Specific jobs are consistently exposed to ionizing radiation daily. Businesses must be aware of how much radiation the workers are exposed to and how the exposure can be best detected and monitored. Ionizing radiation penetrates the living cells, disrupting them and increasing the risks for certain cancers. Cancer risks increase as exposure increases.
Monitoring the extent of exposure cannot be emphasized enough. More so that the harmful effects of excessive radiation exposure manifest after several years or even decades, long after exposure has stopped. As such, radiation monitoring is technical expertise, though.
Furthermore, radiation monitoring forms part of dosimetry services, an umbrella term that includes dose detection, measurement, monitoring, and reporting. Thus, a business must be diligent in choosing the right dosimetry service provider. Life depends on the quality of the services extended to the facility and the workers there.
Several factors can make a provider the right one for the job, and some are below. The three most important aspects to look at are technology, dosimeter types, and cost.
Dosimetry, or the process of relating the amount of radioactivity to the absorbed radiation dose in human tissue, requires the utilization of certain technologies. Such a method uses dosimeters like OSL badges in detecting the radiation dose that the user receives.
Historical data, including dose measurements, are recorded on the device itself. From there, reports are generated. So that the provider through the radiation safety experts can offer insights and recommendations to the business on how it can keep radiation monitoring at safe levels. These are then feedbacked to the business through an online portal, which means the necessity of using real-time, scalable technologies as well.
When looking for a dosimetry services company, it is best to ask about the end-user application technologies it uses. More advanced technologies may mean a better and safer workplace.
Dosimeters are categorized based on their use. There are handheld survey meters, which are usually the Geiger-Muller type detectors and personal dosimeters. The latter are often small radiation monitors traditionally worn by the person.
Some personal dosimeters are discreet, like the wristband or ring-type personal dosimeter. While they are small, personal dosimeters yield the most accurate measurements. Electronic versions of personal dosimeters also offer immediate information on the presence of radiation around the person. And it is appropriate for emergency response conditions.
Moreover, there are alarming and non-alarming detectors. These devices have presetting threshold features and give off an alarm when the dose detected exceeds. Non-alarming sensors, on the other hand, change colors or darkens when the radiation dose exceeds the threshold.
A dosimetry service provider shall conduct an initial review of the facility to determine which dosimeters are most appropriate for the workers’ use. Any competent provider can conduct this process.
Dosimetry services require dedicated resources—from the technologies used to hiring the most qualified physicist and other such roles. This can get complex and expensive. Understandably, the costs of personal dosimeters and related services are not cheap. This is also why you must hire the right provider—one that will not rip you off.
Good thing, there are cost-effective dosimetry services that cater to businesses of all types and needs. These providers can offer simplified radiation safety with streamlined processes.
Nevertheless, any diligent business needs to watch out for any types of hidden fees. Costs evolve, mainly because of continual updates to the technologies and dosimeters offered to the facilities.
Additionally, there are other non-core factors to consider that help in choosing the most reputable service providers.
Regulatory authorities set the standard practices through radiation monitoring requirements for the entire industry to follow. Part of the said competence is compliance with safety regulators that, in turn, issue certifications and accreditations. Some of these certifications are required for licensure also.
Dosimetry service providers do not operate in a vacuum. There are organizations that also guide them. These are usually government agencies that offer auxiliary services such as regulating dosimeters and reporting on industries and facilities’ exposures.
The dosimetry service provider collaborates with the business in developing and managing an efficient radiation safety program. If the company and the users have questions about the entire program, including the dosimeters they are using and how to use and store them properly, help should be available in real-time.
Other than compliance, the provider must have record keeping and reporting capabilities. The use of dosimeters has a steep learning curve, especially for first-time and non-technical users. So, if the users have questions and concerns, more so about the dosimeters and the tracked exposures, there should be dedicated technical support to provide answers and solutions.
Dose data is calculated and collated into a report. However, these are mere reports if the business is not able to make sense of the data. Providing users with radiation dose information is the reason that dosimetry services providers exist. As such, the dose reports must be easily accessed by users, though the provider and the facility management must work together in identifying situations leading to overexposure and taking corrective actions in minimizing the exposure.
There are technological and technical sides to availing dosimetry services. And then, there is the administrative aspect. Usually, a facility’s first contact with the dosimetry service provider is customer service through an inquiry. This unit can connect the business with the radiation safety experts to be deployed in their facility to determine its requirements before devising the radiation monitoring from scratch. That’s why a provider that can offer outstanding support and deliver excellence at each interaction should be your priority.
All the above factors contribute to the dosimetry experience of the provider. Credible providers can identify the right dosimetry solutions for your facility because they are certified, and they possess the technical capabilities to provide the said services.