Protection Against Gamma Radiation
08.31.18 | Friday | Nofit Amir
There are about 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world, with about 4,000 each in the U.S. and Russia – and so far, only two nuclear weapons have ever been used in warfare. Could that ever change? Could a rogue nation – or a terrorist group – set off a nuclear device, thus setting into motion the release of dangerous radiation? And if that did happen, how would you protect yourself from radiation that would result from an explosion? What kind of radiation shield would work in the event of such a war?
If the idea of a nuclear war or terrorism seems too far-fetched – after all, if terrorists or rogue nations wanted to attack us with such weapons, they could have done so a long time ago – what about a nuclear meltdown at one of America’s 99 nuclear power plants? What kind of equipment would stop gamma radiation, that would result from an explosion at one of these plants? If you were a first responder, how could you protect yourself from radiation?
All good questions – and the answer could spell the difference between life and death for those in the path of nuclear incidents. The question for first responders, military, and even ordinary citizens is – what is the most effective way of dealing with the dangerous radiation that could result from a nuclear incident? While the market is inundated with hazmat and CBRN suits to protect wearers from gamma radiation, most are too heavy to allow wearers to easily move about – and those that do allow for that movement usually do not supply sufficient protection. Our 360 Gamma solution, however, does the job – protecting wearers with smart shielding that provides focused protection from gamma radiation for the most sensitive parts of the body.
Full Body Outfitting Does Not Make for Effective Protection From Gamma Radiation
Scientists know exactly how much shielding is necessary in order to protect the body from radiation. In order to reduce typical gamma rays by a significant factor, thick, dense shielding is necessary. This is dramatically different from what is necessary for blocking alpha or beta radiation:
The problem is that the required shielding makes full-body protection outfits very heavy and difficult to maneuver in. Rescue workers at Chernobyl, for example, wore thin sheets of lead similar to what is worn in hospitals to protect against low-energy x-rays to try and protect their entire bodies from gamma rays. Those outfits weighed some 26 kilos – but they were unable to protect against gamma radiation.
Not only was this material insufficient to stop gamma rays, but it was also heavily encumbering, making it difficult to maneuver in. And in addition, their most sensitive and vulnerable body parts – the midsection, where most of the body’s bone marrow cells are located – were especially unprotected. Many of the workers died from the hematopoietic sub-syndrome of acute radiation syndrome, which arises from the destruction of the bone marrow tissue.
Selective Shielding – a Far Better Strategy to Stop Gamma Radiation
Full body shielding, as we have seen, is too encumbering to enable fluid and easy movement for an individual wearing it. That means that rescue workers at a high-energy radiation site are going to have a very hard time moving around as they try to rescue people. And individuals who are in a protected area but need to go outside to do maintenance work on their site will find it impossible to get their work done in a heavy full-body protective suit.
Enter the Stemrad 360 Gamma solution. For short-term exposure to high radiation levels, what’s most important is protecting the most sensitive parts of the body – especially the midsection, where 60% of the body’s bone marrow cells are located. Doctors know that bone marrow cells are the most sensitive in the body – and most likely to be damaged first in exposure to high-energy radiation. To stop gamma radiation from damaging them, the 360 Gamma solution provides extra thick protection in the midsection – but does not encumber the wearer with the less important heavy protection in other parts of the body.
Thus, the individual wearing the Stemrad radiation protection shield system would be able to maneuver and operate with a much lighter load – meaning that they could get their work done and get to safety much more quickly, with the system more effectively stopping gamma radiation. If you are a first responder – or an individual concerned with remaining safe in the case of a nuclear emergency – the Stemrad 360 Gamma solution is the most efficient and effective way to protect yourself from radiation.
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.