Radiation Dosimetry

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418-1The radiofrequency radiation dosimetry is a subject of great importance that was frequently overlooked by many healthcare institutes as well as healthcare professionals in the sense that it is a sort of a non-essential luxury, which has been proven to be completely wrong.

Radiographers and radiologists as all other healthcare providers are almost always more concerned about the quality of service they provide to their patients, and working hard to continuously improve their knowledge and skills so as to improve the quality of the service they provide, but within this hard work we should never forget to protect ourselves, and thus the subject of radiation dosimetry is an important one that deserves more focus.

It is well known that the effect of radiation is of a cumulative nature and the total exposure dose is the most essential parameter in determining the possible risk and the hazardous effects related to radiation exposure.

A radiation dosimeter is simply a device that uses different techniques (according to the device type) to detect, measure and record in international units the total dose of ionising radiation that the radiographer was exposed to over a preset time (usually a month in many institutes), and in some cases it gives an alarm when the preset safety exposure level is exceeded.

The dosimeters are of great legal importance in many countries where it is mandatory for health institutes to provide radiographers and radiologists with dosimeters to be worn all the time in order to regulate their exposure to radiation, and ensure that their exposure is always kept below the international safety, legally prescribed limits, and forces the health institute to give the worker a paid vacation if the safety limit was exceeded to bring it back to the acceptable range by the power of law, and hopefully that would be applied everywhere around the world soon.

There are different types of radiation dosimeters like Quartz fiber dosimeter, and film badge dosimeters, as well as the recent more advanced thermoluminscent dosimeters (TLD) and the electronic semiconductor types.

The dosimeter is usually in the shape of a badge, a pen with a small screen, a ring to be worn in the dominant hand, or sometimes a small pocket device that resembles a cell phone or a pager.

It gives a reading that must be kept below the maximal annual regulatory limit for radiation workers, that is 5,000 mrem deep dose, 15,000 mrem Lens dose (LDE), and 50,000 mrem shallow dose (SDE).

There is a variety of commercially available dosimeters supplied by different manufacturers, like ATOMTEX device, Simpson device, CESVA, CASELLA, and the popular LANDAUER, as well as many other different types that detects ionizing radiation (x-ray, beta and gamma rays) and non-ionising radiation too.

You can check this webpage to learn more about the different dosimeters available in the market for personal use.

You can also visit the webpage developed by the health physics society in the University of Texas, to learn more about the scientific background, uses and benefits of dosimeters.

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