How to Minimize X-rays Alpha Beta and Gamma Radiation Exposure
Task: Provide safety measures an official should follow while he is operating in an environment comprised of x-rays, alpha beta and gamma radiations.
Let's have a look at what are the x-rays, alpha beta and gamma radiations, before discussing the security measures to be reckoned with while dealing with them.
Let’s discuss first the X-rays which are also termed as radiography in the medical field. X-rays come under the classification of electromagnetic waves and are used majorly to diagnose the skeletal structure of the patients. This is made possible since apart from the skeletal system (which majorly constitutes of calcium phosphate) the body tissues absorb the x-ray radiations at a very negligible rate. Although the radiation impact from the X-rays is very low, a lead apron is used by the operators to maintain a security measure while operating it.
It was 1895, that the X-rays was discovered by a professor of Würzburg University in Germany, Wilhelm Conard Roentgen for which discovery he was awarded Physics Nobel Prize in the year 1901. If looked at the scientific theory behind generating the X-rays, it transpires when a beam of electrons with high energy is bombarded into atom-like gallium or copper, a pushing force is implied on the electrons residing in the s shell of the atom. alpha beta and gamma radiation provides energy matches the ionization energy of the atom, the election gets displaced from the orbit. In the absence of the electron, the atom gets positively charged and gets highly unstable. The tendency of the atom to attain stability somehow would tend one electron from the p shell to drop into the vacant place which emits the radiation of X-rays. However, the generated rays are very dispersed in the manner and hence for the practical production of the streamlined X-rays would be attained by the acceleration of synchrotron electrons. As per the basic theory of physics, the acceleration of a charged particle would lead to the emission of light energy and it is by using this theory that the synchronous electrons are being accelerated to the speed of light for generating very energetic focused X-ray light.
If looked at the basic structure of alpha particles generated from alpha beta and gamma radiation, it comprises two protons and two neutrons as provided in the above figure. The alpha particles are being emitted while the radioactive decay of a very large nucleus which is also termed as alpha decay. If considered the atomic structure of the alpha particle, it is the replica of a doubly ionized helium atom i.e. He2+ . Among the category of nuclear radiations, alpha particles were the one which were discovered at first. First Greek letter ? was the inspiration to name this particle as Alpha. It should be noted that the Alpha particles come under the classification of the ionized radiation since there no balancing electrons present to nullify the positive charge possessed by the two protons present in it. Hence it possesses very limited power to penetrate because of its size and ionized character. But it should not be taken frivolously since it still possesses to damage the soft tissues of the body like Cornea and other parts because of its strong ionization property. Alpha particles are generated by natural means in the environment because of some radioactive materials like Radium-226, and Uranium-238. Alpha particles are emitted when the nucleus of the atom undergoes radioactive decomposition. Alpha particles produced from alpha beta and gamma radiation could also be forced to be generated from non-radioactive atoms. An example of it is keeping the normal elements like Boron with atomic number 10 in a medium of slow-moving neutrons, more or fewer neutrons get absorbed into some of the boron atoms, bringing it into an exciting stage. The atom would thus try to get stable and in the process would turn itself into a lithium atom by emitting an alpha particle.
Alpha particles could be used in many practical life situations like the use of americium-241 in the smoke detectors, the use of polonium-210 to eliminate static charges, use in the treatment of cancer, etc.
Similar to the alpha particles produced from alpha beta and gamma radiation, beta particles have also come under the category of fast-moving particles. The composition of the beta particle is either a positron or an electron that came out of a nucleus because of its radioactive degradation. The condition for the beta decay is that there should be the presence of plenty enough neutrons to suffice the requirement for stability. As compared to the alpha particles, the mass of beta particles is very less and hence possessing the same energy as an alpha particle would accelerate it to a very high velocity. The emission of the beta particles normally happens, when there is a high ratio of neutrons concerning the protons. The number neutrons which are higher in sum concerning the proton get disintegrated into a proton and an electron. Since the electron is negatively charged, it gets ejected from the positively charged neutron at a very high velocity. Unlike the alpha particle the beta particles have not that much of ionizing capacity and hence could penetrate further into any matter. Hence if exposed to the beta radiation the human body could suffer intense burning and injury to the biological tissues.
