The world screams of radiation.
Coming down the stairs, I see gadgets strewn in the living room. After a minute or two, my four brothers and my mother would pick their chosen gadgets one and by one and lock themselves in their happy virtual world of new music, sports, social networking or gaming.
Not the money spent in making or buying them – not that cost – but their indirect cost to human health. And I’m not just talking about gadgets replacing actual street games of tag, hide and seek, tree climbing, camping, jumping ropes and the likes – the once active lifestyle of people before them – but the slow, subtle and silent effects of radiation to the human body.
Fact is, the world screams of radiation. We don’t just get it in laptops and other mobile devices but almost everywhere, especially as you may have in mind – the sun, in the form of sunlight. The sun, which is 149.6 M kilometres from the earth, emits electromagnetic waves like infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Aside from the sun and the usual gadgets we see everyday, higher forms of radiation can be taken from medical diagnostic imaging procedures as x-rays, bone scans, Pet scans as well as in radiotherapy.
What is Acceptable
The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) as well as other radiation protection group has devised numerous recommendations regarding occupational exposure limits under two principles: prevent acute exposure and limit chronic exposure to “acceptable” levels although it is believed that in terms of radiation, there is no safe level at all.
The measurement of radiation exposure is by rem. The dose limit members of the public are two percent of the annual occupational dose limit.
The annual dose limit does not exceed:
- 5 rems (0.05 Sv) for the total effective dose equivalent (TEDE), which is the sum of the deep dose equivalent (DDE) from external exposure to the whole body and the committed effective dose equivalent (CEDE) from intakes of radioactive material.
- 50 rems (0.5 Sv) for the total organ dose equivalent (TODE), which is the sum of the DDE from external exposure to the whole body and the committed dose equivalent (CDE) from intakes of radioactive material to any individual organ or tissue. other than the lens of the eye.
- 15 rems (0.15 Sv) for the lens dose equivalent (LDE), which is the external dose to the lens of the eye.
- 50 rems (0.5 Sv) for the shallow dose equivalent (SDE), which is the external dose to the skin or to any extremity.
Effects of radiation and Mitigating them.
The natural background radiation is 0.3 rem/year. The health effects of radiation falls under tow categories: stochastic and non-stochastic.
- Stochastic – cancer or the uncontrolled growth of cells
- Non-stochastic – burns, radiation sickness, premature aging, nausea, weakness, hair loss, skin burns or diminished organ function.
How do we mitigate these effects of radiation to the body?
- Eat foods containing anti-oxidants such as green tea, saffron tea, thyme tea, soybeans, spices such as ginseng, turmeric, gingko biloba, barley
- Limit exposure to modern gadgets as much as possible. If it’s just for gaming or perhaps social networking, think it through. Why not read a book instead or play actual games with your siblings.
- When anticipating long phone calls, use headphones or put your phone on loud speak mode
- When going outdoors, use broad spectrum sun screens or sun blocks
- Taking in Vitamins and Supplements is also believed to help protect the body from the harmful effects of radiation. Vitamins A, C and E specifically.
- For higher doses of radiation exposure as in medical procedures, consult your doctor on proper guidelines and policies to protect yourself or limit your exposure.
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