Radiation refers to the energy that is produced by certain objects. The nature and type of radiation normally depends on the object that is emitting the radiation. For example, the sun emits ultra violet radiation which is also referred to as UV. On the other hand, the radioactive substances such as Uranium and Strontium emit radioactive radiation. This energy can be used in a number of ways including the production of electrical energy. Actually, the most extensive use of the energy is the generation of electrical energy through radioactive reactions. But, radiation can be dangerous to the living organisms. This is mainly because of its ability to cause untold damage to living tissue. The main form of radiation that is capable of this amount of damage is referred to as ionizing energy. It is the energy that is carried by certain particles. The particles that carry this form of energy are able to release it when they come into contact with living tissue. This explains why they are able to cause a lot of damage to living tissue of any kind. Today, there are numerous methods that are used to prevent ionizing radiation from causing any damage to living tissue. But the success of any of such methods depends on a number of factors. Some of the major factors that affect the success of any radiation shielding materials are discussed below.
Time of exposure is one of the most notable factors that determines the amount of radiation a person or living organism can actually absorb. A good number of people have developed chronic illnesses and health complications from the effects of ionisation radiation due to prolonged exposure time. Therefore, it is always advisable to reduce the exposure time in order to avoid suffering the effects of ionisation radiation. There are certain people who have ended up dying because of the high doses of ionisation energy in their body. For example, a high dosage of gamma rays can result in a number of serious health problems including the formation of cancer cells and gene mutation. Similarly, X-rays are also renowned for their ability to cause cancer in living tissue. Despite their wide usage in the medical industry, a prolonged exposure to X-rays can result in cancer and other health problems.
The thickness of the radiation shielding materials also has a significant effect on the effects of radiation exposure. Some materials are better suited for shielding than others, but generally speaking, the thicker and denser the material, the more effective it is as a radiation shielding material.
For this reason, it is always advisable to use radiation protection materials that are thick enough to ward off the effects of the radiation irrespective of the type. In general, the thickness of radiation protection materials required depends on the nature and type of radiation involved. Different types of radiation, such as gamma and neutron radiation, behave differently and thus require different types of materials in order to be shielded effectively. Therefore, the choice of the radiation shielding material depends on the nature of the radiation involved. For example, gamma rays and X-rays do not have the same penetration powers. Therefore, the shielding materials that are used for each form of radiation vary.