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May I use ionising radiation myself?

According to the Radiation Protection Decree you may only work with ionising radiation under the supervision of a qualified radiation expert. His permission and consent are therefore always required.

Anybody who in their work with open sources or with equipment that emits ionising radiation has a chance of more than 1 millisievert (mSv) of exposure per year (over and above normal background radiation) is considered to be a radiological worker. The exposure standards for radiological workers are different than those for non-radiological workers (colleagues, members of the public).
Table 1 gives an overview of the dose limits per year for radiological and other workers and the surroundings according to the Radiation Protection Decree.

Table 1. Statutory dose limits (mSv) per year

Category Radiological 
worker 3)
Employees between
16 and 18 years
Other people within the location Members of the public outside the location
Effective dose 20 1) 6 1 0.1
Eye lens 150 150 15 -
Skin 500 2) 150 2) 50 2) -
Hands, forearms, feet and ankles 500 150 50 -

1) Additional limit values apply to pregnant staff.
2) Average over non-exposed skin surface of 1 cm.
3) Radiological worker is a:

  • Category A employee if there is a reasonable chance of the exposure being greater than 3/10 of the limit; 
  • Category B employee if the chance of the exposure being greater than 3/10 of the limit is very small. 

Please note: Separate regulations apply to category A and category B employees with respect to medical examination, medical supervision, dose registration and reporting.

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