If considering the natural existence associated to the alpha beta and gamma radiation, beta particles, they occur majorly in the decaying radioactive nuclei after the process of nuclear fission. The real-life implications of the beta particles are to find the overall thickness of the paper, the use of tritium in the emergency lighting, the use of strontium isotopes to treat the cancer, etc.
Gamma rays come under the classification of electromagnetic radiation which makes it somewhat analogous to the characteristics of X-Rays. Gamma rays are the flow of photons, hence they have a negligible mass which would emit from the massive nucleus after the radioactive decaying. It should be noted that in the scale of electromagnetic spectrum, gamma rays are placed among those having the highest energy with higher frequency. Since the gamma rays possess high energy and because of their non-ionic nature, their penetration power is very high. With exposure to alpha beta and gamma radiation, the gamma rays, the human body would be damaged on an immediate basis and even under the mild exposure, it could pose the danger of cancer. The use of gamma rays is very vast which includes the use of cobalt 60 for disinfecting the surgical equipment, use of cesium 137 in measuring the flow of fluids in the manufacturing field.
To avoid any damage from the exposure to the harmful radiations from X-rays, alpha, beta and gamma radiations the below safety should be implied: -
- Getting less span of exposure: The seriousness and the damage by exposure to the radiation could be reduced by avoiding lengthy disclosure to it. It could be attained by arranging the work in small intervals and higher efficiency, following the appropriate schedule, etc. (Remenec, Dulanská and Mátel 2014)
- Enlarge the gap/space from the source of radiation: The equipment that produces alpha beta and gamma radiation is capable of increasing the operating field to increase the space between the source of radiation and the target and other people operating it. Further very protective clamps, holders and fasters could be used for creating additional distance from the sources.
- Protecting Shield: The intensity of the dangerous radiations could be decreased by using a very apt and protective shield. The shield would help in reflecting and scattering the radiation from the surface of the shield. The best material to build the shield with is Lead since it is very effective in deflecting the radiation especially in the case of gamma radiation. Water and concrete could also be used as a protective shield against harmful radiation. The real-life implication of using protective shield against the harmful radiation includes instances like using lead caps while taking dental X-rays.
What are Medical implementation of X-Ray using alpha beta and gamma radiation?
If a person is exposed to powerful radiation for a long period and is facing any symptoms of it is generally treated with the help of a Barium meal. The major motive behind conducting this test is to identify any irregularity in the food path which includes the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. A compound of barium sulfate is used in this test which is, in fact, a radio-opaque compound and hence making the food tract visible in the X-ray test by coating its membrane with the compound. It is quite normal that the patients would after treatment symptoms like abdominal bloating, and constipation. To avoid this condition, they are recommended to eat fiber-containing food like vegetables and fruits with a lot of fluids.
While conducting this alpha beta and gamma radiation test, the radiologist provides a barium meal mixed with water to the patient. And then the replica of the intended part is taken on the X-ray film. For further examination of the condition, the X-ray result is being contemplated on a big screen and then thoroughly contemplated for the irregularities. Below is provided an X-ray sample of stomach affected with cancer.
Medical implementation of Gamma-ray
The implementation of Gamma rays in the medical field includes the scanning of the vital organs in the human body like lungs, kidneys, thyroid, brain, liver, bladders and other soft tissue systems using the technique of gamma camera (Iop.org, 2016). In this technique the technetium-99 is used and is ingested into the patient and by utilizing the tracer to get the image of the intended sections. The tracer would get indulged in the targeted section or tissue system of the body having a half-life period of 6 hours. When the elements tracer moves through the body systems, the emit its radiation. The movement of the tracer is being traced to a special crystal that has the potential to illuminate itself when in the proximity of the gamma rays. The conducted alpha beta and gamma radiation scans would provide the radiologists with scintigraphy scans which would give immense details regarding the functioning of vital organs. The crystal used in this process is majorly sodium iodide which acts as fluorescent when exposed to radiation. In this process, multiple scintigraphy images are being obtained by using different angles in the camera. By using these multiple angled diagrams, a wholistic image is devised out, which would provide more clarity regarding the condition. It provides a three-dimensional outlook of the vital organs. This technique of using the gamma cameras could also be termed as Single-photon emission computed tomography. If looked int its modus operandi, the disintegration of the technetium radio nuclei in every atom would lead to the emission of the gamma photons. As per the modern advancements in this field, the scintillators are avoided and are replaced by the silicon detectors. The infusion of computer technology in this test had given multiple dimensions to this test and increased the efficiency of the results. This process was being invented in the year 1957 by H.O. Anger in Berkley.
