What is a dosimeter or radiation detection badge? A radiation dosimeter badge is also known as an x-ray badge. A dosimeter badge is a device that measures your radiation exposure from scatter radiation. It 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 detection badges do not protect you from radiation. Instead, they 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?

There are several benefits associated with wearing a radiation detection badge. These benefits are detailed below.

Protection from the hidden dangers of radiation

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, it is essential to track your radiation dose to ensure that it is within safe limits. High radiation doses increase your likelihood of radiation-associated health risks. For example, high radiation exposure has been linked to:

  • Cancer
  • Fetal harm
  • Death4

Peace of mind

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, if you operate fluoroscopy units or X-ray machines, you may be exposed to high-energy radiation. Likewise, you may be worried about the risks associated with your job and how your work may affect your risk of cancer or other complications.

By wearing a radiation detection badge, you can know the exact amount of radiation exposure. By monitoring your radiation exposure, you can understand that you are protecting yourself from excessive amounts of radiation and putting your health first.

Prevention of potential lawsuits

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 that the employer does their due diligence to keep their workers safe.

References

  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
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