Comparison of the efficacy of biodegradable and non-biodegradable scintillation liquids on the counting of tritium- and [14C]-labeled compounds
Medeiros, Regina Bitelli [UNIFESP]
Godinho, Rosely Oliveira [UNIFESP]
Mattos, M.f.s.s. [UNIFESP]
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The widespread use of ³H and 14C in research has generated a large volume of waste mixed with scintillation liquid, requiring an effective control and appropriate storage of liquid radioactive waste. In the present study, we compared the efficacy of three commercially available scintillation liquids, Optiphase HiSafe 3, Ultima-Gold AB (biodegradable) and Insta-Gel-XF (non-biodegradable), in terms of [14C]-glucose and [³H]-thymidine counting efficiency. We also analyzed the effect of the relative amount of water (1.6 to 50%), radioisotope concentration (0.1 to 100 nCi/ml), pH (2 to 10) and color of the solutions (samples containing 0.1 to 1.0 mg/ml of Trypan blue) on the counting efficiency in the presence of these scintillation liquids. There were few significant differences in the efficiency of 14C and ³H counting obtained with biodegradable or non-biodegradable scintillation liquids. However, there was an 83 and 94% reduction in the efficiency of 14C and ³H counting, respectively, in samples colored with 1 mg/ml Trypan blue, but not with 0.1 mg/ml, independent of the scintillation liquid used. Considering the low cost of biodegradable scintillation cocktails and their efficacy, these results show that traditional hazardous scintillation fluids may be replaced with the new safe biodegradable fluids without impairment of ³H and 14C counting efficiency. The use of biodegradable scintillation cocktails minimizes both human and environmental exposure to hazardous solvents. In addition, some biodegradable scintillation liquids can be 40% less expensive than the traditional hazardous cocktails.
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