What is Radiation?
Radiation is energy given off by matter in the form of rays or high-speed particles
There are two (2) types of radiation:
- Non-Ionizing: Energy in the form of electromagnetic waves, having sufficient energy to excite an atom but not enough to pull electron from orbit. Examples: Radio-waves, Microwaves, Infrared, Ultraviolet light.
- Ionizing: Ionizing radiation is radiation with enough energy so that during an interaction with an atom, it can remove tightly bound electrons from the orbit of an atom, causing the atom to become charged or ionized. Examples: X-rays, Alpha (α), Beta(β), Gama (ɣ), Neutrons
The Uses of Ionizing Radiation
Sources of ionizing radiation are widely used in:
- Research and Education
- Security checks
Biological Effect of Radiation
- DNA is the main target
- Different radiation types have different biological effects - for cell killing & mutation
Examples of harmful effects of radiation
Chronic (Late) Effects
e.g. thyroid and other cancers.
“Probablislitic”: Higher radiation dose = higher risk of getting cancer (compare to smoking: more cigarettes = higher risk of getting lung cancer)
Acute (Early) Effects
e.g. Radiation Burns, Hair loss, Radiation Sickness
“Deterministic”: These are effect which only manifest themselves above a certain threshold. Below these thresholds, there is no effect.
ALARA Principle - As Low as Reasonably Achievable
Radiation Protection Devices
Measuring Radiation Thermoluminescence Dosimeter (TLD)
A thermoluminescence dosimeter (TLD) is a passive type of radiation dosimeter used by radiation workers. A TLD measures exposure to ionizing radiation.
Whole Body and Environmental Dosimeters
ENVIRONMENTAL RADIATION MONITORS
- Tracerco™ NORM Monitor Kit
- Norm GM Contamination Monitor
OTHER TYPES OF RADIATION MONITORS
Fixed Area Monitors
Results From Survey
- Maximum dose rate recorded – 0.84µSv/hr
- For 24hr operating days the effective dose ̴ 7.4mSv/year
- Average worldly dose from naturally occurring radiation