If you work in a nuclear power plant, then you’re exposed to radiation. Even though we don’t often feel the effects of radiation exposure, it’s actually the cumulative effects that can eventually destroy our DNA structure. Fortunately, a dosimeter badge can help measure the amount of radiation that we are absorbing and alerts us when we go over a certain threshold. That is why a lot of places make it mandatory to have a dosimeter before working in the area.
When it comes to radiation badges, there are a lot of exciting topics to be covered. At Med-Pro, we supply easy-to-use and highly sensitive product to help detect radiation intake. Here is an overview of why a dosimeter is essential to have in particular industries.
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What is Dosimetry
Dosimetry is the field of radiation protection and health physics to help calculate, measure, and assess the ionizing radiation that is absorbed by an object or human body part. This can apply to both external and internal radiation, where the energies are inhaled or ingested. The field provides strategies and solutions for workers to keep themselves safe from exposure.
Check out our accurate radiation badges at Med-Pro.
What is Radiation Dose Safety?
There are different ways to measure radiation dose safety. It can be estimated in absorbed dose, equivalent dose, and effective dose.
Absorbed dose examines the biochemical changes in the tissue. It is the energy deposit in the tissue that results in the exposure of radiation. For example, an x-ray can penetrate the deep tissue and spread radiation to other organs. Absorbed dose thus describes the intensity of the deposit in any small amount that is located in the tissue. If you have a CT of your upper abdomen, then the absorbed dose to your chest is low. However, the absorbed dose to your pancreas, liver, and stomach will be more significant because they have direct exposure.
The equivalent dose focuses on the amount of biological damage that is expected from the absorbed dose. In order to differentiate between absorb and equivalent dose, keep in mind that the equivalent dose focuses on the impact that the radiation has on the tissue, whereas the absorbed dosage reflects the energy that is implemented on the tissue. Our badges at Med-Pro calculate radiation based on equivalent dose.
The effective dose calculates the long-term effects that might occur in the future. It takes three factors into consideration, which are the absorbed dose, relative harm level of the radiation, and sensitivity to each organ.
First of all, the different parts of the body have various sensitivities. For example, the head is less sensitive than the thoracic area.
An effective dose takes into account the long-term risk that the person might get due to radiation. The rates might be higher or lower, depending on the type of procedure and the size of the employee. When it comes to assessing long-term risks from different kinds of procedures, absorbed and equivalent dose can help measure those aspects. When it comes to patient safety, the effective dose is the most important one to assess.
What is Neutron Dosimetry?
Neutrons are electrically neutral particles, so they produce a strong nuclear force. Because of this, they are often non-ionizing. They need to be converted into charged particles before they can be detected. Fortunately, the Neutron Doximity is equipped with a converter to turn the neutron radiation into a detectable form.
Various studies have shown that both neutron and alpha radiation cause more biological damage than gamma radiation. This is because the radiation increases with the linear energy transfer. That means the biological damage is higher for protons, neutrons, and alpha particles. However, low LET radiation like Gamma Rays have less damaging effects. Keep in mind that living tissue can efficiently repair radiation damage that is spread over a wide range rather than a small concentrated location. Therefore a small amount of neutron or alpha radiation is more harmful than gamma radiation.
What is Passive Dosimeter?
A Passive Dosimeter does not require external energy to operate. They provide an estimate of an accumulated dosage. They do not measure the instantaneous dose and are considered a regulatory dosimeter. They are often worn in the chest area by an individual that works in an environment that makes him or her vulnerable to ionizing radiation.
These devices make it easy to approximate the exposure that is measured over time. Workers use passive dosimeters in quarterly or monthly periods. At the end of the period, specialists analyze the device for radiation intake.
What are the types of Ionizing Radiation?
There are various types of ionizing radiation, such as alpha, Beta, neutrons, gamma, and x-ray.
Alpha radiation occurs when the atom goes through radioactive decay and give off two protons and two neutrons, therefore changing the atoms to an element with the atomic number two less and atomic weight four less than it started with. Alpha particles can interact with various matters and travel a couple of centimeters in the air. They can’t penetrate the outer layer of the skin, but if ingested, they are capable of causing some severe cell damage.
Beta radiation exists as either an electron or positron that is emitted from an atom. Because of their small mass, they can travel farther in air. However, a thick piece of plastic or paper can stop them. They can penetrate the skin, but only by a few centimeters. Still, they can cause some external health problems.
Gamma radiation does not have any particles. Instead, they emit energy from an unstable nucleus. This type of radiation does not have any charge or mass, and could travel extremely far in the air. They can only be stopped by thick and dense material such as lead. That is why the dentists’ office provides you with a lead barrier to shield against radiation exposure when you are getting an oral X-Ray.
X-rays are very similar to gamma radiation, but the only difference is that they have electrons in the outer shell. Plus, x-ray has longer wavelength and lower energy levels.
Neutron radiation emit nuclear fission. They can travel thousands of meters in the air and can be stopped by hydrogen rich material like water or concrete. They can ionize atoms because of their lack of charges, but they are the only radiation that can convert any material into radioactive form.
Protect yourself against various forms of radiation with our Med-Pro dosimetry badges.
You’re most likely to be exposed to high levels of radiation when you work in a nuclear power plant or in a medical office. It’s vital to wear a dosimeter or a radiation badge to collect data on the amount of radiation that you are exposed to. It can provide numbers on the accumulated radiation, so you get an idea of the results.
Keep in mind that there are different types of radiation badges that have various purposes. Some badges specialize in neutron radiation exposure while others are suited for an alpha, Beta, and Gamma radiation.