Introduction to Radiation Protection

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    Eng.Hamza Madani

    Health physics, Radiological health, or Radiological Engineering are synonymous
    terms for that area of public health and environmental health engineering that deals with the safe use of ionizing and nonionizing radiation in order to prevent harmful effects of the radiation to individuals, to population groups, and to the biosphere.

    The health physicist is responsible for safety aspects in the design of processes, equipment, and facilities utilizing radiation sources and for the safe disposal of radioactive waste so that radiation exposure to personnel will be minimized and will at all times be within acceptable limits; he or she must keep personnel and the environment under constant surveillance in order to ascertain that these designs are indeed effective. If control measures are found to be ineffective or if they break down, the health physicist must be able to evaluate the degree of hazard and make recommendations regarding remedial action.

    The scientific and engineering aspects of health physics are concerned mainly
    (1) the physical measurements of different types of radiation and radioactive
    (2) the establishment of quantitative relationships between radiation
    exposure and biological damage.
    (3) the movement of radioactivity through the environment, and
    (4) the design of radiologically safe equipment, processes,
    and environments.

    Clearly, health physics is a professional field that cuts across the
    basic physical, life, and earth sciences as well as such applied areas as toxicology, industrial hygiene, medicine, public health, and engineering.

    The professional health physicist, therefore, in order to perform effectively, must have an appreciation of the complex interrelationships between humans and the physical, chemical, biological, and even social components of the environment. He or she must be competent in the wide spectrum of disciplines that bridge the fields between industrial operations and technology on one hand and health science, including epidemiology, on the other.

    In addition to these general prerequisites, the health physicist must be technically competent in the subject matter unique to health physics.

    Source: Introduction to Health Physics 4th Edition,
    By: Herman Cember.

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