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).

References:
– 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

 

Smilecon 2023 in Orlando

walking into Smilecon at Orlando Convention Center

We are sorry if we missed you at Smilecon 2023 in Orlando, FL! What a great time for meeting dental professionals, staff, and, of course, other exhibitors! There were individuals from all over the USA and even international attendees. The ADA did an exceptional job of creating the right environment for learning and opportunities for networking. It was great to learn more about radiation detection and dosimeter badges at smilecon Orlando.

While there were only a couple of dosimeter companies in attendance, it was helpful to see what strides are being made for the reduction of scatter radiation in X-rays for both staff and patients. I am looking forward to next year and seeing how many dental professionals attend in New Orleans.

If you see this and are a dental provider, consider using our dosimeter badges and rings to protect you and your staff. We have noticed an uptick in dental offices utilizing our ring dosimeters since many staff use the nomad x-ray. Feel free to reach out for a specific price quote for your dental office at 833.456.7233 or [email protected] 

Radiationsafety.com is a radiation detection company that provides the leading OSL XBG dosimeter for medical, government, and industrial uses.

 

dosimeter badges Radiation detection Smilecon 2023 in Orlando

Does Cumulative Radiation Exposure Matter?

Does Cumulative Radiation Exposure Matter?

The short answer is YES! Keeping records of cumulative radiation exposure is crucial for several reasons, particularly for healthcare workers regularly exposed to radiation. By tracking and documenting the lifetime radiation dose, healthcare facilities can ensure their empDosimeter Badges Used in Radiology Healthcare professionalsloyees’ safety and well-being while complying with regulations set forth by organizations such as OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). One primary reason for keeping records is to monitor the level of radiation exposure over time. Cumulative radiation exposure refers to the total amount of radiation an individual has been exposed to throughout their lifetime. By maintaining accurate records, healthcare workers can assess their current level of radiation exposure and take necessary precautions to minimize any potential health risks associated with excessive radiation.

Can It Protect Me from Potential Lawsuits?

Additionally, keeping track of cumulative radiation exposure allows healthcare facilities to comply with OSHA regulations. OSHA sets specific guidelines and standards regarding occupational exposure to ionizing radiation. These guidelines protect workers from potential health hazards associated with prolonged or excessive exposure. We suggest that these records be kept safe for an indefinite amount of time. Providing you have followed the guidelines and have kept proper documentation; it could help protect you and your practice. Furthermore, comprehensive records enable healthcare professionals to make informed decisions about work assignments and scheduling. By understanding each worker’s cumulative dose, employers can ensure that individuals are within recommended limits and reaching potentially harmful levels.
We have seen firsthand where doctors’ offices do not keep track of the radiation exposure of their employees. At a vet show, a woman told us she never takes the precautions outlined and does not wear a dosimeter badge or ring when using the x-ray equipment. When asked how long she had been doing her job, she said, “About 15 years”. She further said that she is in the operatory holding the animal when X-rays are being done. As an office manager or owner of a practice, it is important that your employees wear personal dosimeter badges and you keep good records.
References:
1. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). (n.d.). Ionizing Radiation.
Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiationionizing/index.html
2. National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements (NCRP). (2019). NCRP Report No.
184: Medical Radiation Exposure of Patients in the United States.
Retrieved from https://ncrponline.org/shop/reports/report-no-185-evaluating-and-communicating-radiation-risks-for-studies-involving-human-subjects-guidance-for-researchers-and-institutional-review-boards-2020/

Radiation Shielding for the Medical Office

Medical offices need shielding and Dosimeter Badges, X-ray, and Radiation Detection Badges

Radiation Shielding

Radiation shielding utilized in medical offices is essential to ensuring the safety and well-being of patients and staff. With the growing use of X-rays, nuclear medicine, and other diagnostic imaging techniques, selecting suitable materials to block radiation and protect individuals from potential harm is crucial.

What is Radiation?

Radiation is a form of energy emitted by unstable atoms as they decay or transform into more stable forms. There are two main types of radiation: ionizing and non-ionizing. Ionizing radiation includes alpha, beta, gamma, and X-rays, while non-ionizing radiation comprises radio waves, microwaves, and visible light.

Ionizing Radiation Hazards

Ionizing radiation is particularly hazardous because it has enough energy to ionize atoms, potentially causing damage to DNA and other molecules within cells. This damage can lead to mutations, cancer, organ failure, and other severe health issues. As a result, it is crucial to protect individuals from excessive exposure to ionizing radiation.

Types of Radiation Shielding Materials

Traditional Lead (Pb) Shielding

Many medical offices utilize lead in their shielding with garments, shielding, and lead-lined walls. Lead is a dense, soft, and corrosion-resistant material widely used as a radiation shield for many years. Its high density makes it an effective barrier against X-rays and gamma rays. However, lead is not as effective in blocking alpha and beta radiation. Lead shielding materials are available in various forms, such as aprons, blankets, sheets, and bricks, and offer different levels of protection depending on the thickness.

