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Which measures do I need to take?

Various points are important for maintaining optimum working conditions.

  • Keep the quantity of radiation used as low as possible.
  • Keep the exposure to a minimum (and/or work as quickly as possible).
  • Keep the distance to the source as large as possible.
  • Use shielding (for example, lead shielding when working with gamma emitters, Perspex screening for beta emitters).
  • Where prescribed use personal protection equipment (lead apron, lead gloves etc.).

How do I work safely with X-rays?
X-rays are produced when electrons or ions collide with the matter. In the case of constant intensity of the particle beam the dose rate strongly increases with increasing energy; for a accelerating voltage of several tens of kilovolts, a doubling of the accelerated voltage can lead to a thousand-fold increase in the dose rate.

Important to know

  • only experts may carry out X-ray measurements;
  • the readings of the various radiation monitors require interpretation;
  • in a vacuum an impermissible radiation intensity can develop at voltages higher than 5 kV and/or currents greater than 1 mA. If this situation could occur somewhere - think especially about new set-ups! - the radiation expert must be informed as soon as possible, so he can carry out an effective measurement;
  • experiments for which an impermissible radiation intensity might occur should be screened off appropriately, clearly marked and have a radiation monitor and warning lamps. Such experiments require a licence.


  • Make sure that the equipment is sufficiently screened off.
  • Let the equipment be maintained in the prescribed manner.
  • If in doubt let the radiation expert carry out measurements.
  • If the dose rates are high then wear lead aprons and/or other personal protection equipment.
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