Tetrazolium salts as heterocyclic organic compounds are known to form highly coloured, water insoluble formazans by reduction, which can be utilized in radiation processing dosimetry. Radiochromic films containing nitro blue tetrazolium dissolved in a polymer matrix were found suitable for dose determination in a wide dose range both by absorbance and reflectance measurements. The concept of measuring reflected light from dose labels has been discussed earlier and emerged recently due to the requirement of introducing semiquantitative label dose indicators for quarantine control. The usefulness of the method was studied using the newly developed radiochromic dye films as well as already existing ones. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.