In day to day life, you do receive some natural radiation from the Sun. The radioactive elements present in the soil and rocks, the house hold appliances like television, microwave ovens, cell phones and the X-rays used in hospitals. These radiations do not produce any severe effects as they are very low in intensity.
The second source of radiation exposure is man-made. These are due to nuclear reactors and during the testing of the nuclear devices in the atmosphere or in the ground.
Improper and careless handling of radioactive materials release harmful radiations in our environment. These radiations are very harmful to the human body. A person who is exposed to radiations very closely or for a longer duration, is at a greater health risk and can be affected genetically.
The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has recommended certain maximum permissible exposure limits to radiation that is believed to be safe without producing any appreciable injury to a person. Safe limit of overall exposure to radiation is given as 20 milli sievert per year. In terms of roentgen, the safe limit of receiving the radiation is about 100 mR per week. If the exposure is 100 R, it may cause fatal diseases like leukemia (death of red blood corpuscle in the blood) or cancer. When the body is exposed to about 600 R, it leads to death.
· Radioactive materials should be kept in a thick walled lead container.
· Lead coated aprons and lead gloves should be used while working with hazardous radioactive materials.
· You should avoid eating while handling radioactive materials.
· The radioactive materials should be handled only by tongs or by a remote control device.
· Dosimeters should be worn by the users to check the level of radiation.