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What Are the Three Radiation Protection Principles?

While the three radiation safety principles arose primarily due to the increasing need for radioactive hospital devices such as x-rays, CT, and PET-CT scans, these are relevant to any profession or business where workers or members of the community are exposed to radiation.

Employees in various occupations, including industrial uses, mining, weapons production, and the aviation sector, are exposed to radiation. On the other hand, radiation scientists concur that medical radiation doses are currently the biggest source of artificial exposure to radiation.

If you work in a field where you may be exposed to radiation, you should understand and follow three essential concepts.

The Three Radiation Protection Principles

These three principles, also known as the radiation safety three principles, are a more specific implementation of the ALARA – (As Low as Reasonably Achievable)

One of the first principles is that no person should be exposed to radiation dosages until it would cause more damage than benefit, whether in the workplace or elsewhere. This includes the following:

  • When a new source of radiation is found, utilized, or implemented, it is referred to as a new radiation source.
  • When a new activity emerges that puts people in danger due to their job (as in the case of pilots or astronauts), the use of those sources is proven to be of reasonable benefit to the individual or society as a whole.

It is also expected that these sources or actions will be monitored, studied, evaluated, and regularly analyzed, with major discoveries requiring the inclusion of new, updated, and enhanced safety procedures and safeguards.

Another concept most workers in the medical field will learn Time of Exposure. In any instance of workplace radiation exposure, the objective is to reduce the amount of time an employee, patient, or bystander is irradiated. By reducing the length of time a person is exposed to radiation, you may reduce the overall amount of radioactive dose their bodies receive.

That’s an excellent transition into the second concept of radiation safety: dose limitation.

The good news is that radiation can be measured with the help of a dosimeter. This allows Radiation Safety Officers and individual workers to monitor radiation exposure in real-time.

Ultimately, the objective is to restrict dosages to a bare minimum – and to never put yourself or someone else in danger of exceeding federally regulated occupational exposure limits.

Time constraints (putting specific time limits on an employee to work in a certain room or the field of a particular item or object) and proper manufacturing radiation protection and shielding are the most common methods of controlling and reducing occupational radiation exposure.

Industry experts are examining how to develop a holistic approach to maximizing exposure protection from all angles.

So, this concept evaluates the probability of incurring exposure, the number of individuals exposed, and the size of their doses with the understanding and practice that all of these should be kept as low as practically possible.