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By J. Craig Robertson (auth.)

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Clearly before it is possible to decide who should or should not be a designated worker, it is necessary to assess the dose rate in any area containing radioactive material. The regulations define a radiation area as part of a factory in which any person is exposed to a radiation dose rate which when averaged over any 1 min exceeds 0· 75 mrem/h, and requires that all persons employed in a radiation area be designated as a radiation worker. The authorities must provide a dose LEGISLATION RELATING TO RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS 57 RADIATION WARNING SIGNS 32.

X ~' one-millionth of its original level and so on. In dealing with contamination, if the material has a short half-life it is often best simply to isolate the area where the contamination occurs and wait for the activity of the material to decrease. It is because the half-lives of nuclides like uranium-238 and thorium-232 are so long, even when compared to the age of the earth, that the soils or rocks containing them are still radioactive today, millions of years after their formation. The nuclide potassium-40, found in the bones of our bodies, has a half-life of 1 250 000 000 million years so the bones in our bodies will be radioactive long after we are dead.

What is his dose equivalent? Dose equivalent = absorbed dose x quality factor The dose equivalent for alpha-radiation is 1 x 10 and for neutronradiation is 10 x 10, since the quality factor for neutrons and alpha particles is 10. The worker's total dose or dose equivalent is thus 110 rem, which would be far in excess of his permitted annual dose of 5 rem. The International Committee on Radiological Protection takes a lot of trouble to point out that though the imposition of limits to the dose equivalent (or dose which can be received by any individual per year) limits the risk involved in being exposed to radiation, the dose is not a direct measure of the risk or even of the effect of the limitation.

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