OSL, Advanced Technology for Radiation Measurement
RadiationSafety.com utilizes OSL dosimetry in its radiation detection badges. OSL is optically stimulated luminescence; dosimetry measures ionizing radiation dosages. It allows for measuring exposure to radioactive isotopes over a specific time. Many agree that OSL dosimetry is a better alternative to thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) technology.
OSL dosimeter badges are the industry standard used by the government, hospitals, labs, and companies worldwide. An OSL dosimeter is a passive form of radiation detection and requires optical stimulation to function. These small and discrete personal radiation badges detect X-rays, gamma radiation, and beta particles.
OSL dosimeters are materials that trap electrons from radioactive isotopes in their defective crystalline structure. Some utilize aluminum oxide (AI203) to absorb and release radioactive energy to precisely measure the radiation dose received. The OSL dosimeters store the electrons until it is released through stimulation. While heat is used to stimulate TLD dosimeters, light stimulates the elements within the OSL dosimeters. The OSL dosimeter then releases the energy stored in the dosimeter as the emitted light is measured. Since they utilize passive technology, the laboratory can read the OSL badge multiple times without significantly fading. OSL dosimeters provide a very high degree of sensitivity and can give an accurate reading as low as 1 mrem for gamma-ray particles and x-ray particles. In addition, OSL dosimeters measure the amount of scatter ionizing radiation for workers. OSL radiation detection badges can also be positioned as an area monitor in the room. Having an area monitor measures the radiation in the environment over a specified period of time.
Basics of OSL Technology
An OSL dosimeter should be worn outside your clothing, between your neck and abdomen, where the most radiation is likely to be absorbed. Often, the detection badges are attached to lapels or collars of lab coats. Scientists, technicians, researchers, and medical professionals are encouraged to wear them whenever they come in contact with or close to a radiation source, especially over prolonged periods of time. It is especially prudent for pregnant women working in these environments to use and wear radiation detection badges like those from RadiationSafety.com, especially because OSL dosimeters are more sensitive than comparable TLD dosimeters.
Our OSL radiation detection x-ray badges are shockproof, water resistant, and unaffected by heat. The radiation monitors are durable and simple to use. With OSL technology, badges are re-readable. TLD dosimeters do not have the capability of being read multiple times. A second reading of the radiation dose from an OSL dosimeter may only decrease by as small as one percent difference compared to its first reading. All radiation doses are stored so that if needed, it can be reread years later.
How to measure radiation? Detecting radiation is essential but impossible with human senses. Therefore, a radiation detection device is required. Various instruments are available that detect and measure the presence of radiation. Radiationsafety.com dosimeter badges and rings can be found in hospitals, laboratories, manufacturing plants, medical offices, government facilities, etc. Continue to read and learn more about how radiation measurements happen.
Liquid Scintillation Counters are standard laboratory instruments that quantify the radioactivity of low energy radioscopes. These counters use specific cocktails of a sample and liquid scintillator fluid to absorb the energy emitted from isotopes and transmit it to pulses of light. Low background counts are achieved with these devices through the use of shielding, cooling of photomultiplier tubes, energy discrimination, and the coincidence counting approach. Units have the capability to acquire, store and reduce the capacity of data automatically.
Proportional Counters are also known as proportional detectors, which detect gaseous ionizing radiation. The detector is so named because of its ability to measure the energy of incident radiation by producing a proportional output pulse to the radiation energy absorbed by the detector. Proportional counters may or may not be equipped with a window and are sensitive enough to distinguish between alpha and beta radiation and achieve low minimum detectable activities.
Multichannel Analyzer System is a powerful laboratory radiation detection instrument that counts solid or liquid matrix samples and other extracted radioactive samples. These units, either constructed with a sodium iodide crystal and photomultiplier tube, a solid-state germanium detector, or a silicon-type detector, are mostly used to detect gamma radiation. The exception is silicon-type detectors that can also detect alpha radiation. Units have the capability to acquire, store and reduce the capacity of data automatically, similar to liquid scintillation counters. .