The method of brachytherapy is used by the majority of oncologists all around the world to control the growth of the cancerous tissue. It is using the radiation energy that the harmful cancerous cells or tissue is being dispatched to get hold of the critical medical condition of the patient. Because of the methodology adopted in this therapy, it is also termed as internal radiation therapy. Contrary to the external beam radiation therapy, the brachytherapy makes the provision for employing the oncologist with streamlined high-intensity radiation to kill the cancerous tissue located at a limited and small portion of area which would increase the precision and efficiency of the treatment. The method of internal radiation therapy decreases the limitation in therapy to a very great extent and even could be implied on very vital organs and areas like cervix, skin, prostate, breast, brain, etc.
The therapy by using the method of internal radiation could be implemented in two different methods for the alpha beta and gamma radiation. In the first form of treatment, which is termed as temporary brachytherapy the therapy is done by the particular area affected with the cancerous growth is applied with the appropriate radioactive materials like cesium, iodine, iridium, radium, phosphorus, palladium, etc. by using a catheter or a slender tube. As per the condition of cancer affected patients, the oncologist prescribes the application of either low-dose-rate or high-dose-rate (Rajekar, Bogammana and Stubbs 2011). The second form of the treatment is termed as permanent brachytherapy or seed implantation. Unlike the temporary brachytherapy, around the vicinity of cancer affected section, a seed or tablet is placed permanently. Since these pellets would of radioactive, it would wear down the abnormally growing cancerous cells. The intensity of radiation emitted by the radioactive tablets would diminish with the time and become inactive after a specific period. Thus, the fear being harmed by the radioactive emission after the therapy should be left behind. Although, the metal tablet remains there may cause problems while passing through the metal detector in secured places like airports.
There could also be some symptoms because of this treatment, like puffiness and soreness in the specific area where the brachytherapy is being implemented.
Manufacturing of Technetium-99
The artificial manufacture of the technetium has been started in recent decades which is the product obtained after the process of nuclear fission which produces alpha beta and gamma radiation. Because of its very long lifetime period among all of the radioactive elements, it is found abundantly. Although because of its high decaying period, it may process a great and long-lasting radioactive emission and thus also pose a great danger because of it. If specifically spoken, the technetium-99m, which is an isotope of the technetium-99 is used for the medical purpose. This some of the technetium-99 would hold back for a long time even if it is an excited state. Whereas other radioactive elements that could remain excited for only a few seconds, the atoms of technetium-99m could retain the excited state for a few hours. In short, he technetium-99 m is the excited state of the technetium-99 which claims to have a half-life of 6 hours. The intensity of gamma rays emitted by the atoms of technetium-99m to attain its stable state amounts to 140 keV (excluding all other radiation waves emitted by it). Since it could emit gamma rays in form os alpha beta and gamma radiation, for a relatively larger period technetium-99 is highly preferred in the medical field.
Technetium-99 is manufactured on an industrial basis using the device called the technetium cow. This device would help in extracting the excited state of technetium-99 which is technetium-99 m from the disintegrating segment of the molybdenum 99. The molybdenum-99 is used as a predecessor to the technetium-99 since it is very suitable for transportation and provide the half life span of around 66 hours. The preparation of the molybdenum-99 is done in a high neutron flux reactor. Although it is found abundantly in the nuclear reactors as biproduct.
As mentioned above, the volatile nature and short half-life of the technetium-99 m would make it dangerous and costlier to transport the material from one place to far another place due to the alpha beta and gamma radiation. To avoid the danger and inconvenience the predecessor molybdenum-99 is being given to the medical facilities and thus the technetium is extracted using the technetium cow.
