The science that is responsible for protecting people and the entire environment from the effects of radiation is referred to as radiation protection. Generally, the radiation that is considered dangerous to humans is referred to as ionising radiation. It is the most dangerous known form of radiation because it is able to cause collateral damage to the tissues of the body. Despite its wide use in medical manufacturing, ionising radiation has the potential to cause extensive damage to the living tissues if it is used in excessive doses. Ionising energy possesses enough energy to liberate electrons from the molecules of living tissues. This is what makes it very dangerous to the health of any living organism. The ionising energy is dangerous because it moves at relativistic speeds. This category also involves electromagnetic waves or any group of atoms that are moving at the speed of light.
As far as radiation protection is concerned, doses of radiation absorbed are often controlled to avoid the side effects of ionising radiation. This is one of the major principles of radiation protection materials that are designed for humans. It is important to ensure that the doses absorbed by human tissue are not elevated enough to cause collateral damage to the cells. This is the most fundamental principle in radiation shielding. Studies have been carried out to determine the amount of radiation that is safe enough for humans to absorb. These safe doses of radiation are used to treat cancer patients by killing the cancerous cells. A few major examples of ionising radiation that are used to kill cancerous cells are X-rays and gamma rays.
There are many factors that affect the choice of radiation shielding materials for each possible application. Mainly, the choice of material depends on the amount of radiation a human being or living organism will be exposed to. If the amount of ionising radiation that a particular human being will be exposed to happens to be excessive, the nature of the shielding material also has to be good enough to prevent the excessive absorption of ionisation radiation.
Time is an important factor that has to be considered at all costs. The time frame of exposure determines the dosage of radiation energy that will be absorbed by tissues of any human being. If the time frame of exposure is short, the amount of radiation absorbed will be low. The converse is also true, when the time frame of exposure is long, the radiation absorbed is greater. In the former case, the radiation shielding materials required are not going to be as passive to radiation as they would be required to be in the latter case.