Radiation Exposure from Airport X-Ray Detectors?

Is X-ray Detector Radiation Exposure Dangerous? | Radiation Safety

Radiation Exposure from Airport X-Ray Detectors?

Is radiation exposure from airport security checkpoints dangerous while using X-ray detectors? The danger of radiation exposure from X-ray detector machines is highest for individuals who work near the devices, such as security personnel or postal workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workers’ maximum allowable radiation exposure dose is 5,000 millirems (mrem) per year.

Studies have shown that the radiation doses from properly maintained X-ray machines are below this limit. For example, a study conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) found that the radiation exposure from a properly functioning X-ray machine was only 0.5 mrem per hour at a distance of one meter.

It is important to note that the danger of X-ray radiation exposure is much lower for individuals not close to them. For example, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has stated that the X-ray radiation exposure from their X-ray detectors is “minuscule” and poses no health risk to passengers. While there is potential radiation exposure from X-ray detectors or scanners, the risk is minimal if the machines are properly maintained and appropriately operated according to OSHA and ALARA recommendations.

Therefore, for the general public, it is most likely that there is not a significant risk of radiation exposure from airport X-ray detectors or security scanners in other facilities. However, workers near these machines should take appropriate precautions to limit exposure. They should also consider wearing dosimeter badges and dosimeter extremity rings. As always, check with your radiation safety officer (RSO).

– Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (n.d.). Ionizing Radiation. Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/– National Institute of Standards and Technology. (2013). Radiation Safety of X-ray Security Screening Systems. Retrieved from https://www.nist.gov– Transportation Security Administration. (n.d.). Advanced Imaging Technology. Retrieved from https://www.tsa.gov


How to Wear a Dosimeter Badge & Ring

How to Wear a Dosimeter Badge & Ring

How to Wear a Dosimeter Badge & Ring

Knowing how to wear a dosimeter badge & ring could make the difference in your safety. Working with ionizing radiation can be hazardous without proper dose tracking and monitoring. Therefore, it is essential for medical device operators and individuals working in environments with radioactive materials or devices emitting ionizing radiation to be proactive and diligent about wearing their dosimeters correctly. We will discuss the importance of wearing a dosimeter badge, different types of dosimeters, how to wear them correctly, and best practices for ensuring safety while working with ionizing radiation. 

Importance of Wearing a Dosimeter Badge

Wearing a radiation dosimeter badge is crucial for anyone working with or near radioactive materials or devices that emit X-ray radiation. Regular exposure to ionizing radiation can harm one’s health if not appropriately monitored. Dosimeter badges help ensure that employees do not exceed the radiation limits set by federal guidelines and state regulations. In addition, by accurately recording exposure levels, dosimeters can provide valuable information to the Radiation Safety Officer, helping keep employees safe.

Types of Radiation Dosimeters

Various dosimeters are available for monitoring radiation exposure, including whole-body and ring dosimeters. However, we suggest 4-element OSL XBG badges for most uses. 
dosimeter badge OSL x-ray safety | Radiation Safety


Whole-Body Dosimeters


Whole-body dosimeters are issued to monitor radiation exposure to the head and torso. These dosimeters are sensitive to all types of ionizing radiation that can cause external exposure.

Ring Dosimeters

Ring dosimeters are issued to monitor radiation exposure to the hands. They are beneficial for employees working with X-ray radiation or low-energy isotopes, where specific extremities may receive elevated exposure.

Applying for Radiation Dosimetry 

An application for personal dosimetry must be submitted to the Radiation Safety Office before dosimetry will be issued. The application process ensures that individuals working in environments with radiation exposure are provided with the appropriate radiation dosimeters to monitor their dose levels accurately. If you don’t have an RSO assigned to your company, identify one person who will be trained and administrate the account. Check OSHA and state regulations on becoming an RSO.

Dosimeter Exchange Frequency and Process

Radiation Dosimeters are issued for either a one-month or three-month wear period. At the end of the wear period, replacement dosimeters will be distributed through the designated badge coordinator. Dosimeter holders are reused and should not be returned with the used dosimeter.

Radiation Exposure Reports

The dosimeter vendor issues Radiation exposure reports, listing each individual and the exposure recorded. The Radiation Safety Office keeps these reports for review and inspection by regulatory agencies. Employees have the right to know their measured radiation exposure at any time. Annual reports are issued to each individual for their records.

