How to estimate the radiation at home

How to estimate the radiation at home

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Many people underestimate the harm of radiation and don’t know that anything can be its source (air, money, clothing etc.). Not to risk your health, you should estimate it from time to time.

This article will tell you how to estimate the radiation at home, what its norms are and what devices will help you get the necessary data.

What is radiation

Let’s figure out what radiation is. Many people have an association with this word – Chernobyl. Here comes the misbelief that radiation is only there.
In fact, it’s everywhere and even human radiates the small background. What is radiation? This is the diffusion of energy in space. There are infrared, ultra-violet and ionized radiation. First two types don’t harm our organism and the last one is death-defying.

despite the fact that sunlight can ionize the matter, it isn’t the most dangerous type of radiation. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t sunbathe too frequently.

Stream of elementary particles, which are able to ionize the matter, is the radiation that we will talk about later.

What the radiation is evaluated in

Now we need to figure out what the radiation is evaluated in. Unit of measurement of absorbed dose is gray (gr). It is equal to 1 joule per 1 kg of matter. You can sometimes see such word as «rad». But this unit is old and extra systemic.
There is term of unit that shows what charge creates the photon radiation – roentgen (r). And there is a unit to estimate the impact of ionized rays on the living organisms – «sievert» (sv)
There is also unit that shows the activeness of radioactive source – becquerel (bq).

Normal radiation background

The most important – you shouldn’t be afraid of radiation, it won’t harm us in small amounts. Besides, don’t forget that it is around us and we cannot hide from it anyway. There are certain norms of normal radiation background. For example, it is considered safe in the city if it is within the bounds of 25-30 mcr per hour.

don’t take iodine for no reason, because it harms the gnawing beetles in big amounts.

Norm of absorbing for human is 1 msv per year. So try to avoid too frequent examination in the hospitals.

Devices to estimate the radiation

So we figured out what the radiation is, what it is evaluated in and what normal background has to be. To apply our knowledge practically, we will need the devices to estimate the radiation.
Many people associate such measurement facilities with Geiger counter and its «cracking», but you can buy more simple dosimeters for the domestic use.

Geiger counter

As it was said earlier, Geiger counter is an accurate device that estimates the number of ionized particles that got into it. Principle of work is based on the collision ionization.
This device is quite accurate, but it is very big and non-practical at home. All the more, for it to work the voltage has to be 300V, and some models require 400V.

Radiation dosimeters

There are professional radiation dosimeters. They can work in several modes and can estimate the activeness of radionuclide beside the dose of radiation. There are also variations, due to which you can estimate alpha and beta radiation.

there are individual dosimeters that look like a watch on sale. They show the accumulated dose and they are easy to orient on.

However, it is enough to buy simple radiation dosimeter. As a rule, they receive only gamma-radiation and they work in diapasons 10 – 10 000 mcr/hour and 0,1 – 100 mcsv/hour.

How to estimate the radiation by dosimeter

How to estimate the radiation by dosimeter? Everything depends on how much your device is functional. It can be the device that estimates the arithmetic mean of absorbed for certain period radiation. It won’t show you the source of radiation, but will give you the approximate data about the background in your apartment. Accuracy of such dosimeters is +-30% and this is quite big fault.

zero fill the previous results before the exploitation.

Try to buy more functional dosimeter, which registers the radioactivity around itself and momentary reacts to the change of background (when you move). Sensors with sound signals are considered more convenient.
Go along every wall, check the floor and ceiling during the estimation. Building supplies are often the strongest sources of radiation.