Dosimeter, what is it and how much does it cost?

November 2, 2021

The desiccator , the durometer and in this case the Dosimeter are extremely important instruments, which is why they should always be in laboratories. If we focus on the particular case of the latter, we can say that it works as a measuring instrument, used for protection against radiation hazards.

History of the Dosimeter

With regard to the history of this instrument there is not much to tell, since they were created from 1970 . This was done as a consequence of diseases due to the development of technology that emits radiation.

When they were just beginning their creation, they were called field effect transistors . However, at that time they did not have great sensitivity. Which led to much more time and equipment being taken to perfect its operation.

With the passage of time, their operation became much more optimal, and they became known as Dosimeters.

What is a Dosimeter?

As we mentioned, this is an instrument that allows the measurement of radiation . It is a device used in a subspecialty of science known as dosimetry which is dedicated exactly to the calculation of radiation that is absorbed by tissues. This being a specialty that remains in the field of medical physics.

It is important to know that the reading of the radiation emitted is done in sieverts (SV). Being an sv equal to 1 joule per kilogram. Keep in mind that a joule is the unit used to measure energy, electricity, and heat. If we take this into account, we can say that 1sv is 1 joule (energy) for the kilograms of the exposed body.

However, this is not the only measurement that can be used since, we also have the measurements in grays (GY) and the rad and the rems . Being for 100 rad / rem the equivalent of 1 sv / gy.

We must mention that this laboratory instrument is generally made of polyethylene, being a very common plastic. It has a screen where the radiation reading appears, but they also have a vibrating alarm to indicate that there has been a high reading.

Its operation is due to the sensitivity of the films that have a celluloid support. Said support is covered with silver halide crystals . Being by the interaction of these crystals with the electrons that is released in ionizing radiation.

Thanks to this process, an image is generated that leads to measurement. We must bear in mind that films are sensitive to light, humidity and also high temperatures . Because of this they must have an opaque wrapper. However, it is still not recommended at all to expose this instrument to the aforementioned conditions.

What is radiation?

Now that we take into account that this instrument is used to measure radiation we must have at least a slight understanding of what radiation is. To begin with, we can say that it is an emission of waves or particles , which can be divided into different types.

It is important to mention that we are all subjected to radiation, but it does not have energy levels so great as to produce an ionizing effect . In case of this has an abundant emission of ionized energy, problems can be suffered in biological organisms.

Dosimeter Features

Taking into account that the Dosimeter is used to measure radiation, and that the latter can be dangerous for organisms, it is important to know this instrument in detail. To begin with, we must know that it is made in most cases with polystyrene .

At the same time it has filters that are made with lead and copper, which are between 0.5 to 1.0 mm thick. The internal structure of the same composite is a film dosimetry or condenser . In relation to its dimensions we can say that it varies according to the model and design.

To all this it is important to know that these devices are usually changed every three months, thus avoiding damage and possible reading errors.

What is the Dosimeter for?

A Dosimeter is an instrument used to measure radiation levels, without this something like this would not be possible. Because radiation is not very easy to perceive, so in many cases its detection is made when symptoms arising from its absorption arise, which causes damage to the body’s cells.

It is important to bear in mind that this instrument not only measures the radiation that is absorbed by the body , but also that which is emitted by it. Which allows a person to know how much radiation they have in their body.

Something that as we can imagine from the aforementioned is very important and for which in fact personal dosimetry was created . Which has the objective of constantly monitoring the degree of radiation to which a person who works in a hazardous environment is exposed.

We must bear in mind that this instrument can be for personal use and a person who works in areas where there is radiation must always carry it.

On the other hand, Dosimeters are mandatory whenever you work in a place where there are some substances or devices that generate radiation. Some clear examples of the places where it is mandatory to take it are nuclear power plants, nuclear fuel processing plants and manipulation of machines that generate radiation. In each of these cases it is essential that the person wears this device.

In this case we are talking about personal dosimeters , which must be used in such a way that they receive the same type of radiation as the person. For example, if the person wears a protective suit, this device must be under it.

It is important to mention that in places where ionizing radiation is produced , this instrument should always be carried at hand. It must be taken into account that these have a maximum authorized measure, for which a person can be exposed.

Types of Dosimeters

The types of dosimeters are very varied, specifically we can say that they are divided into two large groups, which have their own qualifications. To better understand what has been said, we will go on to know the different Dosimeters that there are;

Personal dosimeter

The first type of Dosimeter is personal and is known to be an ion radiation detector . The main objective of this device is to measure the radiation levels that the technicians who operate the equipment and patients who are exposed to radiation receive. Within this group we can find other qualifications, which are Dosimeters;

  • Thermoluminescence ; In this case the measurement is made by means of the reaction of X or gamma rays with the instrument’s crystals. We must indicate that this instrument is sensitive to the amount of light emitted by radiation.
  • Pen ; It gets its name from the way it detects gamma, beta and X-ray radiation. Specifically, we can say that these work by reproducing the voltage of an internal capacitor, which occurs when it is exposed to ionizing radiation.
  • Movie ; In this case we are talking about a Dosimeter with a classic operation. Basically in this it is used by means of a film that blackens when it comes into contact with radiation. However, there is a problem with this method, as the results must be compared to other films.
  • Digital ; This is a type of Personal Dosimeter, which uses electronic sensors to measure radiation levels. It presents the results on a digital screen. The advantage of this medium is that it provides accurate and reliable information.

Limb dosimeter

This is the last great group of Dosimeter that we can find, in this case the function or the type of Dosimeter does not matter. Because they are in the form of accessories that can be worn on the body.

In this case we are talking about wrist dosimeters (used on the forearms), ring dosimeters (used on the fingers) and ankle dosimeters (as the name suggests, it is used on the ankle). However, we can also find another type of Dosimeters that are used in the abdomen. Specifically, they take the form of a belt and, as their name indicates, they are worn on the abdomen.

Dosimeter Calibration

Importance of Dosimeters

To finish we must know the importance of this instrument. The first thing to keep in mind is that this device is extremely important for health and safety . In fact, it should be noted for being extremely important when dealing with nuclear accidents. In these cases they are used to measure the severity of the contamination .

Taking into account all the aforementioned, it is very important to know how to correctly handle this laboratory instrument. Remember that radiation, in large quantities and being received constantly, is very dangerous for people.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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