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Dosimetry Badge Use & Misuses

Medical staff member in full medical equipment

What is a Dosimetry Badge?

A dosimetry badge is used to record someone’s exposure to radiation. The dosimetry badge contains a photographic film, known as a film emulsion, that is sensitive to radiation. 

The radiation that the film emulsion is sensitive to includes x-rays and gamma rays among a list of other types of radiation. Once someone has worn a dosimetry badge, the film is removed developed and then examined to measure the exposure.  


How is Dosimetry Badge Used?

A dosimetry badge is used to monitor radiation, but it does not protect from radiation. The reason for dosimetry identification is to record the occupational radiation people in the medical field for example are exposed day to day. The measurements recorded in the film are then compared to the annual cut-off limits and ALARA levels.

The dosimetry badge can give us a clear understanding of the radiation exposure of someone to help monitor their wellbeing in the workplace. These workplaces can be anywhere that has recorded levels of radiation. The dosimetry badge is used in a wide range of industries and is an important tool in helping to monitor the health of employees.

Let us now dig deeper to see how and dosimetry badges are being used and misused.

Related: How to Wear a Radiation Badge

Dosimetry Badge Use

Many professionals wear their dosimetry badge religiously as it helps to screen their organs to ensure they are safe in their field of work. In addition, many people need to ensure they wear their dosimetry badge correctly to ensure their readings are captured appropriately.   

As with anything, the use of a dosimetry badge is down to individual discretion. Employers can provide all the training, rules, and regulations but it is ultimately down to the individual and how they use or wear the dosimetry badge in their workplace.

When being exposed to occupational radiation, it is advisable to wear your dosimetry badge on the outside of your clothing at collar, chest, or waist level.

In situations where you wear an apron or x-ray clothing for work, you need to be sure to attach the badge over the clothing, so it is always on the outside. To ensure the dosimetry badge is used accurately, you need to make sure the badge is always on your body during the working day remembering not to remove it. When your workday is over, remember to always return the badge to the allocated office so you don’t take the badge home with you. This way the recordings of your radiation exposure are not tampered and are accurate.

Whilst discussing the dosimetry badge use, it is worth noting that in many health institutes/organizations the dosimetry badge is replaced with a dosimetry ring. The ring is worn around your finger where it is exposing to the potential radiation. It is recommended that the ring dosimetry is worn inside the gloves to prevent it from contamination. In the instances when it is removed, keep the dosimetry ring shielded from radiation and warm heat.

In summary, when using a dosimetry badge remember the following key points:

  • Always wear the badge when performing duties at work with exposure
  • Never remove dosimetry badge from the work area
  • Always wear your badge with a valid date range 
  • Never wear someone else’s dosimetry badge

woman in blue apron


Dosimetry Badge Misuses

Now like with anything, there is always an incorrect way to use or misuse the dosimetry badge. Some of the big misuses we see are when people seem to get lazy in the workplace and get complacent with their badge.

Many people forget to return their dosimetry badge when they leave the workplace with results of false readings of your exposure. This might mean employees leaving for lunch, commuting home, or heading out for a walk but forget to hand in their badge. This is a common misuse but something that really needs to be avoided for your own health.

Another common misuse of the dosimetry badge is that people do not frequently monitor the condition of their badge. This may see them working with a damaged badge or even working with a badge that has expired. A faulty or damaged dosimetry badge can really be a health risk as the badge may not be reading your exposure levels correctly. Resulting, at times in more exposure to radiation than what the readings suggest.

Some addition misuses of the dosimetry badge include the following key points:

  • Wearing the badge, the wrong way
  • Use someone else’s badge 
  • Putting the badge in the laundry

As an overview of the dosimetry badge use and misuse, it is worth noting that you do your own due diligence. This means following the correct usage tips to ensure you protect your health and the people around you. 

A key tip to ensure you are on top of your exposure is to check your dosimetry report daily. Your employers will have access to this information and can provide you the online live reporting of your exposure. If you feel like the readings aren’t accurate, take the initiative to bring this up with your employer. It is important that you do so as this can really impact your health if left with incorrect recordings of your exposure to radiation.

In conclusion, the dosimetry badge is such an important monitoring tool that should be treated with respect. The correct use of the badge can help to ensure you are not exposed to unhealthy levels of radiation that can have devastating short- and long-term effects. The misuses mentioned above can have deadly results for your health so we cannot express how important it is to follow these rules. Make sure you are on top of your radiation dosage, monitor it frequently, and if you suspect any issues bring this up with your employer right away.

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