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Radiation Myths

Мифы о радиации

Is it true that iodine protects against radiation contamination?

Are our homes radioactive?

Should I drink red wine after X-rays 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"

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Partly true. “The contribution of technogenic sources to the total exposure that the Russian receives every year is 0.02-0.04%,” says Grigory Gorsky, head of the radiation safety supervision department of St. Petersburg's Rospotrebnadzor. - The current system provides constant levels of exposure of the population, including when new facilities are commissioned. The whole thing is in the culture of radiation safety: the enterprises themselves take care to work according to the rules, and the supervisory and regulatory authorities monitor their implementation. ”

Myth number 2: "X-rays and fluorography do more harm than good"

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Myth. Citizens of our country receive 15% of the total radiation dose during medical x-rays and fluorography. Norms for the level of medical exposure does not exist - the rate of 1 millisievert per year can not 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 taken as many times as necessary from the point of view of treatment tactics. And the benefits of such treatment exceed the harm from radiation.

Myth number 3 "After X-ray, you need to drink red wine or eat an apple"

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The myth, and the absolute. Neither apple nor wine can reduce radiation exposure. It is much more useful to quit smoking, not to start your health and go in for sports, in order to reduce trips to hospitals, including with the aim of undergoing X-rays.

Myth number 4: "We live in a radioactive environment"

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It's true. 85% of the radiation dose received annually by us is related to the so-called natural radiation. Part of it comes to us from space. But the largest dose awaits us in our homes, because the materials from which they are made - sand, concrete and crushed stone - contain natural radionuclides. In this regard, in accordance with the legislation, building materials are divided into special classes of radioactivity. For the construction of residential buildings, crushed stone should be used only of the first class of radioactivity, the second - for industrial buildings and roads within the city, the third, the most radioactive - for the construction of roads outside the city. Before putting the house into operation, a special check is carried out, which determines which class of materials was involved in the work. We advise you to take a closer look at this test if you purchase an apartment in a new building, and if possible to order an independent examination.

Myth number 5: "Home appliances in our apartments fonyat"

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But this is rather a myth. As a rule, only radioactive wrist or table clocks manufactured by Soviet enterprises in the late 1960s can "fade" in our homes. In their manufacture were used radar constant-speed light trains. If there are such clocks in your house - we advise you to hand them over to special collection points for hazardous waste. It also includes radioactive compasses, pressure gauges or scales from Soviet tanks and other devices, on which, until 1970, radium-based radial composites were applied.

Myth number 6: "Lead walls protect against radiation"

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Only partly true. First of all, it is worth mentioning that there are several types of radiation, each of which is associated with different types of radioactive particles. So, alpha radiation can stop your casual wear and glasses. To protect against beta radiation, enough aluminum foil. But from the gamma radiation escape very difficult. 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 a little less effective in the fight against the influence of gamma radiation. Lead is a dense material, which is why in the middle of the last century it was used as a protection against radiation. But lead is also a toxic material, so today a thick layer of concrete is used for the same purpose.

Myth number 7: "Iodine protects against radiation exposure"

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Myth. Iodine as such, as well as its compounds, cannot withstand radiation. However, doctors recommend that people take it after man-made disasters. Why? The fact is that radioactive iodine-131, once released into the environment, is rapidly accumulating in the human body, more precisely, in the thyroid gland, sharply increasing the risk of developing onco 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 left for radioactive iodine. But if there is no threat of iodine-131 release into the environment, iodine cannot be taken on its own in any case, since its high doses can cause irreversible harm to the thyroid gland.