Radiation is a form of energy that comes from a source and travels through a medium, including vacuum. Sun rays are one of the most familiar forms of radiation. Light heat and sound, all are types of radiation.
But the radiations we need worry about are called ionizing radiation. It can produce charged particles (ions) in a matter. It can cause damage to matter, particularly living tissues by changing the structure and even the DNA. Obviously, at high levels of exposure, it is extremely dangerous to you and even your children who are not born yet!
Types of radiation
Unstable atoms are radioactive. In order to reach a stable configuration they emit energy or mass or both. The different types of ionizing radiations are:
These are helium nuclei consisting of two protons and two neutrons. They are emitted from naturally-occurring heavy elements such as uranium and radium, and from some man-made elements. They are very powerful but cannot penetrate the skin.
These are fast-moving electrons emitted by radioactive elements. They penetrate the skin but can be easily shielded by using few millimeters of wood or aluminum. Beta-radioactive substances are also safe if kept in appropriate sealed containers.
These are high-energy electromagnetic waves, emitted in many radioactive decays and are highly penetrating. Gamma rays are the main hazard to people. All of us receive about 0.5-1 mSv per year of gamma radiation from rocks, and in some places, much more.
Virtually identical to gamma rays, X-rays are ionizing electromagnetic waves. They are not nuclear in origin. They are produced artificially and on demand rather by inexorable physical processes. High exposure to X-rays is extremely dangerous because of its high energy and ionizing capacity.
They are very high-energy particles, mostly protons which bombard the earth from outer space. They comprise about one-tenth of natural background exposure at sea level, and more at high altitudes.
Uncharged particles mostly released by nuclear fission (the splitting of atoms in a nuclear reactor). They are not normally a problem outside nuclear plants but fast neutrons are very destructive to human tissue. They can even make other, non-radioactive materials, become radioactive.
Ill-effects of radiation
The main ill-effects of radiation arise from fear and not the radiation itself. The health effects of exposure both to radiation and to chemical cancer-inducing agents or toxins must be considered in relation to time.
Though the exposure can be life threatening but low level of radiation absorption does not pose any major threat to humans:
- 0 to 250 mSv – Common exposure from natural sources, no damage.
- 250 to 1,000 mSv- Loss of appetite, nausea, physical damage to spleen, bone marrow and lymph nodes.
- 1,000 to 3,000 mSv- Mild to severe nausea. Higher susceptibility to infections. More severe physical damage. The recovery of patient is uncertain.
- 3,000 to 6,000 mSv- Very severe nausea, infections, skin peels, sterility, hemorrhage. If left untreated patient may die.
- 6,000 to 10,000 mSv- Central Nervous System becomes severely damaged. patient not expected to survive.
- 10,000+ mSv- Incapacitation. Death. Those who do survive develop cancer of several different organs.
Why do you need a radiation detector?
In most countries the current maximum permissible dose to radiation workers is 20 mSv per year averaged over five years, with a maximum of 50 mSv in any one year. Though low-level exposure to radiation is not life threatening but you need to make sure that the exposure is indeed safe.
The main problem with radiation is that it can’t be seen or felt, it manifests itself in the form of ill-effects ranging from mild nausea to certain death.
People receive some small doses of radiation from natural sources every day which do not harm our bodies. But when the radiation level increases due to some causes, it becomes dangerous as it can change the state of atoms of our cells. Nowadays a lot of places are contaminated with radionuclides due to human activities. Check the ratio of background radiations:
You need an equipment to check the level of radiation in surroundings and shield you from its ill-effects. There are plenty of radiation detectors easily available in the market but not all of them are suitable for your household usage. Some specific radiation detectors can only shield you from certain radiations and not provide an all round safety for you and your surroundings.
Best radiation detector for home-based usage
A compact dosimeter for household is highly recommended. It is used extensively for human radiation protection and for measurement of radiation in both medical and industrial processes.
Dosimeters can measure alpha, beta, gamma or X-ray radiation levels.
They are easy to use and serve the following purposes:
- Control permissible level of radiation at residence, work or a medical facility.
- Gauges radiation levels of household items, clothes, soil etc
- Assess radioactive contamination of food, water and air.
Some dosimeters like Gamma Sapiens may even operate via Bluetooth-channel and turn your smartphones and tablets into a working dosimeter!
EcotestVIP is the best solution for successful people who give high importance on their own safety. It is one and only premium class dosimeter in the world.
We strive to protect our dear ones. But people often fail to notice the impending threat of harmful radiations because it can’t be seen or felt. Use a dosimeter and ensure safety for you and your family from the radioactive poison.