There are many different uses of radiation, from those that are commonly associated with the term and those that are less well-known. Most people think of x-ray and imaging equipment when they think of the need for protection from radiation, with radiation used in power plants and facilities as a close second.
In addition to these typical applications, radiation is also used in medicine, in the preparation of some types of food products, as a way to see into building structures to check for areas of problems with welds or structural irregularities. There is also naturally occurring radiation, which is a common problem in the aerospace industry.
The Use of Radiation Protection
When radiation is used in any type of application, there is a need for radiation shielding. This most frequently used material for this type of shielding is lead. Lead is the ideal material as it is dense and prevents the ability for the gamma waves or x-rays to pass through the material.
The thickness and specific composition of the radiation shielding are determined by the type of radiation present. For protection for people working in and around sources of radiation, the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurement, as well as the International Commission on Radiation Protection, publish recommendations designed for safe use of radiation within acceptable dosage uptake.
Options to Consider
PPE or personal protective equipment can include a range of different types of aprons and clothing, all designed for different levels of exposure. In imaging rooms and areas, or for storage of radiation materials, lead blocks, bricks, lead lined plywood and lead sheet can all be used to provide the required thickness and coverage.
It is essential to ensure all radiation shielding installed meets all standards and requirements for the given application. Should the levels of radiation change due to the addition of equipment, it may be necessary to supplement existing shielding to ensure full protection.
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