MAN-MADE RADIATION

a. Used extensively as a diagnostic tool, medical radiation is the single greatest source of man-made radiation exposure to the general population.

(1) Diagnostic x-rays. This source accounts for greater than 90 percent of man's exposure to man-made radiation.

(2) Therapeutic radiation. Therapy facilities are usually found at medical centers only. Therapeutic radiation is produced by using radioisotopes such as Cobalt- 60 or by using medical accelerators.

(3) Nuclear medicine. Radioactive materials are used here to view organs of the body for diagnostic information.


b. Industrial Radiation.

     (1) Nondestructive testing is a widely used technique in industry. An example of this is the x-ray cabinet used in airports to examine the contents of hand luggage.

     (2) Commodities manufacture. Many items, like the lensatic compass, contain radioactive material. Frequently, items that glow in the dark do so because they contain radioactive material.

c. Fallout from atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons also contributes to the radiation we receive.

d. Nuclear power effluents contain some radioactive materials. They are controlled by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency.

e. Consumer Products. Some consumer products we use daily contain radioisotopes or produce radiation.

     (1) Color television sets have an amplifier that produces low energy x-rays. These amplifiers are shielded to protect the consumer.

     (2) Some smoke detectors use radioactive material in their operation. This source is well sealed and of very low activity.

X-ray Schools | X-ray and Radiation Safety
For Informational Purposes Only - Based On US Army Radiation Safety Training