- The in vivo measurement of lead in bone by K X-ray fluorescence (K XRF) is becoming an increasingly widely utilized technique for assessing long-term lead dosimetry. Several groups have already reported the development of in vivo measurement systems, the majority adopting the 109Cd/backscatter K XRF technique because of its substantial advantages in terms of a robust measurement, lower detection limit (compared with 57Co/90 degrees), absence of the need for sedation of younger subjects, and lower effective (radiation) dose when calculated according to the most recent guidelines. The advantages of the 109Cd system are primarily a consequence of the physics principles of the technique. The apparatus of each XRF technique is transportable, facilitating easy establishment of mobile laboratory facilities. More research is needed to substantiate claims made for particular XRF technologies, but both L and K XRF techniques provide the possibility of improved understanding of the body's handling of the ubiquitous toxin lead.