What is a Dosimeter or Radiation Detection Badge?

What is a Dosimeter or Radiation Detection Badge?

What is a dosimeter badge or radiation badge?

What is a dosimeter or radiation detection badge? A radiation dosimeter badge, also known as an x-ray badge, are used by hospitals, labs, govt facilities, dentist, and vets. The passive dosimeter badge measures your radiation exposure from scatter ionizing radiation. The dosimeter badge identifies different radiation types, such as high-energy gamma, beta, or X-ray radiation. However, it cannot pick up on low-energy radiation from isotopes such as carbon-14, sulfur-35, or tritium1.

Radiation dosimeter badges do not protect you from radiation. Passive dosimeters calculate your total occupational radiation exposure so that your exposure stays within safe limits. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) outlines radiation thresholds above which radiation can become dangerous. These guidelines recommend radiation not exceeding 100 millisieverts (10 rem)2. Badges can help to ensure that your exposure does not exceed this amount.

This article will discuss the benefits of knowing your radiation exposure and how such information can help keep you safe at work.

Why should you wear a radiation detection badge?

Radiation can harm our tissues, primarily affecting our genetic material known as DNA. It damages DNA by breaking important bonds and water molecules in and around our DNA. When this occurs, free radicals are released. Free radicals are substances that can seriously injure your cells and organs3. Radiation is particularly harmful at higher doses. Though we receive low doses of radiation from our natural environment, we can also expose ourselves to radiation on the job. When exposed to radiation on the job, tracking your radiation dose to ensure that it is within safe limits is essential. High radiation doses increase your likelihood of radiation-associated health risks. For example, high radiation exposure has been linked to:

  • Cancer
  • Fetal harm
  • Death4

Wearing a radiation detection badge can also give you peace of mind that you are not putting yourself at risk while at work. For example, operating fluoroscopy units or X-ray machines may expose you to high-energy radiation. Likewise, you may be worried about the risks associated with your job and how your work may affect your cancer risk or other complications.

By wearing a radiation detection badge, you can know the amount of radiation you or your employees are exposed to while working. Having your employees wear badges helps minimize potential fraudulent lawsuits, as many healthcare workers who get cancer direct it back to radiation exposure in the workplace. Radiation detection badges do not just give peace of mind to employees who work around radiation but also to their employers. By utilizing badges and monitoring radiation appropriately, the likelihood of illness due to radiation exposure is low. When radiation is within safe limits, employees will be less likely to develop complications due to their work. Therefore, they will be less likely to sue their employer for a hazardous workplace. Additionally, having employees wear radiation detection badges ensures the employer does their due diligence to keep their workers safe.Order your x-ray badges today!


  1. Personal radiation dosimeter. (n.d.). Retrieved June 23, 2022, from https://www.uth.edu/safety/radiation-safety/personal-radiation-dosimeter.htm
  2. US EPA, O. (2014, November 12). Radiation health effects [Overviews and Factsheets]. https://www.epa.gov/radiation/radiation-health-effects
  3. CDC. (2015, December 7). Health effects of radiation: Health effects depend on the dose. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/dose.html
  4. CDC. (2021, August 9). Health effects of radiation. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/health.html


What is a TLD dosimeter? Dosimetry is the process of measuring radiation. Multiple instruments are available that detect and measure the presence of radiation in a laboratory, handheld or worn, like a dosimeter badge or ring from RadiationSafety.com.  

When ionizing radiation loosens electrons, phosphor crystals in a dosimeter or dosimetry badge capture and store them. When those crystals are exposed to heat, they emit light as the electrons are released from the crystals, which illuminates a light on a dosimeter badge, band, or ring. That light is later measured and processed to provide a precise amount of radiation to which the dosimeter was exposed. When the dosimeter badge, band, or ring is worn over a period of time, anywhere from one to three months, the crystals can then be used to determine how much exposure the wearer has had over that period. This process is known as dosimetry.dosimeter badge OSL x-ray safety

A TLD dosimeter, or thermoluminescent dosimeter, is a passive radiation dosimeter that measures ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is caused by X-rays, gamma rays, beta particles, alpha particles, and other radioactive isotopes that carry enough energy to free electrons from their orbit around normally stable molecules. While this can cause damage to cells in living tissue, it also can be captured and measured in a well-designed environment, like in a dosimetry badge. In addition, ionizing radiation causes damage over time, so monitoring, limiting, and controlling how much a person is exposed to is essential. 

Invented by Professor Farringon Daniels of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1954, the TLD dosimeter requires heat to function. They are most useful for situations where information about radiation amounts must be precise but not immediately required. TLD dosimeters can measure accumulated dosages to monitor potential health impacts. 

A better alternative to TLD dosimeter badges is OSL XBG dosimeter badges.

Pros and Cons of TLD Dosimeters


  • TLD dosimeters measure a large range of doses over a period of time.
  • TLD dosimeters are typically the same price or even higher than OSL technology.


  • TLD dosimeters require heat to function.
  • Only one dose can be read at a time.
  • Once the dose is read, it resets the dosimeter.
  • One of the largest manufacturers of TLD badges and readers quit servicing their machines.
  • TLD dosimeter badges tend to have a higher rate of “fade” than OSL badges.

RadationSafety.com provides radiation badges and rings that are affordable and unobtrusive. They utilize optically stimulated luminescence OSL technology, a more advanced technology than TLD dosimeters. OSL dosimeter badges are the industry standard used by the government, hospitals, labs, and companies worldwide. An OSL dosimeter works similarly to a TLD dosimeter, but an OSL dosimeter only requires optical stimulation, whereas a TLD dosimeter requires heat to function. These small and discrete radiation badges can be worn on your lapel and are designed to detect X-rays, gamma radiation, and beta particles, with neutron monitoring available for an additional fee.

Source: ​​https://www.radiation-dosimetry.org/what-is-thermoluminescent-dosimeter-tld-definition/ 


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