Lost or Damaged Dosimeters

If a dosimeter is lost or damaged, it is crucial to report this promptly to the badge coordinator or the Radiation Safety Office so that a replacement dosimeter can be issued. In addition, maintaining accurate records of radiation exposure is vital for ensuring safety and compliance with regulations.

Pregnancy and Fetal Dosimeters

Pregnant employees should wear both a chest dosimeter and a fetal dosimeter. Even if the chest dosimeter is exchanged quarterly, the fetal dosimeter must be exchanged monthly.

How to Wear a Dosimeter Badge 

Properly wearing a dosimeter badge is essential for accurate radiation dose monitoring. The following guidelines provide information on how to wear different types of dosimeters:


  • Without apron: midway on the torso between shoulders and waist on either side of the chest
  • With apron: outside the lead apron at shoulder level on either side of the chest


  • Without an apron: on either side of a collar facing the radiation source
  • With apron: outside the apron at collar level facing the radiation source

Collar & Waist

In some radiation environments, two dosimeters may be required. In such cases, one is worn at the collar and waist.

  • With apron:
    • Collar: outside the apron at collar level facing the radiation source
    • Waist: either side of the waist, under the apron

Fetal & Chest

For pregnant employees:

  • Without apron:
    • Chest: either side of the chest
    • Fetal: waist level on either side
  • With apron:
    • Chest: outside the apron on either side of the chest
    • Fetal: centered on the waist, under the apron


Ring dosimeters are suitable for dose monitoring when providing radiation services on extremities.

  • On one hand or both hands
  • Label facing the radiation source

It is important to note that ring dosimeters are labeled for either left or right-hand use, so be sure to check before wearing.

Tips for Wearing a Radiation Dosimeter Badge

Dosimeters Do Not Provide Protection

Dosimeters do not protect employees from radiation. Instead, their purpose is to document radiation exposure and ensure compliance with annual dose limits.

Dosimeters Help Create a Safe Work Environment

Dosimeter badges provide valuable insight into the safety of the work environment and the radiation levels in that area. Wear the badge daily and store it in a location free from radiation exposure while not removing it from the workplace.

 Best Badge Placement Location

The optimal place to wear the badge is on the neck or chest, facing the radiation source. If wearing a lead apron, the badge should be worn over it, not underneath it. For pregnant employees, the badge should be worn on the abdominal area and beneath the apron. Contact your RSO for more information. 

Avoid Borrowing Badges

Avoid borrowing or loaning dosimeter badges. Instead, employees should always wear the badge with their name on it.

Missing or Damaged Badges

Report missing or damaged badges immediately and obtain a replacement immediately.

Where to Get a Radiation Dosimeter Badge

High-quality, OSHA-compliant radiation badges can be obtained from reputable providers like Radiation Safety, LLC. Radiation Safety provides easy-to-use badges, the best pricing, outstanding customer service, and attention to detail. Customers can get four-element OSL radiation detection badges if expedited within as little as two business days.


Correctly wearing a dosimeter badge is crucial for accurately monitoring radiation exposure and ensuring the safety of employees working with ionizing radiation. By following the guidelines in this comprehensive guide, individuals can effectively mitigate the risks associated with radiation exposure and maintain a safe working environment. 

Consult your Radiation Safety Officer for further instructions and guidance on wearing dosimeter badges in your workplace.

What is a Dosimeter or Radiation Detection Badge?

What is a Dosimeter or Radiation Detection Badge?

What is a dosimeter badge or radiation detection 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

Basics of Radiation Detection

Radiation Detection

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.

dental x ray techs need dosimeter badges Basics of Radiation Detection

Even Digital X-rays Emit 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. 

Take Shelter

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.  

Stay Indoors

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.

Keep Alert

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. 




Are Radiation Detection Badges Important?

Are Radiation Detection Badges Important?

Are Radiation Detection Badges Important?

Are Radiation Detection Badges Important? Wearing radiation detection badges can protect you, your employees, and your practice from potential lawsuits. Recently I (Paul) was at a vet conference when I met a vet tech. As we talked, she mentioned that she is the one that typically does the X-rays in her office. She said she had worked in the office for over 20 years and seldom wore anything to shield her from the radiation. She laughed when asked about dosimeters or radiation badges to measure the scatter ionizing radiation. I’m not sure what happened to the vet tech or her long-term medical issues, but I know radiation detection is essential for anyone working around ionizing radiation sources.

