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How Do You Measure Radiation

Recommended Criteria To Assign Dosimeters For Healthcare Workers

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  • The Spanish Health Protection regulation against Ionizing Radiation defines exposed healthcare workers as those who, due to the circumstances in which their work is carried out, are habitually/occasionally subject to the risk of exposure to ionizing radiation that may involve doses higher than the limits recommended for members of the public. Exposed healthcare workers are further classified into two categories, A and B:
  • Category A includes those who can receive an effective dose greater than 6 mSv per official year, or a dose greater than 3/10 of the equivalent dose limit for eye lenses , skin and limbs . In Category A, exposed workers must use a personal dosimeter.
  • Category B includes exposed workers who rarely receive effective doses in excess of 6 mSv per official year, or 3/10 of the equivalent dose limit for eye lenses, skin and limbs. These workers are not necessarily required to wear personal dosimeters. It is sufficient for them to be controlled by a dosimetry monitoring system that guarantees that the doses received are compatible with their level B classification.
  • Non-exposed workers, such as members of the public health system, do not require any dosimetry control.

Table 1 summarizes the effective dose levels together with the equivalent doses in eye lenses, skin and limbs used in this staff classification.

How Electromagnetic Radiation Interacts With A Target

Electromagnetic radiation interacts with targets in a variety of ways. Some of the ways it interacts are listed below.

-Electromagnetic radiation can cause currents of electricity to flow through it.-Electromagnetic radiation can cause light to scatter.-Electromagnetic radiation can cause sounds to be heard.-Electromagnetic radiation can cause physical changes in target materials.-Electromagnetic radiation can cause mental changes.

How Is Infrared Radiation Measured

Infrared radiation – or IR radiation – is a type of electromagnetic radiation with a greater wavelength than visible light. We use pyrgeometers to measure it.

IR radiation is often associated with the concepts of “heat” and “thermal radiation” since every object with temperature emits radiation in this band. According to Wien’s law, by increasing the temperature, the emission peak moves more and more towards the visible until the object becomes incandescent ).

Most of these remove short wavelengths by filters that exhibit constant transparency at long wavelengths while being nearly opaque at shorter wavelengths.

Short-wave infrared energy comes directly from the sun but is not felt as heat. Instead, it converts into heat when it strikes an object. Long-wave infrared energy is the heat radiated from an object, which has received short-wave infrared radiation.

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Radiation Terms And Units

Scientists measure radiation in different ways. Sometimes, they measure the dose that a person receives from a radioactive source, and sometimes they measure the amount of radioactivity in water, or in soil, or in the air. These measurements are taken to determine if safety actions are needed.

There are different but interrelated units for measuring radioactivity and estimating health effects.

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How Can A Radiation Meter Help Me Reduce My Radiation Exposure

Electromagnetic radiation tester Dosimeter Tester pregnant women ...
  • You will be able to identify the obvious or hidden radiation sources around you so that you can remove or replace them.
  • You will know to avoid radiation hotspots by increasing your distance from the radiation source.
  • You will see if you have achieved low radiation levels in your areas after using electromagnetic shielding materials or implementing other solutions proposed in our radiation reduction tips guide.

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What Is An Effective Dose

The effective dose is the sum of weighted equivalent doses in all the organs and tissues of the body.

Effective dose = sum of . Effective dose is measured in sieverts .

Tissue weighting factors represent relative sensitivity of organs for developing cancer.

Table 4
Whole body 1.0

1 The weighting factor for skin applies only when the skin of the whole body is exposed.

2 When the equivalent dose received by and committed to one of these remainder organs and tissues exceeds the equivalent dose received by and committed to any one of the organs and tissues listed in items 1 to 12, a weighting factor of 0.025 shall be applied to that remainder organ or tissue and a weighting factor of 0.025 shall be applied to the average equivalent dose received by and committed to the rest of the remainder organs and tissues.

3 Hands, feet and the lens of an eye have no weighting factor.

Source: The Canadian Radiation Protection Regulations, Schedule 1 .

