Protection against radiation
In the light of recent disasters in the UkrainianChernobyl and the Japanese Fukushima-1 and Fukushima-2, protection from radiation has become almost another global problem of mankind. 50 years ago radioactivity was some abstract property of some chemical elements, now even a schoolboy knows about spontaneous nuclear decay, as well as about the harmfulness of radiation.
The most dangerous alpha, beta and gamma rayscan lead to serious damage to all body structures (radiation sickness), malignant neoplasms, genetic disorders and death (acute radiation sickness).
Depending on the type of radiation,means of protection against radiation, since each of the particles is characterized by its penetrating ability. Thus, alpha particles having the maximum damaging effect, however, do not penetrate even through an ordinary sheet of paper. An obstacle for beta rays can be glass. But gamma radiation has a high penetrating power. Protect against it with a lead or steel plate.
Protection from radiation involves not onlya physical obstacle between the human body and the source of radiation. Radioactive particles easily penetrate the body through the respiratory tract, the digestive tract.
The methods of protection against radiation, depending on the approach, are divided into several types:
- Time. Depending on the time that has elapsed since the explosion or other nuclear catastrophe, the dose of radiation has changed significantly: in about 2.5-3 years it decreases approximately 100-fold.
- The same rule applies to the distance from the source of radiation or the epicenter of the explosion. With increasing distance from the epicenter, the level of radiation decreases by a factor of 4.
- The mechanical barriers referred toabove, also a good protection from radiation. But most often it is not possible to determine what kind of radiation we are dealing with, and therefore it is more rational to use universal barriers (which, however, do not protect from gamma rays but only weaken them): a brick or concrete wall of at least 40 cm thick, Steel or lead partition from 8-13 cm, 90 cm of soil. The best screen from gamma radiation is water.
- In addition, there are individual meansprotection from radiation. These include a respirator and rubber gloves (from alpha radiation), a gas mask (beta radiation), polyethylene bags on all exposed areas of the body (neutron radiation).
- Given that radiation has a property to penetratethrough the digestive tract, it is necessary to protect against it and water and food. To do this, the water containers must be sealed, the same applies to food: they must be sealed in polyethylene and must be washed with clean water before use, in order to wash out the radioactive dust.
- There are also chemical means of protection. Despite the general confidence, this is by no means an iodine! If you take it in large quantities, you will only harm yourself, but vitamin complexes with iodine are quite acceptable. Also useful are enterosorbents, the simplest of which is activated charcoal. According to some experts, the tincture of eleutherococcus possesses radioprotective properties. Preparations based on mercaptoalkylamines are drugs specially designed to protect against radiation.
- To decontaminate various objects and surfaces, it is rational to use pure water and a soap solution.
For the era of nuclear power development, mankindhas accumulated an impressive stock of information about the mechanism of action of various types of radiation, ways to protect against them. However, 100% protection from radiation is not provided by any of them, despite the fact that the danger of a nuclear explosion on the planet is quite real in the current imperfect conditions of operation of the nuclear power plant and the reluctant disarmament of the countries of the "Nuclear Club".