How they Measure Radiation
The researchers inspected 150 people who were suspected with radiation exposure. What is radiation exposure more exactly? According to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, radiation exposure represents the X-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, alpha and beta particles which can be found in the air. The exposure is measured in roentgens, and it can be detected with the aid of various devices such as Geiger counters. A Geiger counter contains gas, and it measures just how much of the gas from the device is ionized by the particles of radiation. The amount of radiation is then turned into an electrical signal. What many people do not know, is the fact that the human body does not absorb all the radiation it is exposed to. A very large majority of the radiation passes directly through the body.
However, a small percent of the radiation which can be found in the air is absorbed by the body. The radiation which is absorbed by the body is measured in “radiation absorbed dose”, or rad. Even if the amount of radiation absorbed by the body is small, it can do lots of damage. Radiation does not affect people in the same manner, as one person might feel the effects of the radiation in a different manner than another person. However, the researchers have stated that according to the international standards, for each roentgen of gamma or X-rays the body has been exposed to, it receives a dose of 1 rad. One can analyze the amount of radiation one received, by using the Geiger counter. The experts can also analyze the radiation through the effective dose method. This method analyzes the harmfulness of each type of radiation to which the body has been exposed. The effective dose method is much more effective at predicting the danger the body has been subjected to, than the other method.
The effective dose is measured in “roentgen equivalent man”, or rem, and sievert (Sv). One Sv is equal to 100 rem. The researchers have stated that we are being exposed to about 0,36 rem per year, the majority of it coming from natural sources. We are also exposed to radiation because of artificial sources as well. Of course, this depends on the occupation one has, and the hazards associated with that occupation. There are people who might receive 5 rem per year, and there are people who are exposed to 25 rem on a yearly basis. Even so, these people are able to survive just fine, without being placed in mortal danger. The experts stated that if the people from the Fukushima power plant would have not been evacuated from the area, in just six hours they would have received the yearly dose of radiation. However, the researchers have stated that even a dose of 500 rem might not be deadly. People can still recover from it if they receive the proper treatment, and if the radiation dose is not applied all at once. The worst effects occur when the radiation is applied all of a sudden, and not in gradual doses.11