Radiation Exposure Prevention

Three main factors contribute to how much radiation a person absorbs from a source. The following factors can be controlled to minimize exposure to radiation.

Increasing distance from the source of radiation

The intensity of radiation falls sharply with greater distance, as per the inverse square law. Increasing the distance of an individual from the source of radiation can therefore reduce the dose of radiation they are exposed to. For example, such distance increases can be achieved simply by using forceps to make contact with a radioactive source, rather than the fingers.

Decreasing duration of exposure

The time spent exposed to radiation should be limited as much as possible. The longer an individual is subjected to radiation, the larger the dose from the source will be. One example of how the time exposed to radiation and therefore radiation dose may be reduced is through improving training so that any operators who need to handle a radioactive source only do so for the minimum possible time.

Reducing incorporation into the human body

Potassium iodide (KI) can be given orally immediately after exposure to radiation. This helps protect the thyroid from the effects of ingesting radioactive iodine if an accident occurs at a nuclear power plant, for example. Taking KI in such an event can reduce the risk of thyroid cancer developing.

Shielding

Shielding refers to the use of absorbent material to cover a reactor or other source of radiation, so that less radiation is emitted in the environment where humans may be exposed to it. These biological shields vary in effectiveness, depending on the material’s cross-section for scattering and absorption. The thickness (shielding strength) of the material is measured in g/cm2. Any amount of radiation that does penetrate the material falls exponentially with increasing thickness of the shield.

Taking X-ray rooms as an example, lead sheets may exist in the walls of the room containing the generator or barium sulphate may be incorporated into the plaster. The subject being X-rayed is viewed through a leaded glass screen and lead aprons are worn in cases where operators need to be in the same room as the subject.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 27, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2019, February 27). Radiation Exposure Prevention. News-Medical. Retrieved on December 10, 2019 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Radiation-Exposure-Prevention.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Radiation Exposure Prevention". News-Medical. 10 December 2019. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/Radiation-Exposure-Prevention.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Radiation Exposure Prevention". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Radiation-Exposure-Prevention.aspx. (accessed December 10, 2019).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2019. Radiation Exposure Prevention. News-Medical, viewed 10 December 2019, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Radiation-Exposure-Prevention.aspx.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
Post a new comment
Post
You might also like... ×
Retrospective review: Proton therapy well tolerated in patients undergoing breast conserving surgery