Interactions Of Fast Electrons

Energetic electrons , since they carry an electric charge, also interact with electrons in the absorber material through the Coulomb force. In this case, the force is a repulsive rather than an attractive one, but the net results are similar to those observed for heavy charged particles. The fast electron experiences the cumulative effect of many simultaneous Coulomb forces, and undergoes a continuous deceleration until it is stopped. As compared with a heavy charged particle, the distance traveled by the fast electron is many times greater for an equivalent initial energy. For example, a beta particle with an initial energy of 1 MeV travels one or two millimetres in typical solids and several metres in gases at standard conditions. Also, since a fast electron has a much smaller mass than a heavy charged particle, it is much more easily deflected along its path. A typical fast-electron track deviates considerably from a straight line, and deflections through large angles are not uncommon. Because a fast electron will travel perhaps 100 times as far in a given material as a heavy charged particle with the same initial energy, its energy is much less densely deposited along its track. For this reason, fast electrons are often referred to as low dE/dx radiations.

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What Units Are Used For Measuring Radioactivity

Radioactivity or the strength of radioactive source is measured in units of becquerel .

1 Bq = 1 event of radiation emission or disintegration per second.

One becquerel is an extremely small amount of radioactivity. Commonly used multiples of the Bq unit are kBq , MBq , and GBq .

1 kBq = 1000 Bq, 1 MBq = 1000 kBq, 1 GBq = 1000 MBq.

An old and still popular unit of measuring radioactivity is the curie .

1 Ci = 37 GBq = 37000 MBq.

One curie is a large amount of radioactivity. Commonly used subunits are mCi , µCi , nCi , and pCi .

1 Ci = 1000 mCi 1 mCi = 1000 µCi 1 µCi = 1000 nCi 1 nCi = 1000 pCi.

Another useful conversion formula is:

1 Bq = 27 pCi.

Becquerel or Curie is a measure of the rate of radiation emission from a source.

Abbreviations For Radiation Measurements

Measuring Radiation

When the amounts of radiation being measured are less than 1, prefixes are attached to the unit of measure as a type of shorthand. This is called scientific notation and is used in many scientific fields, not just for measuring radiation. The table below shows the prefixes for radiation measurement and their associated numeric notations.

Abbreviations for Radiation Measurements Table 1


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How Do You Know If Ginger Is Irradiated

Look for the Radura symbol along with the statement Treated with radiation or Treated by irradiation on the food label.

Does water carry radiation?

Water from wells, for example, can be exposed to rock formations that can contribute radiologicals like uranium, radium and thorium. All water on Earth contains some level of radiation.

What is the most common source of radiation to humans?

Measuring Radiation: Terminology And Units

This resource is part of Science for Democratic Action vol. 8 no. 4, which includes a Glossary of Radiation-Related Terms, and information on Measuring Radiation: Devices and Methods. Also see the associated Energy & Security no. 14 on Ionizing Radiation.

Ionizing radiation is emitted when radioactive substances decay. Radioactive decay occurs when the nucleus of an atom spontaneously decays by emitting a particle .

The four forms of ionizing radiation are alpha particles, beta particles, gamma rays, and, indirectly, neutrons. All have enough energy to ionize atoms, in other words, remove one or more of the atoms electrons.

An alpha particle consists of two protons and two neutrons, the equivalent ofthe nucleus of a helium atom. Alpha particles readily ionize material they contact and transfer energy to that materials electrons. An alpha particle can travel several millimeters in air, but in general its range decreases with increasing density of the medium. For example, alpha particles do not penetrate the outer layer of human skin, but if inhaled, alpha particles can damage lung tissue.

A beta particle is an electron or a positron and is much lighter than an alpha particle. Thus, it takes beta particles a longer distance than alpha particles to lose energy. A medium-energy beta particle travels about one meter in air and one millimeter in body tissue.

