The Problem with Gamma Radiation Suits – and the Solution
12.31.18 | Monday | Nofit Amir
Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima – these names have gone down in our memories as major nuclear incidents that released high levels of radiation into the atmosphere.
There is a 50% chance of another such disaster occurring in the coming decades, According to scientists. Which means that the time to acquire a radiation shield– specifically, an effective gamma radiation suit – is now.
There are several suits on the market that claim to offer protection against gamma radiation – but those suits do not provide the protection for first responders or emergency workers need in a radiation shield.
Stemrad’s 360 Gamma selective shielding system, on the other hand, does provide the radiation protection those workers need. Scientists have conclusively demonstrated that certain parts of the body are more vulnerable to radiation than others – and selectively shielding the organs that are most sensitive affords a much more effective and efficient radiation shield, and the only realistic solution to ensuring protection against gamma radiation.
What Makes for an Effective Gamma Radiation Suit?
When a nuclear explosion occurs, radiation – including gamma radiation – is released into the atmosphere. Gamma is just one type of radiation that gets released in such an explosion – alpha and beta radiation is also released – but ensuring protection against gamma radiation is far more important than protection against the other types. Gamma radiation is much higher-energy and has the ability to penetrate far more deeply into the body than the other types – meaning that, without adequate radiation protection, it could be much more damaging.
In order to protect wearers against gamma rays, the American Nuclear Society says that the thickness of a gamma radiation suit needs to be the equivalent of one of the following: approximately 13.8 feet of water, 6.6 feet of concrete, or 1.3 feet of lead. Without that kind of heavy-duty protection, a radiation shield will simply not provide adequate protection against gamma radiation.
The problem with that, of course, is that such radiation shields – even if they did exist – would be far too unwieldy for a rescue worker who needed to be mobile, working to protect victims or repair the damage in a nuclear incident. To provide protection against gamma radiation, a suit would need to be very heavy – greater than 100 lbs for a 2X protection factor – with this thick protection spread over a very large coverage area. It would be next to impossible for a rescue worker to move around effectively with such a heavy load.
And it would be impractical for a vendor to sell a radiation shield like that – as it would be very expensive, and have few buyers. As a result, most of the solutions on the market use much lighter materials that purport to effectively protect wearers against radiation. And they do – against X-rays and other lower-energy types of radiation. But they do not provide effective protection against gamma radiation.
Why Stemrad’s 360 Gamma Solution is Better Than Current Gamma Radiation Suits
If current solutions don’t provide protection against gamma radiation, what does? The answer lies in Stemrad’s 360 Gamma selective protection solution. The Stemrad 360 Gamma solution provides as much – or even more – radiation protection than the HAZMAT or CBRN suits available today.
According to OECD/Nuclear Energy Agency, the most important aspect of radiation protection systems is shielding the most sensitive parts of the body – specifically, the bone marrow. “While whole body shielding is inherently heavy, partial body shielding is lighter in weight and selectively shields tissues of increased radiosensitivity (i.e. bone marrow) with substantial amounts of shielding material to protect hematopoietic functions; therefore, potentially preventing the acute health effects of exposure to gamma radiation (i.e. Acute Radiation Syndrome -ARS),” according to the agency.
The Stemrad 360 Gamma selective radiation protection solution provides maximum protection to the most sensitive parts of the body – especially the midsection and hip area, where 50% of the body’s bone marrow tissue is located. If these areas are adequately protected, the danger radiation sickness plummets, numerous scientific studies have shown – with the system providing maximum protection against gamma radiation, which is the main reason a rescue worker would need a radiation shield.
While the traditional go-to for rescue workers has been the “traditional” gamma radiation suit, that might not be the best choice for workers who need to be mobile and active. Stemrad’s 360 Gamma radiation protection solution, on the other hand, is a sustainable, effective, and easy to use the system for protection against gamma radiation. For first responders and rescue workers who want to ensure that they are adequately protected, it’s worth checking out the Stemrad 360 Gamma solution.
Writes content for StemRad’s website, social media, and newsletter. She is an advocate with over twenty years of experience of writing high-end content in academic and industrial settings.