contaminated vessels, and work at arms length.
  • Near a 59Fe source, beta radiation doses can be much higher than the gamma dose.
  • Shielding the high energy gamma radiation with lead will also stop all of the 's and Bremstralung radiation.
  • Always store 59Fe vials in lead containers or behind shields.
  • Wear a radiation badge when handling 1.0 mCi or more.