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Exposure to ionizing occupational radiation affects over 24 million workers globally.

Ionizing radiation exposure can cause skin and blood damage, cataracts, infertility, birth abnormalities, and cancer. UV radiation can cause skin cancer, skin burns, and cataracts, but lasers can cause tissue burns, eye damage, fire and explosions, and system failures. The likelihood of radiation-related unfavorable health effects increases with dose, although no amount of radiation exposure is fully safe.

Ionizing radiation's carcinogenic effects have been thoroughly investigated, and the link between high doses of ionizing radiation and the risk of solid tumors and leukemia in humans is well established. The study of cancer risk related to low-level ionizing radiation exposure has piqued researchers' interest in determining if a dose-response curve is observable at current occupational standards. Furthermore, previous case-control studies did not distinguish between internal and exterior doses of ionizing radiation, which could have skewed the interpretation of results. Future epidemiological studies, it has been argued, should carefully address such interpretative limits.

The findings for Hemo-Lymphopoietic cancers other than leukemia are mixed. Several investigations found an elevated incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in participants who had long-term recurrent low-dose occupational exposure to x-rays and -rays, contradicting prior findings. Cohort study results for radiologists and radiology technicians were also inconclusive. Concerning exposure to diagnostic x-ray operations, there was no link between the risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL), while the risk of multiple myeloma (MM) rose with the increasing frequency of diagnostic x-ray procedures. Recent research on diagnostic radiation exposure, which used the same data set as the current analysis, did not support the concept of a higher risk of lymphoma in general or any of its major subtypes.

Because lymphocytes are highly radiosensitive, a relationship between ionizing radiation and lymphoma is possible. Late detrimental effects may appear even after years of exposure to external ionizing radiation. While radiation contamination is commonly associated with people working in the nuclear field or near radioactive sources, workers in other professions, such as miners, airmen, researchers, and healthcare professionals, can also be injured if sufficient measures are not taken. Furthermore, accidents in nuclear power plants can have far-reaching consequences not only for workers but also for communities and the environment. As a result, strict preventive and control measures must be implemented.

Possible preventive actions for reducing radiation risks:

  • Only use radiation when the advantages outweigh the risks.

  • Install shielding, barriers, safety interlocks, warning signs, and signals.

  • Obtain permission from the appropriate authority to use radiation for medical purposes and follow the recommendations for safe use.

  • Only authorized personnel should have access to areas where radiation is employed.

  • Workers should be trained in the proper use of radiation-producing equipment and sources.

  • Organize for the competent authority to inspect medical radiation devices regularly.

  • Determine the level of exposure for various occupational categories in terms of intended exposure.

  • Monitor exposure and arrange for medical monitoring of affected workers.

  • Encourage female employees to report pregnancy and reassign them to tasks that do not expose them to radiation.

  • Develop standard operating procedures for responding to accidental radiation exposure. Report all accidental exposures that exceed the exposure limit. Report occupational injury cases and diseases caused by radiation exposure to national authorities in charge of compensation.

  • Provide proper personal protective equipment, such as protective clothes, respiratory protection equipment, protective aprons, gloves, and organ shields.

  • Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for using medical devices that emit non-ionization radiation.

  • When working outdoors with high levels of UV index from sun radiation, use eye, and skin protection as well as appropriate clothes.


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