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.