Radiation Facts

The two basic types of radiation are ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation. Non-ionizing radiation refers to a series of oscillating energy waves composed of electric and magnetic fields that travel at the speed of light. Examples are the spectrum of ultraviolet (UV), visible light, infrared (IR), microwave (MW), radio frequency (RF) and extremely low frequency (ELF). Non-ionizing radiation is found in a wide range of occupational settings and may pose a health risk to exposed workers if not properly controlled. The six basic sources of this type of radiation are:

  • Extremely Low Frequency Radiation (ELF): This is produced by power lines, electrical wiring and electrical equipment. Intense exposure sources are induction furnaces and high-voltage power lines.
  • Radiofrequency and Microwave Radiation: Microwave radiation (MW) is absorbed near the skin and radiofrequency radiation (RF) can be absorbed throughout the body. At high intensities, both can damage tissues in the body through heating. RF and MW radiation sources are radio emitters and cell phones.
  • Infrared Radiation: Your eyes and skin absorb infrared radiation (IR) as heat. Sources of IR radiation include furnaces, heat lamps and IR lasers.
  • Visible Light Radiation: Different frequencies of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum are seen as different colors. Having sufficient lighting is important but excessive visible radiation can damage the eyes and skin.
  • Ultraviolet Radiation: Ultraviolet Radiation (UV) is very hazardous because there are no immediate symptoms of excessive exposure. Some sources of UV radiation are the sun, black lights, welding arcs and UV lasers.
  • Laser Hazards: Lasers typically emit optical (UV, visible light, IR) radiations and can be hazardous to the skin and eyes. Some common lasers are CO2, IR laser, helium-neon, neodymium, YAG and ruby visible lasers, and the Nitrogen UV laser.

Ionizing radiation sources can be found at healthcare facilities, nuclear reactors, nuclear weapon production facilities and research institutions. These radiation sources can pose a considerable health risk to workers if not properly controlled. This is a type of energy released by atoms in the form of electromagnetic waves. People are exposed to natural sources of ionizing radiation in the soil, water, vegetation, x-rays, medical devices and other beneficial applications. Acute health effects such as skin burns or acute radiation syndrome can occur when specific radiation levels are exceeded. Long term effects of ionizing radiation can increase the risk of cancer.

Medi-Ray is the hallmark of radiation safety, shielding solutions and counterweight design. We are in Tuckahoe, NY. For more information, please contact us at 877-898-3003 or 914-979-2740 or email sales@mediray.com

 

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