Here at CHP Dosimetry, we specialize in measuring ionizing radiation dose. To do this we use what is commonly called by several names. These names include dosimetry badge, radiation badge, radiation dosimeter, or film badge (even though film is rarely used these days). The badges we offer from our service measure ionizing radiation. What this means is radiation with a wavelength short enough to strip electrons off atoms (ionizing them). The entire electromagnetic spectrum “radiates” from a source and can be called “radiation”. This includes visible light, microwaves, radio waves, etc. We at CHP Dosimetry and CHP Consultants generally work with people exposed to “ionizing” radiation. A good discussion of the entire spectrum can be found on the NASA web site HERE.

dosimetry badgesOur dosimetry badges are designed to respond to ionizing radiation. They will not efficiently monitor UV radiation even though it is ionizing radiation because the UV rays are not strong enough to penetrate the housing of our dosimeters. There are other devices that can very efficiently measure these other forms of “radiation”. Even some dosimeters, though we don’t sell them.

The reason ionizing radiation is harmful is because stripping off electrons and ionizing atoms can lead to breakdowns in molecules. Most famously your DNA though other molecules and atoms in your body can be affected. Ionizing radiation can cause the creation of “free radicals”, which are really atoms and molecules with unpaired electrons that are highly “reactive”. Meaning they can readily pair with other electrons stripping apart molecules.

The amount of ionization that it takes to create a measurable dose is very high. In fact everyone on earth is regularly bombarded with naturally occurring radiation yielding a dose of about 1 mrem per day. That one millirem creates nearly 2 million ionizations in every cubic centimeter of tissue! And we all have a whole lot of cubic centimeters of tissue. There are about 62 liters volume and weight of 62 kg (137 lbs) in an “average” person making 62,000 times 2 million ionizations in your body every day!! WOW!

Ready to order your dosimetry badge? Check out our online ordering page.

Sources: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine