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Describe How Monitoring Of The Environment, The Public, Workers And The Workplace Can Be Used To Control The Pollution Cause By Ionising Radiation (20)

680 words - 3 pages

There are three types of radiation and they all pose a threat to living tissue and should therefore be monitored in the environment and in workplaces that using radioactive substances. Gamma rays are the least ionising but have a very large range and can only be stopped by a few cm of lead. Alpha is the most ionising but has the least range at a few cm and can be stopped by skin. Radioactivity in the environment is measured in many different ways, an example is air monitoring in which a device called a Geiger counter is used to measure radiation in the atmosphere. This method of radiation monitoring is also used in places such as workplaces that use radioactive materials, there are currently 1000 of these companies in the UK currently. Radiation may also be monitored in water, there are many sensitive habitats found near and in water ways therefore it is important to measure water quality. This is done in two ways, water is collected ...view middle of the document...

Biological indicators are another way of identifying wether there may be radiation in an area. Sensitive organism will not be found if there is radiation but mammals on the other hand may thrive such as wolves as the sight of Chernobyl. Radiation is also monitored at workplaces that use radioactive materials, these materials are often closed off from workers and workers often wear badges which can sense radiation to alert the worker, if this happens they know the radiation is leaking from somewhere. Workplaces aren't the only buildings however that may have dangerous levels of radiation , radioactive materials have to be tested for underground, this is done in two different ways. Radioactive rocks release radon so the first way is to test for radon which often means the presence of radioactive rocks. Another yet more expensive way is to send seismic waves into the earth to work out the density of the rock which can then be used to find whether it is a radioactive rock. This has to be done as otherwise radiation can travel through foundations and cause rooms in a building to have dangerous levels of radiation. Radioactive rocks aren't the only cause of radiation source, radiation sources have to be traced to find the source often so that radiation can be reduced in the environment. To do this a critical pathway analysis is used which traces sources to there origin. An origin could be for example r addition not stored properly when discarded or fine radioactive particles coming out of a power station chimney. Another workplace that is monitored for radiation is hospitals, this is because of the X-rays that are used, they are different to other types of radiation as they are man made, however they still pose a threat to the people who use them which are medical staff and patients. Therefore a number of measures are put into place to reduce exposure for example lead best are work which stop X-rays getting through to protect the media the staff. Patients will also have a file that records how many times they have had an X-ray to avoid dangerous exposure levels. Medical staff may also wear badges that react to radiation so that the radiation levels they are exposed to is recorded.

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