Along with the brine solution, the capsules of molybdenum are inserted in the technetium generator using the process of elution. The molybdenum capsule is placed at the exact center of the machine which is being enclosed with the protective shield. In the figure provided above, the process of extracting technetium from molybdenum is provided.
Applications of Technetium-99
- The element is used majorly in the diagnosis od vital organs like kidney, thyroid, brain, heart, etc.
- Biological conditions related to lungs like pulmonary embolism could be detected using Technetium-99.
- Diseases related to kidneys like pyelonephritis, obstructive uropathy, renovascular hypertension, etc. could be effectively diagnose using Technetium-99.
- Malfunctioning related to a heart like cardiac ischemia, post-myocardial infarction, level of cardiotoxicity inpatient under chemotherapy, etc. could be diagnosed very successfully using this radioactive element.
- Along with the above-mentioned irregularities in the body like sentinel nodes, biliary enteric bypass patency, gastrointestinal bleed, acute cholecystitis, etc. could be diagnosed using technetium-99.
If spoken of other radioactive materials in the medical field for diagnosis iodine-131 could be used to analyze the condition of thyroid cancer by limiting it because of its radioactive emission (Green 2012, p. 63). The patients who undergo the treatment using the iodine-131 are recommended to stay in the hospital for at least a week under observation so that his exposure to the radiation could be controlled to produce a limited level alpha beta and gamma radiation. The treatment using the iodine-131 could be done by the method of internal radiation therapy. In this case, neither the attending staff or any type of visitors re encouraged to interact with the patient since the patient would be emitting the radio emission from the iodine-131 he has consumed. The precautions are taken to such levels that their excretion is handled with extreme care since even that emits heavy radio emission and cause potential damage to other people. The patient is only allowed to interact with other people when the radiation level is disintegrated to its minimal level. The iodine-131 is also used in the conditions when the thyroid gland is hyperactive. The radioactive iodine-131 is provided to the patient which starts circulating in the bloodstream of his body, which then starts accumulating in the thyroid gland and destroys some of its cells. The patient should avoid taking any sort of food after midnight after taking this medication. The iodine-131 medication should be avoided for the patients who are pregnant or lactating.
While we have spoken a lot about the radioactive materials used to diagnose the medical conditions. Let’s talk about the non-radioactive methods like Ultrasound scanning. This technique would help in capturing the live images or videos of the movement carried out by the vital internal organs in the body. This technique is also termed as sonography in the medical field. In this method the same technology of the radar and sonar is applied thus helps in making the diagnosis of the internal organs without making even a scratch on the body. Apart from the imaging technologies discussed above, the method of ultrasound doesn’t pose any risk of releasing alpha beta and gamma radiation and radioactive emission on the operators or the patients. Thus, it is considered to be the safest method for internal body imaging and hence are used in sensual situations like make live images of the fetus. The technique of ultrasound imaging is mostly concerned with pregnancy. The medical conditions in the organs like urinary bladder, gall bladder, the brain of the infants, liver, eyes, kidneys, uterus, spleen, ovaries, etc. If the patient is being scheduled to be scanned in his abdomen then he is being informed before 12 months since any food material in the abdomen would create obstructions in the ultrasound imaging.
When the sonographer switches on the ultrasound machine, the transducer in the equipment emits ultrasound waves towards the targeted part of the body. Sooner the waves impact on a dense material, it gets reflected the sensor in the machine and using this echo waves an image is displayed on the computer screen. The ultrasound waves are not audible to the human ears hence it could be only using the machine that the echoes could be contemplated.
In the field of ophthalmology, A-scan and B-scan ultrasonography are the new technologies which make the ophthalmologic analysis very efficient and easy. The normal and old technique of the ultrasound imaging could pose very intense damage to the intraocular structure of the eye since they are susceptible to the high-frequency ultrasound which does not release alpha beta and gamma radiation.
By using the method of -scans the outer dimensions like length circumference and area of the eyeball could be assessed. This data would turn out very significant in calculating the intraocular lens power of the eye. This data is also very important before commencing the cataract surgery.
While the B-scans would help in assessing the data related to orbital diseases like difficulty indirect visualization. While A-scan provides data regarding the external feature, the procedure of B-scan would provide the information regarding the internal section of the eyeball. The B-scans would help in diagnosing the diseases very efficiently without releasing alpha beta and gamma radiation.
