Is it true that iodine protects against radiation contamination?Are our homes radioactive?Is it necessary to drink red wine after an X-ray or to eat an apple?How dangerous to health are x-rays and fluorography?And how effective are lead bunkers against radiation?
We are irradiated by enterprises and nuclear power plants
Partly true. “The contribution of man-made sources to the total irradiation received every year by a Russian is 0.02-0.04%,” says Grigory Gorsky, head of the radiation safety surveillance department of St. Petersburg Rospotrebnadzor. “The current system ensures constant levels of public exposure, including when new facilities are commissioned. It’s all about the culture of radiation safety: enterprises themselves make sure to work within guidelines, and supervisory agencies monitor their implementation.”
X-ray and fluorography do more harm than good
Myth. 15% of the total dose of irradiation citizens of Russia receive during medical X-rays and fluorography. Norms for the levels of medical exposure do not exist, the norm of 1 MilliSievert per year cannot be exceeded only in the case of fluorography. After all, if a person, for example, is in the process of healing teeth or a broken leg, the x-ray is done to him as many times as is necessary in terms of treatment tactics. And the benefit of such treatment exceeds the damage from irradiation.
After radiography, you must drink red wine or eat an apple
Myth, and an absolute one. Neither the apple nor the wine is capable of reducing the radiation impact. It is much more useful to quit smoking, and not to ruin your own health and exercise, in order to reduce trips to the hospitals, including with the purpose of undergoing radiography.
We live in a radioactive environment
It’s true. 85% of the radiation dose received annually by us refers to so-called natural radiation. Part of it comes to us from outer space. But the biggest dose awaits us in our homes, because the materials from which they are made: sand, concrete and crushed stone – contain natural radionuclides. In this connection, in accordance with the legislation, building materials are distributed according to special classes of radioactivity. For the construction of residential houses, only the first class of radioactivity should be used, 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 to find out which material class was involved in the construction. We advise you to take a closer loot at this test, if you buy an apartment in a new building, and if possible, order an independent examination.
Household appliances in our apartments radiate
This is, rather, a myth. Typically “radiate” in our homes can only radioactive wrist or desk watches and clocks, issued by Soviet enterprises in the late 1960s. When they were fabricated, radioactive paints of constant action based on radium were used. If your house has such a clock, we advice you to take them to special points of reception of hazardous waste. There it is also necessary to include radioactive compasses, manometers or scales from Soviet tanks and other devices, which before 1970 it was customary to apply radioactive paints.
Lead walls protect from radiation
Only partially true. First of all, it should be said that there are several types of radiation, each of which is associated with different types of radioactive particles. So, alpha radiation can be stopped by your everyday clothes and glasses. To protect from beta radiation, aluminum foil is sufficient. But from gamma radiation it is very difficult to be protected. In whatever protective suit you dress, if you are in the area of the source of gamma radiation, 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 thickness of the layer, a layer of concrete or pressed soil is just as effective in combating the influence of gamma radiation. Lead is a dense material, which is why it was used in the middle of the last century as a radiation shield. But lead is also toxic material, so today a thicker later of concrete is used for the same purpose.
Iodine protects against radiation exposure
Myth. Iodine alone, as well as its compounds, cannot withstand radiation. However, doctors recommend that the population take it after anthropogenic disasters. Why? The fact is that radioactive iodine-131, after impacting the environment, rapidly accumulates in the human body, more precisely in the thyroid gland, sharply increasing the rest of development of onco- and other diseases of this organ. When the thyroid gland is “filled” with another, safe for our body, iodine, there is simply no room for radioactive iodine. But if there is no threat of iodine-131 entering the environment, iodine should not be taken liberally, because its high doses can cause irreparable harm to the thyroid gland.
Translated by: Dmitriy Kushnir