Myths about radiation
Is it true that iodine protects against radiation contamination?
Are our homes radioactive?
Should I drink red wine after an X-ray or eat an apple?
How dangerous are x-rays and fluorography?
And how effective are lead bunkers against radiation?
Myth number 1: “We are irradiated by enterprises and nuclear power plants”
Partly true. “The contribution of man-made sources to the total exposure that a Russian receives every year is 0.02-0.04%,” says Grigory Gorsky, head of the radiation safety supervision department of the St. Petersburg Rospotrebnadzor. - The current system provides constant levels of public exposure, including when commissioning new facilities. It’s all a matter of radiation safety culture: enterprises themselves take care to work according to the rules, and supervisory and controlling bodies monitor their implementation. ”
Myth # 2: “X-ray and fluorography do more harm than good.”
Myth. Citizens of our country receive 15% of the total radiation dose during medical x-rays and fluorography. There is no norm for the level of medical exposure - the norm of 1 millisievert per year cannot be exceeded only in the case of fluorography. After all, if a person, for example, treats teeth or a broken leg, an x-ray is given to him as many times as necessary from the point of view of treatment tactics. And the benefits of such treatment exceed the harm from exposure.
Myth No. 3 “After X-ray, you need to drink red wine or eat an apple”
Myth, and absolute. Neither apple nor wine can reduce radiation exposure. It is much more beneficial to quit smoking, not to start your health and go in for sports to reduce trips to hospitals, including with the goal of undergoing an X-ray.
Myth No. 4: “We live in a radioactive environment”
It's true. 85% of the radiation dose received annually by us relates to the so-called natural radiation. Part of it comes to us from space. But the largest dose is waiting for us in our homes, because the materials from which they are made - sand, concrete and gravel - contain natural radionuclides. In this regard, in accordance with the legislation, building materials are distributed according to special classes of radioactivity. For the construction of residential buildings, rubble should be used only in the first class of radioactivity, the second for industrial buildings and roads within the city, and the third, most radioactive, for the construction of roads outside the city. Before putting the house into operation, a special check is carried out, which finds out which class of materials was involved in the work. We advise you to take a closer look at this check if you are buying an apartment in a new building and, if possible, order an independent examination.
Myth number 5: “Home appliances in our apartments are fond”
But this is, rather, a myth. As a rule, only radioactive watches or desk clocks produced by Soviet enterprises in the late 1960s can “flicker” in our homes. In their manufacture, continuous light compositions based on radium were used. If there is such a watch in your house, we advise you to hand it over at special points for the collection of hazardous waste. It also includes radioactive compasses, manometers or scales from Soviet tanks and other devices on which it was customary to apply light compositions based on radium until 1970.
Myth # 6: “Lead walls protect against radiation.”
The truth is only partly true. First of all, it is worth mentioning that there are several types of radiation, each of which is associated with various types of radioactive particles. So, alpha radiation can stop your everyday clothes and glasses. To protect against beta radiation, aluminum foil is enough. But escape from gamma radiation is very difficult. In whatever protective suit you wear, if you are in the area of the gamma radiation source, you will receive your dose of radiation. It is from this type of radiation that people try to escape in lead cellars and bunkers. However, with the same layer thickness, a layer of concrete or pressed soil will be slightly less effective in combating the influence of gamma radiation. Lead is a dense material, which is why in the middle of the last century it was used as protection against radiation. But lead is also a toxic material, so today for the same purposes a thicker layer of concrete is used.
Myth number 7: "Iodine protects against radiation exposure"
Myth. Iodine as such, as well as its compounds, is not able to withstand radiation. However, doctors recommend that the population take it after technological disasters. Why? The fact is that radioactive iodine-131, once it enters the environment, rapidly accumulates in the human body, or rather, in the thyroid gland, dramatically increasing the risk of developing cancer and other diseases of this organ. When the thyroid gland is “filled” with other iodine that is safe for our body, there is simply no room for radioactive iodine. But if there is no threat of the release of iodine-131 into the environment, it is impossible to take iodine on your own in any case, since its high doses can cause irreparable harm to the thyroid gland.