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  • Types of Radiation
  • Radiation Shielding
  • Typical isotopes
  • Measuring Radiation
  • Laser Safety



  • electromagnetic energy
  • gamma and x-rays 
  • shielded by lead (high Z mat.) 
  • can penetrate deep tissue

Radiation Safety Questions?



Typical isotopes

Types of Radiation


  • two protons and two neutrons
  • shielded by a piece of paper
  • can not penetrate the dead skin layer
  • Concern for internal exposures

Having the appropriate radiation shielding when working with radioactive material can greatly decrease the potential for exposures.  It is also important to understand that certain shielding material should  not be used for other radiations. 

Examples of improper use include:

  1. Lead (high-Z material) should not be used to shield beta radiation because it can create bremsstrahlung radiation.
  2. Lead can be used for shielding alphas, but so can paper (which is much cheaper)

Radiation is everywhere: Sources of radiation

Natural radiation sources include cosmic rays from space, cosmogenic radionuclides, and primordial radionuclides and their progeny. Some of these radionuclides are found in the food we eat, air we breathe, and even in our own bodies. We have limited practical options for avoiding exposure to many of these natural radiation sources.  

Man-made radiation sources (of which we can help control) include; diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy machines, sources used for nuclear medicine, sources used for radiography and well logging, nuclear power plants,  particle accelerators, consumer products, and laser cutters and welders.


  • 180nm-1mm wavelength (ANSI Z 136.1)
  • eye and skin hazard
  • Ancillary hazards (Fire, LGAC)
  • shielded like light (high power requires curtains)

Not all radiation detectors can be treated as equal.  The most important aspect of any detector is understanding its capabilities and limitations. Although we can help you choose the correct detector for your needs, following the information presented here can also be helpful.

  1. Determine whether you want to measure radiation exposure or radioactivity
  2. Determine what configuration will meet your needs (portable, swipe counter, gamma spectroscopy, effluent, etc.)
  3. Compile a list of types of radiations (beta, gamma, etc.) and the isotope if possible, to determine the energy of the radiations that need to be measured.
  4. Research detector manufacturers and detectors capable of completing the task.  Communicate with the manufacturer and even request a trail or demonstration of the device, if possible 

Magnetic fields

  • flying metal objects hazards
  • posting above 5 Gauss
  • pacemaker hazard
  • electronic de-activation (e.g. credit cards)


  • From the atom nucleus
  • shielded by water (hydrogen)
  • can make items radioactive


  • Eye and skin hazards
  • Cancer (prolonged exposure) 


 Range (nm) 




skin & eye



skin & eye




Quick Reference Guides

Laser Safety


Ionizing Radiation

Presented here is a simple list of popular isotopes (referred to as CHIPS) and their properties .  

Lasers is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated emission of Radiation. Lasers emit light on the electromagnetic spectrum that can be very useful but also hazardous if not controlled properly. Lasers are referenced as specific devices having the properties listed below from wavelengths of 180nm-1mm (ANSI Z136.1).

Lasers emit light that is;

  1. Directional: does not expand as easily as    regular light (travels much further),
  2. highly coherent: identical in wavelength      and phase,
  3. monochromatic: identical wavelength   (very narrow band)

Radiation Shielding

microwave & Rf

  • large spectrum          
  1. Microwave 300MHz - 300GHz      
  2. RF 3kHz - 300GHz
  • Radio, telecommunications, etc.
  • in research, industry, facilities
  • main hazard (heating & burns)



  • electron 
  • shielded by plastic (low Z mat.)
  • 70keV beta to penetrate the dead skin
  • highest concern for localized skin exposures

Measuring Radiation


 Experts in Safety, Exceeding Expectations


Radiation Protection Consultant

Non-ionizing radiation