Radiation detection starts by recognizing that radioactivity is around us all the time. Unfortunately, our human senses cannot detect radiation without assistance. So, similar to carbon monoxide, we need something to alert us. Radiationsafety.com provides dosimeter and radiation detection badges that can be worn discreetly and can detect ionizing radiation.
Basics of Radiation Safety
All around us are radioactive particles. Radioactive isotopes are found in natural minerals. Dosimeter badges help us monitor the scatter radiation emitted. It is prudent to be prepared in case you, your coworkers, and/or your employees come in contact with ionizing radiation. Remember, you cannot see radiation, but it can potentially cause life-altering and painful damage. Detecting the radiation, monitoring the time you spend around it, and having proper shielding can help protect you.
To build a step-by-step guide, it is essential first to understand how radiation protection works. With reference to exposure to radiation from the Sun and the measures you take to protect yourself from solar radiation, radiation protection consists of time, distance, and shielding. These three principles are practical individually but most effectively work in tandem. With that understanding of time, distance, and shielding you can help protect yourself and others from the adverse affects of ionizing radiation.
Time: Limit or minimize the time you are exposed to radiation. The radiation dose is linearly correlated to the length of time you are exposed to radiation. The longer the exposure, the more damage. Like a sunburn can occur within 30 minutes, radiation burns from x-rays, alpha or gamma rays can happen quickly and cause painful injury.
Distance: Limit or minimize the proximity to the source of radiation. The closer the exposure, the more damage. The severity of injury due to radiation exposure exponentially decreases comparatively to the distance to the source. Even though the earth is 93 million miles from the Sun, we still experience damage from solar radiation.
Shielding: Devices can protect from radioactivity. Shielding works because of the principle of attenuation, the gradual decrease of energy’s intensity through a medium, by absorbing radiation between the source of radioactivity and the location to be protected.
Just like applying sunscreen with a high SPF in direct sunlight. The sunscreen should provide protection from the Sun. Lead, concrete, and water are mediums that are high in density and can be used to shield you from penetrating gamma rays and x-rays. Practically, doctors place lead blankets or thyroid collars on their patients during routine x-rays, which helps limit the exposure.
What to Do in a Nuclear Disaster?
In the event of a significant or catastrophic radiation crisis, such as a nuclear powerplant accident, a terrorist attack, or a weapon of war.
If you are outside, locate the nearest building and go inside quickly to minimize the time and distance of exposure to the source of radioactivity.
If you are already inside, go to the center of your room and stay away from doors and windows. The walls, especially if they are concrete, will provide shielding from radioactivity. Gather your family, coworkers, and employees with you. Be sure to bring inside any pets or animals.
It may be the case that you need to shelter indoors for an extended period. Keep calm and stay indoors until you have been permitted that it is safe to go outside.
While inside, keep doors and windows closed if you were exposed to radiation, shower and wash the parts of your body that were not protected with soap and water. Drink and eat only items that are sealed.
Your local emergency responders will provide updates on when it is safe to be outside. They have been trained to respond in these types of situations. Use the radio, TV, or your phone to watch for updates and receive instructions on where to get tested for contamination.
These three steps – Take Shelter, Stay Indoors, and Keep Alert – utilizing the principles of time, distance, and shielding, are effective in how to protect yourself from radiation in a large-scale radioactive event. To limit and monitor radiation exposure, wearable devices can be worn for detection by RadiationSafety.com.
In an emergency or for more information on the basics of radiation safety, contact the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can provide more helpful information.