Other fields covered by the Ultrasound
The condition like Nephrolithiasis i.e. kidney stones could be diagnosed by the technology of ultrasound imaging. By using the echo reflected from the kidney of the patients, its size, shape, biological conditions, blood flow, etc. could be assessed. As mentioned earlier in this report the ultraviolet waves are produced from the inducer which is placed on the intended part of the body. It is the partial echo from the body of the patient provides a more realistic image of the body part.
Similar is the technique applied in the process of sonogram used for fetal imaging process (Quintela et al. 2012, p. 924). The sonogram could provide extensive detail like fetal growth, its movement, biological features, and date of delivery.
Since most of the imaging techniques in the medical field make the patients and operators exposed to the harmful radiation, it was being always a headache to the researchers and directors to opt for a much safer and viable imaging technique. This condition is what had made the technique of ultrasound imaging more attractive and effective for inner imaging of the anatomy if the body. This is because the process and technique of the ultrasound imaging system are very cost-effective, safer, devoid of radiation. Apart from this, the ultrasound imaging also leaves behind all of its contemporaries behind in the field of 3D imaging. As there have been a lot of innovations and evolution of modern technology in the field of the ultrasound technique, the imaging system is much more efficient, viable and cheaper technique to rely on and hence is preferred by most of the hospitals and clinical facilities due to the low risk of producing alpha beta and gamma radiation.
Not only in the medical field but also the engineering field that ultrasound technology has made a lot of advancements. The new developments like the innovation of small miniature but high-efficiency tools had made a great impact on the engineering fields since the sizes of ultrasound scanners had been limited considerably to a very higher extent. The miniaturizing of the ultra sound scanners had even the untrained physician to use it very efficiently without any such technical effort. This advancement had dropped down the cost incurred in the medical treatments. The invent of the digital signal processors had facilitated the miniaturizing along with increasing the efficiency of the ultrasound scanners. Since the digital signal processors work on the commands given by the software, there have been generated much more space to include much more inducers in the machine, as the use of software has eliminated the excessive use of hardware. The inclusion of more transducers had reduced the requirement of any technical skill in operating these machines.
Not only limited to the technical aspect, but the innovations were also made to increase the convenience in handling the machinery. The major innovation under this category constitutes the inclusion of a touch-enabled ultrasound scanning system that has eliminated the complicated use of the keyboard in the scanning machine. Even the advancements to make the smartphones used by the patients working on the platform of IOS or Android into an ultrasound scanner is under consideration. The new scanner in the field like Clarius uses mobile platforms like on Android and IOS. It was a revolutionary moment when the wireless transducer was being introduced by the Siemens Healthcare company. The wireless transducer can be operated from the distance up to 10 feet. Alpha Beta and Gamma radiation assignments are being prepared by our nursing assignment help experts from top universities which let us to provide you a reliable assignment help online service.
Green, C., 2012. Technetium-99m production issues in the United Kingdom. J Med Phys, alpha beta and gamma radiation 37(2), p.66.
Iop.org., 2016. Gamma cameras. alpha beta and gamma radiation [online] Available at: https://www.iop.org/education/teacher/resources/teaching-medical-physics/gamma/page_54689.html [Accessed 8 Jun. 2016].
Quintela, L., Barrio, M., Peña, A., Becerra, J., Cainzos, J., Herradón, P. and Díaz, C., 2012. Use of Ultrasound in the Reproductive Management of Dairy Cattle. alpha beta and gamma radiation. Reproduction in Domestic Animals, 47, pp.34-44.
Rajekar, H., Bogammana, K. and Stubbs, R., 2011. Selective Internal Radiation Therapy for Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumour Liver Metastases: A New and Effective Modality for Treatment. International Journal of Hepatology, alpha beta and gamma radiation, 2011, pp.1-7.
Remenec, B., Dulanská, S. and Mátel, Ä½., 2014. Determination of alpha beta and gamma radiation emitting radionuclides in reactor components and fuel assemblies from NPP V1 Jaslovske Bohunice. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, 299(3), pp.1799-1804.