In the middle of the last century, the atom came to the service of humanity. It did not immediately become peaceful, at first its power was used by the military to attack Japan. For the first time, the world learned not only about the destructive power of the atomic bomb, but also about radiation. The tragedy at Chernobyl raised this topic again. People began to fear radiation. After all, it is impossible to see, smell or taste.
The consequences of exposure to radiation can be fatal. It turns out that each of us receives a dose of radiation annually, due to the operation of the equipment, and from nature itself. Technogenic exposure can manifest itself in the impact of radionuclide sources containing strontium, cesium, cobalt. These substances are constantly "glowing", they cannot be turned off.
Gamma radiation has the highest penetrating power. You can stay near the X-ray machine if it is not working.
In Russia, the authorities are carefully studying the sources of exposure of citizens; enterprises and territories are monitored in each region. That is why myths about this phenomenon must be fought.
Nuclear power plants and industrial enterprises irradiate people. In any large city, you can find several hundred organizations using man-made sources of radiation. However, their total contribution to the total radiation received by an ordinary person is only 0.02-0.04%. Irradiation indicators in large cities differ little from the national average. A similar picture is observed where nuclear power plants operate. Those very hundredths of a percent of the total volume is the best answer to organizations that consider the proximity to a nuclear power plant detrimental to people. The system that works allows the population to receive minimum levels of exposure, including when new facilities are put into operation. Enterprises are interested in their radiation safety, because this issue is under the strict control of regulatory authorities.
Accidents at nuclear power plants and nuclear tests led to the fact that radiation contaminated the entire Earth. During the testing of nuclear weapons or accidents at nuclear power plants, radioactive substances do get into nature. And they continue to circulate there. Experts call this global fallout, but they account for only 0.2% of the total radiation of the average Russian. And special commissions make sure that this indicator remains the same. If the number unexpectedly increases, then this may indicate some kind of accident that happened somewhere and about which no one yet knows. But the indicator as a whole remains stable. For example, the accident at the Japanese nuclear power plant "Fukushima" in 2011 had practically no effect on the overall background radiation.
There is more harm than good from fluorography and X-rays. It's no secret that Russians receive about 15% of their total radiation dose during medical examinations. We are talking about such familiar procedures as X-rays and fluorography. But there are no standards for medical exposure. The established figure of 1 millisievert per year is related only to fluorography. And X-rays will be done as many times as necessary for treatment. If a person repeatedly breaks limbs, then the need to constantly conduct research will prevail over the harmfulness of radiation.
In hospitals, the radiation is not the same. Every year, Russian hospitals submit data on the radiation doses received by patients. More recently, there were country averages for each type of diagnosis. The doctor could only multiply them by the number of studies performed. Now the approach has changed somewhat. Instrumental dose control is already being carried out practically everywhere. The same X-ray machine has a clinical dosimeter that determines the dose received by the patient during the study. It gradually became clear that there was no point in using the national average. Indeed, in the same procedure, different levels of radiation can be generated. It depends on the model of the X-ray apparatus and its type, as well as the age of the person, the structure of his body. Now observers can compare the levels of radiation that are present in different medical organizations. As a result, it is possible to determine where the largest doses are formed. So it becomes clear which equipment needs to be changed first. But these conclusions are of a recommendatory nature, not an order. It happens that even with the same equipment, but in different institutions, patients receive different doses of radiation. This may be due to the qualifications of the service personnel. Not everything depends on the equipment; there are about a dozen factors that can help reduce the radiation dose. But in the service of radiation diagnostics, the personnel issue is the most important. If there is no qualified radiologist or medical physicist behind the installation, the equipment will not only turn into a bunch of expensive hardware, but it may also turn out to be hazardous to health.
After the X-ray, you need to drink red wine or at least eat an apple. This statement is a myth, unfounded by anything. Experts believe that it is much more important to quit smoking and play sports in due time. Then there will be less risk for health to get unfavorable diseases. Even the risk of getting cancer will decrease, and X-rays will not be scary even without apples or wine.
People live in a radioactive environment. Of the total radiation dose, 85% falls on natural radiation, and part of it is formed with the help of cosmic radiation. And it's impossible to hide from this, even if you walk with a lead umbrella. But the greatest dose of radiation gets to a person inside his own home. The fact is that houses are built from sand, gravel and cement, which in themselves are natural radionuclides. It is no coincidence that the legislation divides these building materials into classes, given their radioactive properties. So, in the construction of residential buildings, only crushed stone of the first class is used, the second class is used in the construction of industrial buildings and roads in the city. The most radioactive, third class, is used for the construction of roads outside the city. Before the house is put into operation, the check finds out how safe the materials were used in the construction.
Granite embankments are hazardous to health. Many seaside towns or towns with rivers have beautiful granite embankments. However, it is believed that such an accumulation of granite is unsafe to health. This statement is a myth. Even if we walk along such an embankment every day, the dose of radiation received will be much less than that that we receive in our own house, even built on the basis of high-quality building materials.
Radiation can enter the body through food. Radiation can really enter our body along with food. But more often than not, the path of such "contaminated" food to cities is closed. The incoming products are always subject to radiation control. It operates both at customs and in the form of unscheduled inspections of retail chains. If there are concerns about the quality of food, then it is checked immediately. It happens that radionuclides are found in vegetables or fruits when the manufacturer ignores radiation control.
It is better not to pick mushrooms and berries near the nuclear power plant. You should not deny yourself the joy of collecting forest gifts, even if a nuclear power plant is operating nearby. Rospotrebnadzor even makes it possible to check the same mushrooms for the content of radionuclides for free. For example, in St. Petersburg, next to which a nuclear power plant operates, mushrooms with increased radiation were detected only once in two years, and even then they came from Belarus.
Our household appliances emit radiation. In a modern apartment, only a wrist or table clock produced by Soviet enterprises in the late 1960s can be dangerous in terms of radiation. Then the industry used light compositions, which were based on unsafe radium. Sometimes, when examining dwellings, it is these objects that "give off" the most. If such a dangerous table or wristwatch is found in the house, then it would be better to hand it over to special mobile hazardous waste collection points. Some may have radioactive compasses, military equipment scales or pressure gauges, and other devices in their bins. Until 1970, they were also coated with radium-based light compositions. Disposal of radioactive waste in ordinary places is prohibited, and so that such items do not end up in ordinary landfills, each car goes through radiation control. "Fonny" items must be sent for processing to special plants.
The state is hiding the truth about radiation. The myth was promoted by the events in Chernobyl, when the authorities concealed the whole truth about the scale of the disaster. Now people constantly think that they live in danger, and the state does not inform them about it. A real radiophobia has emerged, which has no logical explanation, and to which even people with higher technical education are exposed. And although people are explained that the radiation situation does not change, they still believe that it is better, just in case, to increase the portion of iodine taken. In fact, when the need arises for such prevention, the authorities will definitely inform about it. And using your own methods of protection from radiation, invented on the basis of the above myths, can only harm your health.