Geiger Counters are the most common handheld radiation detection devices. They are composed of a Geiger-Mueller (GM) tube or probe filled with gas, which produces an electrical pulse if radiation reacts with the gas in the tube or the wall when a high voltage is applied. That electrical pulse can be read on the instrument meter through an audible click or display. If the instrument has a speaker, the pulses also give an audible click. GM tubes can also be employed for exposure measurements, but are most commonly utilized with handheld radiation survey instruments for contamination measurements, and in some cases will also accommodate other radiation-detection probes like a zinc sulfide scintillator probe.
Portable Multichannel Analyzers are affordable and increasingly common devices consisting of a photomultiplier tube coupled with a sodium iodide crystal and outfitted with a small multichannel analyzer electronics package. When radiation sources are unknown, these handheld devices can detect the type of radioactivity when employing automatic gamma-ray energy identification procedures and gamma-ray data libraries.
Micrometers with sodium iodide scintillation detectors are handheld radiation detection devices outfitted with a solid crystal of sodium iodide that creates a pulse of light when radiation interacts with it. A photomultiplier tube converts the pulse of light, proportional to the amount of light and the energy deposited in the crystal, to an electrical signal, which can be read on the instrument display. In some devices, special types of plastic or other inert crystal “scintillator” materials can also replace the use of sodium iodide.
Ionization (Ion) Chambers are devices with an inner wall and central anode that are electrically conductive and relatively low applied voltage compared to other devices. An electrometer circuit displays a small electrical current when x-ray or gamma radiation interactions occur in the chamber wall and create primary ion pairs in the air volume. Most ionization chambers must be calibrated to a traceable radiation source and corrected to accommodate changes in pressure and temperature in a room, as they are “open air.” In that most ion chambers are “open air,” they must be corrected for changes in temperature and pressure.
Radon Detectors are instruments that utilize different techniques to accommodate a variety of situations, the advantages and disadvantages of which ought to be considered prior to use. Air filters can collect radon decay products. Charcoal canisters can be exposed for several days and gamma spectroscopy is performed. CR-39 plastic can also be exposed for a long period of time followed by chemical etching and alpha track counting. These devices can be used in the home.
Neutron REM Meter, with Proportional Counter, is a handheld device that is similar to the GM tube but contains a gas-filled boron trifluoride or helium-3 proportional counter tube. It reads an electrical pulse created by ionization in the gas and charged particles when a high voltage is applied. Neutron radiation interacts with the gas in the tube to create the electrical pulse. A downside of these proportional counters, which measure neutrons, is that they require a substantial amount of hydrogenous material around them to slow the neutron to thermal energies.
Radiationsafety.com has radiation detection badges that are optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dosimeter badges, which are the industry standard used by the government, hospitals, labs, and companies worldwide. These small and discrete devices can be worn on your lapel and are designed to detect X, gamma, beta and some include neutron radiation. OSL dosimeters utilize aluminum oxide (AI203) to absorb and release X-ray energy to precisely measure the dose of radiation received. OSL dosimeters are most beneficial for employees who work in environments where radiation is present. OSL is considered the industry standard for dosimeter badges.
These badges are also worn by women who are pregnant. Instead of the badge being worn on the collar or lapel, the badge is put directly over the fetus and keeps track of the radiation exposure. Check your local state laws. In some states, it is a requirement for women who are pregnant to wear a fetal monitor. Fetal monitors are worn daily and need to be sent to the lab on a monthly basis.
Other worn instruments are radiation monitoring rings. These dosimeter rings pick up radiation exposure to the hand from various tasks associated with radiology (including but not limited to NOMAD devices), security, mail processing, and other areas where radiation is being emitted.
Whether you need an OSL XBG whole-body radiation badge, a fetal monitor, or a TLD ring radiationsafety.com can help you save time, save money and protect your employees with industry-standard radiation monitoring.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.