Exposure to radioactive materials is an unpleasant fact for people in many industrial, mining, and research settings. Radiation detection devices span a wide range of applications, types, and prices. Devices descended from the famous Geiger counter pinpoint and measure radiation sources. Various monitoring devices monitor radiation exposure or monitor radiation levels in a defined area. The main difference lies in their function, to find a radiation source or to monitor radiation exposure. Many devices also work with data collection software that makes logging and reviewing this critical health and safety information much easier.
Different Radiation Detection Tools for Different Tasks
Radiation detection equipment comes in three broad categories. The familiar Geiger counter types are for locating and classifying the type of radiation present. They are useful anytime you suspect radiation is going to be present, say in scrap metal or soil contaminated by a nuclear accident, among other situations. In other words, different situations require different detectors tuned for different levels of radiation and different types.
A personal radiation monitor measures the wearer’s exposure to various forms of radiation. These devices can be cards that change color to indicate exposure. A few companies offer electronic “pens” or pager-like devices that a person wears. Some of these radiation monitors will sound an alarm. They may be called personal radiation detectors or personal radiation dosimeters.
Area radiation monitors detect radiation in a certain setting, like a lab. They can sound an alarm or lock an area if radiation reaches a dangerous level. Most models will send email or text alerts when there is an alarm. As with radiation monitors and radiation detectors, different settings require different models. A visible or audible alarm will be included, perhaps both.
Matching Detection Devices to Needs
A general-purpose detector might not be a good choice even if you find one. Radiation risks span a range of radiation types. A device good for alpha, beta, and gamma radiation might not detect neutrons or x-rays. Buyers need to match the operating range of a detector with the likely risks in their work setting. A scrap metal shop will have different needs from a lab that works with radioisotopes. A mine operator might need a third type of detector. Settings, where employees need to closely monitor their personal exposure, may use pager-style monitors. Radiation film badges that change color may be an option too.
Software for Radiation Measurement
Some businesses and labs will want to collect data from their radiation detection gear and store that information for various reasons. Area radiation monitors detect radiation in a certain setting, like a lab. Whatever the reason for compiling that data, you need specialized database software. If your organization’s policy or if government regulations call for accurate radiation record keeping, you will want to learn more about the available radiation monitoring software.
Note that some radiation detectors and area monitors can send readings to a database via an app. Radiation Alert detectors, for example, work with apps for iOS and Android devices. A survey of the market will probably tell you that most monitors and detectors can share their data. Some devices use apps, others can send data to a computer via USB connection.
Consider Your Detection Needs and Technology Options
Pick your radiation detection devices to suit your industry and needs. A radiation monitor may be used to protect workers from excessive exposure, while detectors are for pinpointing and measuring a radiation source. At S.E. International, we strive to keep workers safe from radiation whatever their work setting. Visit us to learn more about our radiation detection equipment, including popular Radiation Alert detectors in analog and digital models.