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How Does Electromagnetic Radiation Reach The Surface Of The Earth

Electromagnetic radiation is composed of electric and magnetic fields. The electric field is perpendicular to the surface of the Earth and the magnetic field is parallel to the surface of the Earth. The electric and magnetic fields interact with one another to create an EMR field. The EMR field travels in all directions and is always travelling in the same direction. The EMR field is created when electricity and magnetic fields mix.

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Measurement Of Biological Risks

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The biological risk of radiation exposure is measured via the conventional unit of rem or the Sv SI unit, and it refers to the risk that a person may suffer health effects due to radiation exposure. In order to determine a persons biological risk, scientists have assigned a different number to each type of radiation that one can be exposed to and that types ability to transfer and deposit energy into the cells of the body. These include alpha and beta particles, x-rays, and gamma rays. This number is known as the Quality Factor .

If a person is exposed to radiation, scientists can multiply the dose in rad by the quality factor for the radiation type involved. Doing this allows them to estimate a persons biological risk in the unit of rem. One Sv is equivalent to 100 rem.

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Why Do You Need To Use Irradiation On Fruit

Irradiation also decreases the need for other pest-control practices that may harm the fruit. Delay of Sprouting and Ripening to inhibit sprouting and delay ripening of fruit to increase longevity. Sterilization irradiation can be used to sterilize foods, which can then be stored for years without refrigeration.

How To Measure Electromagnetic Radiation


How to choose an EMF meter, which features to look out for and how to avoid overpaying. How to use the instrument user manuals and great videos! Is there a device that measures all types of radiation? Are radiation measurements only needed when there is a significant radiation source nearby? Which radiation values are considered high and where are they usually recorded? What methods of protection are available if you find elevated prices? This is the last web page you are going to visit before you buy an electromagnetic radiation meter!

  • We advise you to read our guides on Low Frequency Meters, High Frequency Meters, Combination Meters and Radioactivity Meters which contain detailed information on how to use each type of meter and which are the important features to look for. If you are in a hurry see all recommended meters below:
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    How Do You Select Your Recommended Meters

    There are dozens of EMF meter manufacturers, selling hundreds of different variations of EMF meters.

    So, how did we end up recommending only a few of them?


    Home Biology is run by engineers who perform electromagnetic radiation measurements for a living.

    We know what features you to need to look for when buying an EMF meter, so that you can easily and reliably take the necessary measurements, without overspending.

    Weve got everything covered, just read on and choose the meter you like!

    Thinks we consider before recommending a meter:

    • Frequency Range

    Does the meter cover the frequency range of the most common radiation sources?

    • Measurement Span

    Does the meter measure even low radiation values so that you can compare them to even the lowest recommend safety limits?

    Does the meter measure high enough values so that you can record the radiation from the majority of the high radiation sources?

    • Necessary Features

    Does the meter offer the basic features needed to perform an EMF measurement?

    Does it offer the same features but with a lower price than other similar meters?

    Is it simple to use, without confusing lights and buttons?

    • Ability to Detect Radiation Sources

    Does it help you find which radiation sources affect you or where their location is ?

    Is it manufactured by a reputable company that has a ligitimate email address, phone number, website and customer service?

    Is the meter sold by trusted sellers that can ship worldwide and have good customer service?

    Correlation Between The Relative And Absolute Uv Levels

    How do we measure ionising radiation?

    Converting between relative and absolute UV values is simple to perform. The UV and light measurements are taken with the instrument sensor parallel to the object surface, and the light intensity measurement is expressed in lux. A relative UV value is converted to the absolute form using the relationship.


    UVAb = ÷ 1000

    where L is the light intensity in lumen/m2, UVR is the relative UV measurement in µW/lumen, and UVAb is the absolute value in mW/m2.

    Example: If the surface of a painting is illuminated at 100 lux with a relative UV measurement of 75 µW/lumen, the absolute UV radiation that the painting receives is 100 x 75/1000 = 7.5 mW/m2.

