Radiation dosimetry is offered by a number of companies in the US including CHP Dosimetry. They are all accredited by the National Institute of Standards and Technology through the NVLAP (100555-0) program. At the end of the day, no matter what dosimeter is used, they all meet the same accreditation requirements.
But there are big differences to you! Our price, products, and services far exceed what has come to be the “industry standard”.
Why do you need a radiation badge?
Most people wearing radiation badges don’t see much actual dose. This is a good thing! It means you are doing the right things in your practice. The reason we wear radiation badges is the same reason we wear a hard hat. Just in case. Not many of us have had something fall on our head at a construction site, but we see the possibility and use a hard hat to protect ourselves. Much like the hard hat, the badge ensures you are not getting overly exposed. With radiation exposure, you could get very serious exposures and not notice anything for quite some time. You don’t feel it happening (unless you get a tremendous dose that will kill you), but you could receive harmful levels of exposure and not know it for years. The typical latency period for what are called “stochastic effects” of radiation are up to 10 years later.
If you do everything right, but someone else doesn’t, it could lead to an over exposure. Even digital X-ray machines are capable of delivering harmful levels of radiation exposure if used improperly. If the machine malfunctions, you may have no indication. Also if servicing was done and internal shielding was not properly reinstalled, it could give you more radiation exposure than you think you are getting. Without a badge, you won’t know if you are getting overexposed. Fortunately, the cost of radiation badge services from CHP are relatively low.
X-ray rooms are typically built to accommodate the machine inside. Most people don’t think about this, only the X-ray Vendor doing the installation. But if you were to redesign your office, you might inadvertently remove shielding that was designed for the machine inside. Who knows, maybe the person who occupied that suite before you moved in made the changes. Looking at a wall from the outside can give you no idea of how much shielding is installed.
Another benefit of using radiation badges is future liability. The badges don’t look like much more than a piece of plastic with your name on it. But there is a lot more to those than meets the eye. A typical Genesis TLD has 4 independent dosimeters that are tested at least three times prior to issue with known radiation exposures to measure and record the dosimeters actual response to radiation. With 4 independent measurements, we can have a high degree of certainty with our reported exposures. This and every record generated by reading each badge is permanently archived for future retrieval. This includes all the test exposures of each badge, and the quality control records produced every time the badge is read. Most of these records are required to be kept for up to 75 years! With the cost of data storage so low, and getting lower by the day, these records will never likely be destroyed.
I like to joke that the aliens who land on this planet in a million years will be able to review these records.
If all vendor dosimeters are NVLAP Accredited, why should I go with CHP Dosimetry?
CHP Dosimetry gives you fast, personalized service, the kind of service big vendors offer only their largest customers. In addition, we have Certified Health Physicists on hand who can help you choose the appropriate dosimeters and help you deal with regulators, should you need it.
We provide this high level of service at a lower cost than the larger dosimeter companies because we can be more flexible in providing service (no one size fits none here) and we keep our overhead low. We purchase large quantities of dosimeters annually and pass the savings along to you. We are located in Oak Ridge, TN, the “Secret City” and birthplace of radiation dosimetry. So, when you have a technical question, you talk with one of our Health Physicists — without having to fight your way through customer service!
Lastly, we are a full service radiation protection company. If your employees are exposed to internal radiation [dose], we have Certified Health Physicists who can assess that for you too. If you have other [problems or] concerns related to radiation safety, we can refer our parent company, CHP Consultants, which provides radiological instrumentation, health physics, nuclear safety, shielding, and safety support services.
What is a Thermoluminescent Dosimeter (TLD)?
TLD’s are one of the most advanced applications of Thermoluminescent Detectors. Modern TLD Dosimeters measure the Skin Dose, Eye Dose and Deep Dose specified in current regulations, in addition to the total dose from other nuclear particles. They consist of one (rings) to four (whole body badges) separate detectors, which allow for discrimination of photon energies and the nature of the incident radiation. For more information, visit the Nukeworker site: Everything you wanted to know about TLD but were afraid to ask.
For more information on TLD visit: everything that you wanted to know about TLD but were afraid to ask.
Your prices seem very low compared to what we are now paying. Can you explain the difference?
Most people purchase dosimetry when they initially open their office. The cost seems relatively low, and the provider typically increases the price a little each year, so many people just pay it. After several years, the price increases add up and you may find yourself paying a very high price. Most vendors hope you will not discover this and continue to pay them (which is why they don’t post their prices). Some of our clients were paying over $1000 per year for what we charge $69.
CHP is committed to providing Clients with superior service and value. To this point, we have contracted with several badge suppliers to get better value for our clients. This has allowed us to maintain our price for over 9 years. To date, CHP has never increased the price of dosimetry in the 9 years we have been in business.
Why can’t I just use an area monitor to assess dose to all my employees?
Dosimeters can be used to measure the radiation dose to personnel, or they can assess the dose to a specific location. Dosimeters placed at a specific location are called Area Monitors. These dosimeters do not indicate dose to individuals, rather, they are typically placed to ensure that a specific location meets the requirements for public exposure (typically 100 mrem/year). They can be used as part of a formal investigation of excessive dose, however it must be kept in mind that the area monitor only assesses radiation that directly strikes it. So if for some reason there was shielding shadowing a source from that spot, the dose would not be recorded. Similarly, if there was a design where a particular spot was left unshielded, then the area monitor would receive a higher dose. Many times people put an area monitor in a place that is MOST LIKELY to receive a radiation exposure to demonstrate that exposure in excess of public limits are not exceeded in what is deemed to be a worst case scenario.
Area monitors are not appropriate for personnel exposure, because people do not spend much time in exactly that location. In addition, area monitors are in place 24 hrs a day, whereas people are not. Personnel dosimeters are designed to be worn on the torso of the body in a location that is closest to the radiation source. For example, if you were working in a room with a radiation source and the source was behind you while you were working, you would place the whole body dosimeter on your back! Dosimeters are used to provide an approximation of radiation exposure and are generally used in a way the provides the highest estimation of radiation dose to an individual. Since people may move around the room and orient themselves closer or further away (remember to minimize TIME, maximize DISTANCE, and utilize SHIELDING to keep your dose low) from radiation sources, the only way to accurately assess an individuals dose is to have them actually wear a dosimeter on their body.