Lead Composite Shielding

Lead composite materials combine lead and other lighter metals, such as tin, rubber, PVC vinyl, and proprietary attenuating metals (these materials may be reinforced with barriers). These materials are lighter (up to 25%) than traditional lead shielding and offer similar levels of protection. Lead composite shielding is available in garments such as aprons, vests, skirts, thyroid collars, and sheets. Always check with your RSO and contractor to ensure the correct materials are used. 

Non-Lead (Pb) and Lead-Free Shielding

Non-lead and lead-free shielding materials are an environmentally friendly and recyclable alternative to traditional lead-based materials. These materials are composed of heavy metals, such as tin (Sn), antimony (Sb), tungsten (W), and bismuth (Bi), which absorb or block radiation. Non-lead shielding materials offer similar levels of protection as lead-based materials and are available in garments, sheets, bricks, and other forms.

Selecting the Right Radiation Shielding Material

Choosing the suitable radiation shielding material for the medical office depends on several factors, including the type of radiation present, the frequency and duration of exposure, and the specific procedures performed. Here are some tips to help make an informed decision:

Assess the Type and Level of Radiation Exposure

Determine the types of radiation in the medical office and the levels of exposure that staff and patients may experience. Then, consult a radiation safety officer or physicist to select the appropriate shielding material for specific needs.

Consider the Frequency and Duration of Procedures

The frequency and duration of ionizing radiation procedures will impact the type of shielding material needed. For example, if the medical office frequently performs X-rays or other diagnostic imaging procedures, it may require a more robust and durable shielding material.

Evaluate the Comfort and Ease of Use

Comfort and ease of use are critical factors when selecting radiation shielding materials, particularly for staff-worn garments. Lightweight materials, such as lead composite or non-lead shielding, can be more comfortable and easier to wear than lead-based materials.

Factor in Environmental and Disposal Concerns

Lead is a hazardous substance that requires special disposal precautions. If environmental concerns are a priority for the medical office, consider using non-lead or lead-free shielding materials, as they are recyclable and safe for non-hazardous disposal.

Radiation Shielding Applications in Medical Offices

Radiation shielding materials can be used in various applications within medical offices to protect staff and patients from ionizing radiation exposure. Some typical applications include:

Diagnostic Imaging

X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and other diagnostic imaging procedures often involve ionizing radiation. Therefore, ensuring that both patients and technicians have proper protection is essential. Lead aprons, vests, and thyroid collars can protect against direct and scatter radiation during imaging procedures.

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine involves the use of radioactive isotopes for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Therefore, proper shielding is necessary to protect staff and patients from radiation exposure. Lead-lined storage containers, syringe shields, and waste disposal containers can minimize the risk of contamination.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy ionizing radiation to treat cancer and other diseases. Therefore, appropriate shielding is crucial to protect patients and staff from exposure. Lead shielding materials, including aprons and thyroid collars, can help protect individuals during treatment.

Dental Offices

Dental offices often use X-rays for diagnostic purposes, requiring patient and staff protection. Lead aprons, thyroid collars, and lead-lined walls or partitions can help minimize radiation exposure in dental settings.

Implementing a Radiation Protection Program

Developing and implementing a radiation protection program is an essential best practice for protecting workers from ionizing radiation. A radiation protection program may include the following:

Designation of a Radiation Safety Officer (RSO)

An RSO is a qualified expert, such as a health physicist, responsible for overseeing and managing a medical office’s radiation protection policies and procedures. As always, for any specific questions about shielding or dosimeter badge use, always check with your RSO.

Establishment of a Radiation Safety Committee

A radiation safety committee should include the RSO, a management representative, and workers who work with radiation-producing equipment, radiation sources, or radioactive materials.

Equipment Registration and Licensing

Ensure radiation-producing equipment and radiation sources are registered and licensed according to federal and state regulatory requirements.

Personal Dosimetry Program

Implement a personal dosimetry program to monitor and record radiation exposure levels for staff working with ionizing radiation. Radiationsafety.com offers the best prices along with the most accurate technology. 

Training and Education

Provide ongoing training and education for staff on radiation safety, physics, and best practices for protecting against radiation exposure.

Conclusion

Protecting medical office staff and patients from ionizing radiation is critical for maintaining a safe and healthy environment. By understanding the different types of radiation shielding materials available and assessing specific needs, you can select the best option for the medical office. Implementing a comprehensive radiation protection program will help ensure the safety of everyone involved and minimize the risks associated with ionizing radiation exposure. Check the FDA guidelines for the latest update on what is required, and consult with your RSO.

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:

Chest

  • 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

Collar

  • 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

Finger

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.

Conclusion

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.

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