Radiation detection and dosimeter badges are necessary.

Why are dosimeters or radiation detection badges essential to wear for medical workers? The field of radiology has inarguably revolutionized diagnostic measures in medicine. From Wilhelm’s accidental discovery of X-rays in 1895 to the present day, radiology has excelled dramatically. Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Radiology has created new diagnostic medicine arenas. While these advancements have improved efficiency and increased diagnostic capacity, we may still compromise the health of radiologists, lab operators, and other staff exposed to ionizing radiation.

Several types of equipment, such as X-ray and CT scan machines, serve as external radiation sources in clinical settings. However, the amount of external radiation exposure depends on the distance from the source, the energy levels emitted, the present radiation count, and the exposure duration. Radiation workers can benefit from time, distance, and shielding factors to limit radiation exposure.

Essential Interventions for Reducing Radiation Exposure 

  1. Time-Duration Of the Procedure

The duration of the procedure is crucial; reducing time will decrease the exposure of the patient and the radiation workers. Radiation exposure is proportional to the time the individual is exposed, so the more significant the time spent near the source, the greater the radiation dose received. Limiting the time is critical to monitor. The most basic way to reduce the duration of exposure without compromising the quality is by taking the patient’s history and briefing the procedure the patient before entering the lab. All questions and concerns should be asked before or should be kept for after the procedure to minimize exposure. 

       2. Distance

The closer to the radiation source, the higher the exposure to the radiation will be to those around it. The exposure rate from the source of radiation drops by the inverse of the distance squared. The rule is to position the patient and the operator away from the radiation source. The farther an individual is from the radiation source, the better it is. 

      3. Protection

Shielding has proven to be a successful way of controlling radiation exposure. Shielding can be anything from PPE to a room with protective lining or even an object or a material that causes hindrance or neutralizes radiation, for example, a lead apron, gloves, thyroid shield, and eye goggles. Several materials are used for this shielding equipment, Plexiglas for Beta particles and lead for X-rays and Gamma rays. These days, non-lead options are also being manufactured due to their non-hazardous disposal and recyclable nature; for example, lead-free aprons are a widely used shielding. These are made from a blend of heavy metals other than lead, making them non-toxic, lighter, and easier to carry.

Additionally, specific protective protocols should be in place for individuals at a higher risk of the adverse effects of radiation exposure, such as pregnant females. A developing fetus should not be exposed to radiation of more than 1 mSv. It threatens the developing fetus’s well-being if radiation exceeds 5mSv. 

Children are also high-risk individuals who should only be exposed to low-dose radiation when no other option is available.

Radiation Exposure Protocols Ensured by The Hospital

The service-providing facility should strictly observe radiation exposure protocols. Several factors should be considered when ensuring safety protocols are being followed.

  • Appropriate Infrastructure: The facility should have a radiation-containing infrastructure. There should be solid concrete walls in the rooms with radiation exposure. Many operatories have been built with lead walls that contain the atoms from scattering. A strict assessment and routine maintenance of the equipment and infrastructure maintenance should be emphasized.
  • Trained Team: All personnel involved in radiology (the radiologist, nurse, lab technician, etc.) should be trained and educated. They should be aware of all the adverse effects in case of negligence. All preventive measures should be explained, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), lead suits, and radiation detection badges should be worn at all times. Direct radiation exposure must be avoided. Compliance with the radiation safety protocols should be strictly enforced. Check with your RSO on any guidelines, including why wearing a radiation detection badge is important.

Key Takeaways:

Radiology has transformed the field of medicine, but with every change comes a new set of challenges. The challenges regarding radiation exposure can be mitigated by following ALARA guidelines and connecting with the radiation safety officer (RSO). Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and following all safety guidelines should be reviewed. 

Beta, gamma, and X-ray exposure can be significantly reduced by:

  • Keeping the duration of exposure as minimum as possible.
  • Maintaining as much distance from the source as practically feasible.
  • Putting a shield between the source and the radiation workers when possible.
  • Using PPE to limit the dose of the radiation.
  • Monitoring your radiation doses by wearing a radiation detection or dosimeter badge.

As always, check with your RSO on best radiation detection practices.


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