*This blog is part of a much larger pillar post.
Radiation is a natural component of existence. We are always surrounded by background radiation, which is derived from natural minerals. However, there are other times you may be exposed to radiation from other sources and machines. Because of this, making sure that you’re compliant with all of the NRC safety regulations are important to keep everyone in and around the area safe.
When radiation exposure protection is needed, it’s crucial to understand three tenets. These tenets are time, distance, and shielding. Using these practices to develop a safe shielding plan is important and required in all applications.
In this blog, we’ll be talking about why protecting yourself from prolonged radiation exposure is so important. Also, we’ll discuss how you can apply the three principles we mentioned above.
Why Radiation Protection Is So Important
Why is protecting yourself from prolonged radiation exposure so important?
Simply put, too much exposure to radiation can cause radiation sickness.
According to mayo clinic, “Radiation sickness is damage to your body caused by a large dose of radiation often received over a short period of time (acute). The amount of radiation absorbed by the body — the absorbed dose — determines how sick you’ll be.”
Although it can be rare, over exposure to radiation can be fatal. That’s why it’s so important to notice the symptoms early.
Common Radiation Sickness Symptoms
Before we go into the most common symptoms associated with radiation sickness, let’s get some background.
Depending on how much radiation you’ve taken in, symptoms and indicators will vary in intensity.
The kind of exposure, such as whole or partial body exposure, has an impact on signs and symptoms as well. The sensitivity of the damaged tissue has an impact on how severe radiation illness is. For instance, the bone marrow and digestive system are vulnerable to radiation.
Okay, now that we’ve discussed why symptoms can vary, let’s list possible symptoms of prolonged radiation exposure:
– Nausea and Vomiting
– Dizziness and Disorientation
– Weakness and Fatigue
– Hair Loss
– Bloody Vomit and Stools from Internal Bleeding
– Low Blood Pressure
Given how severe these symptoms are, it’s a no brainer why protecting yourself from radiation exposure is so important.
Without further ado, let’s get into the three different ways you can protect yourself from radiation.
How to Protect Yourself From Radiation
Like we mentioned before, time, distance, and proper shielding can help cut the external radiation you’re exposed to.
Limiting or reducing the exposure duration lowers the dosage you’ll be in contact with from the radiation source.
Think of it this way: the longer you’re outside, the worse your sunburn will be.
As you go further away from the source, the radiation dose you’re exposed to drastically drops.
To help you remember this point, think of how a stove burner is warmer the closer you are to it.
The most important factor in reducing radiation exposure is making sure you have the proper radiation shielding infrastructure in place.
Proper radiation shielding should be looked at like an umbrella, often being the first and primary line of defense between you and unwanted exposure.
It’s vital to make sure that you work with a licensed radiation shielding expert to develop a shielding plan to ensure you construct a proper facility for your organization’s needs.
If you’re ever exposed to radiation for a prolonged period of time, make sure to seek emergency services to avoid serious issues.
Protecting yourself from radiation requires a proper plan and infrastructure to ensure the safety of those working near the radiation source.
Remember. Time, Distance, and Proper radiation shielding.