Radiation protection

Radiation protection is defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as “the protection of people from harmful effects of exposure to ionizing radiation, and the means for achieving this”. Exposure can originate from a radiation source external to the human body or due to the intake of a radioactive material. Ionizing radiation is used in industry and medicine and can present a significant health hazard by causing microscopic damage to living cells, tissues and organisms. There are several special procedures for protection of workers, patients and the individuals of public or the population in general. The radiation protection principles are: justification (when the radiation exposure benefits outweigh the risks); dose limits (exposures should be below the established limits); optimisation (radiation exposure must be ALARA: As Low As Reasonably Achievable). The most important factors in external dose uptake are: time (minimize the exposure time); distance (maximize the distance from the radiation source) and source barriers (use shields and minimize the negative effects of radiation). Radiation protection instruments are used to indicate radiation hazards, and personal dosimeters and biodosimetry techniques are applied to measure personal dose uptake.

Basic Training Course (power point presentations) on radiation protection and safety by the IAEA. Creating a free account is required. Language: English.

Information from the IAEA about radiation protection. Language: English.

Animation which includes information about how to protect yourself from radiation and how to shield different types of radiation. A video showing how to block alpha, beta and gamma radiation is also available, as well as a quiz. Language: English and Dutch.

Brief article about how to protect against radiation. Language: English.

The web page of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has a specific site with the principles of radiological protection (“The System of Radiological Protection”) and a little definition of ionising radiation (“More about Ionising Radiation”). Language: English.

The web page of the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council (CSN), which is the sole competent authority in Spain for nuclear safety and radiation protection matters, has a site with information about radiation protection and the specific tasks or activities to protect workers, the population and the environment. Language: Spanish.

The web page of the Nuclear Energy Agency contains interesting documentation about radiological protection. Language: English.

This link of the International Atomic Energy Agency web page contains a PDF file which talks about ionizing radiations and how protect us against them. This web page also includes an explanation about what radiation protection is and the main situations involving exposure to radiation (http://www-ns.iaea.org/tech-areas/radiation-safety/radiation-protection.asp?s=3&l=95). Furthermore, chapter 1 of the IAEA´s document: “Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources: International Basic Safety Standards” also provides basic information about radiation protection: http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Publications/PDF/Pub1578_web-57265295.pdf.


Moreover, videos bout radiological protection can be found at the IAEA´s YouTube channel. Examples of these videos are :

Short video about radiological protection in nuclear medicine. The use of nuclear medicine, protocols and methods and treatments to reduce the damage of ionising radiations on patients are explained.

In this video, the radiation safety topic is explained. This video presents what is the IAEA organization and its functions. It explains what are ionising radiations and presents the basis of radiological protection.

More specific video about occupational radiation protection (and also about industrial professions in the nuclear field). Language: English.

Material for pupils and teachers about radiological protection. Language: Dutch and French.