Radiation Protection Basics
Carrying your personal radiation detector geiger counter with you is the best way to monitor your radiation exposure and can help you achieve the peace of mind you need.
There are 3 Basic Radiation Exposure Concepts:
- Time – Radiation exposure is directly proportionate to the amount of time spent near the source of radiation. Depending on the type of radiation, extended exposure can negatively impact a person’s health.
- Distance – Another important factor is the distance between the person and the radiation source; the farther away a person is from the source, the less exposure they endure. Furthermore, distance is a prime factor for gamma rays due to their ability to travel long distances, whereas, alpha and beta particles possess less energy and do not travel far. A couple of standard rules include: doubling the distance reduces the exposure by a factor of 4, and: halving the distance increases the exposure by a factor of 4.
- Shielding – This refers to placing something that will absorb the radiation between you and the radiation source. The greater the shielding, the less the exposure. Different types of radiation require different types and amounts of shielding.
- Shielding Alpha Particles – A thin piece of light material such as paper or the outer layer of human skin provides sufficient shielding because alpha particles cannot penetrate them.
- Shielding Beta Particles – Some beta particles can penetrate and burn skin; therefore additional covering such as heavy clothing help protect against beta-emitters.
- Shielding Gamma Particles – Thick and dense shielding such as lead is necessary to protect against gamma rays; and the higher the energy of the gamma ray, the thicker the lead covering needs to be. X-rays pose similar concerns and X-ray technicians usually provide patients who are receiving dental or medical X-rays a thick and heavy lead apron to cover and help protect the rest of their body.
A personal geiger counter can help ensure that you are not overexposed. It will not only detect radiation, but also give you precise measurements of radiation levels.