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    How Can Geopathic Radiation Be Measured

    Geopathic fields are non artificial fields believed to be emitted from the earth. These are separated into water, Ley, Hartmann, Curry lines etc. Their existence today is disputed and/or considered insignificant in relation to strong electromagnetic fields from modern artificial radiation sources .

    Additionally, there is yet be discovered a common way of measuring them.

    The most common way to identify geopathic radiation, is still dowsing by people who have the ability to feel ethereal or earthy fields . Some research has been done on the subject and our personal experience makes us believe that this method gives very subjective results.

    Some claim that they measure geopathic fields with the use of geomagnetometers, however this measurement, especially indoors, detects static fields from steel pipe lines, reinforcement, bed springs and is not related to earthly energies.

    How Do Scientists Use Electromagnetic Emissions Of Stars To Determine Their Composition Age And Stage Of Development

    Scientists use electromagnetic emissions of stars, as well as other methods, to determine their composition age and stage of development. By studying the spectral lines of these stars, they can determine the type of star and its age. By measuring the amount of energy given off by stars at different points in their lives, scientists can also determine their stage of development.

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    Why Should I Measure The Electromagnetic Fields In My Home Or Workplace

    The continuous increase of modern day electromagnetic pollution makes radiation measurements more relevant and necessary than ever. This is especially the case for the most vulnerable population groups .

    Measurements of electromagnetic fields is the only way to determine if the areas where you spend most of your time exceed the proposed limits exposure to artificial radiation due to the presence of visible and invisible radiation sources .

    Read more here: Home Biology EMF reduction guide.

    ..electromagnetic fields exist in nature and have consequently always been present on earth however, in recent decades, environmental exposure to man-made sources of EMFs has risen constantly, driven by demand for electricity, increasingly more specialised wireless technologies, and changes in the organisation of society whereas the end effect is that all individuals are now exposed to a complex mixture of electric and magnetic fields of different frequencies, both at home and at work. European Parliament resolution on the health problems associated with electromagnetic fields

    How Is Radiation Exposure Measured

    Microwave radiation measuring device BR16

    About 150 people living or working around Japan’s damaged nuclear facilities have been monitored for potential radiation exposure, and 23 have been found to be in need of treatment. How is the extent of their exposure measured?

    According to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission , “exposure” refers to the amount of radiation, such as X-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, alpha and beta particles, present in the air. Exposure, usually expressed in units of roentgens, is measured by Geiger counters and similar devices. A Geiger counter registers how much the gas it contains gets ionized by incoming particles of radiation, and converts that information into an electronic signal.

    People don’t absorb all the radiation they’re exposed to, however most of it passes straight through their bodies. A small amount of the energy carried by radiation gets absorbed by bodily tissues, and that absorbed amount is measured in units of “radiation absorbed dose” . Radiation affects different people in different ways, but a rule of thumb used by safety crews is that a single roentgen of gamma- or x-ray exposure typically produces an absorbed dose of approximately 1 rad. By measuring the radiation level around a person’s body using a Geiger counter, a safety officer can approximate that person’s absorbed dose.

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    Radiation Interactions In Matter

    For the purposes of this discussion, it is convenient to divide the various types of ionizing radiation into two major categories: those that carry an electric charge and those that do not. In the first group are the radiations that are normally viewed as individual subatomic charged particles. Such radiation appears, for example, as the alpha particles that are spontaneously emitted in the decay of certain unstable heavy nuclei. These alpha particles consist of two protons and two neutrons and carry a positive electrical charge of two units. Another example is the beta-minus radiation also emitted in the decay of some radioactive nuclei. In this case, each nuclear decay produces a fast electron that carries a negative charge of one unit. In contrast, there are other types of ionizing radiation that carry no electrical charge. Common examples are gamma rays, which can be represented as high-frequency electromagnetic photons, and neutrons, which are classically pictured as subatomic particles carrying no electrical charge. In the discussions below, the term quantum will generally be used to represent a single particle or photon, regardless of its type.

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