Radiation myths

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Radiation myths
Radiation myths

Radiation myths. Are X-rays and fluorography dangerous to health?


We are being irradiated by enterprises and nuclear power plants

Partly true. "The contribution of man-made sources to the total exposure that a Russian receives every year is 0.02-0.04%," says Grigory Gorsky, head of the radiation safety supervision department of the St. Petersburg Rospotrebnadzor. - The current system ensures constant levels of public exposure, including during the commissioning of new facilities. It's all about the culture of radiation safety: enterprises themselves take care of working according to the rules, and supervisory and regulatory bodies monitor their implementation."


X-rays and fluorography do more harm than good

Myth. Citizens of our country receive 15% of the total radiation dose during medical X-rays and fluorography. There are no standards for the level of medical exposure - the rate of 1 millisievert per year cannot be exceeded only in the case of fluorography. After all, if a person, for example, heals teeth or a broken leg, he is x-rayed as many times as necessary from the point of view of treatment tactics. And the benefits of such treatment outweigh the harm from radiation.

After the X-ray you need to drink red wine or eat an apple

A myth, and an absolute one. Neither apple nor wine can reduce radiation exposure. It is much more beneficial to quit smoking, keep your health off and play sports in order to reduce the number of trips to hospitals, including for the purpose of getting x-rays.


We live in a radioactive environment

This is true. 85% of the radiation dose we receive annually is attributed to the so-called natural radiation. Part of it comes to us from space. But the biggest dose awaits us in our homes, because the materials from which they are made - sand, concrete and crushed stone - contain natural radionuclides. In this regard, in accordance with the legislation, building materials are divided into special classes of radioactivity. For the construction of residential buildings, only crushed stone of the first class of radioactivity should be used, the second - for industrial buildings and roads within the city, the third, most radioactive - for the construction of roads outside the city. Before putting the house into operation, a special check is carried out, which finds out what class of materials was involved in the work. We advise you to take a closer look at this check if you are purchasing an apartment in a new building, and, if possible, order an independent examination.

Household appliances in our apartments are glowing

But this is, rather, a myth. As a rule, only radioactive wrist or table clocks, produced by Soviet enterprises in the late 1960s, can "fonder" in our homes. In their manufacture, constant action light compositions based on radium were used. If you have such a clock in your house, we advise you to hand it over to a special collection point for hazardous waste. It should also include radioactive compasses, pressure gauges or scales from Soviet tanks and other devices on which, until 1970, it was customary to apply light compositions based on radium.

Lead walls protect from radiation

This is only partly true. First of all, it should be said here that there are several types of radiation, each of which is associated with different types of radioactive particles. So, alpha radiation can stop your daily clothes and glasses. Aluminum foil is sufficient to protect against beta radiation. But it is very difficult to escape from gamma radiation. No matter what protective suit you wear, if you are in the area of ​​the gamma radiation source, you will receive your dose of radiation. It is from this type of radiation that people are trying to escape in lead cellars and bunkers.However, with the same layer thickness, a layer of concrete or compressed soil will be slightly less effective in combating the influence of gamma radiation. Lead is a dense material, which is why in the middle of the last century it was used as a protection against radiation. But lead is also a toxic material, so today a thicker layer of concrete is used for the same purposes.


Iodine protects against radiation exposure

Myth. Iodine as such, as well as its compounds, is not able to withstand radiation. However, doctors recommend the population to take it after man-made disasters. Why? The fact is that radioactive iodine-131, once released into the environment, rapidly accumulates in the human body, more precisely, in the thyroid gland, sharply increasing the risk of developing cancer and other diseases of this organ. When the thyroid gland is "filled" with another, safe for our body iodine, there is simply no room for radioactive iodine. But if there is no threat of iodine-131 entering the environment, you should never take iodine on your own, since its high doses can cause irreparable harm to the thyroid gland.

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