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Industrial Hygiene Essay

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Updated: Jan 12th, 2021

Kinds of radiation

There are four common kinds of ionizing radiations these are, alpha, beta, gamma / x-rays, and neutron when expelled from atomic nuclei. Alpha elements are characterized by a group of two protons and neutrons. They are identical to particles of helium. Alpha is the heaviest among the four kinds of radiation. It is approximately 7,300 times the size of an electron. However, as they travel and interact with other atoms, they tend to lose their energy.

Based on the experiments carried out, it was observed that alpha particles could not penetrate a piece of paper or the dead cells on the skin. However, when emanated from inside the body, it can cause malfunction of living cells since they ionize atoms. Beta particles travel faster than alpha with energies. Beta rays can penetrate the skin. Gamma and x rays are made up of packets of energy known as photons.

The photons are characterized by a lack of charge, and they move in a straight line. Further, gamma and x rays are light. X rays and gamma energies can be controlled. Therefore, the magnitude of their penetration is also controllable. Finally, neutrons have a large mass with no electric charge. They can travel deep inside the body and cause ionization (Plog & Quinlan, 2010).

Human health hazards associated with microwaves

Exposure to very high microwave radiations leads to the absorption of high energy in the body. This energy transforms into heat, and it affects delicate organs such as the brain and the eye. These parts of the body are not able to emit the extra energy they emit. Thus, persons exposed to high microwave radiations experience a rise in body temperature, fatigue, eyesight problems, and insomnia.

Ionizing and nonionizing radiation

Ionizing radiations are characterized by a lot of energy. They can alter the composition of a molecule. Nonionizing radiation is a kind of electromagnetic radiation that carries less energy per quantum, which can ionize molecules or atoms. That is, they cannot extract an electron from a molecule.

Gamma rays and x rays

Gamma rays emanate from activities within atomic nuclei. The rate of production and the energy of gamma rays depend on the radioactive process. On the other hand, x rays emanate from transitions of the energy of the electrons of an atom.

Sources used to develop radiation exposure guidelines

The four sources are radio frequency nonionized radiations, electric power transmission, mobile phones, and carcinogens.

ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable)

It is a rule of maintaining doses and emissions of radioactive substances. The emissions which be kept within environmentally friendly limits while taking into account economic constraints. This term can be used in reducing hazards that arise from radiation.

Protection against ionizing radiation

The three basic items that are used to protect ionizing radiations are time, distance, and shielding.

Distance – increase the distance from the source.

Time – reduce the time of exposure with the rays

Shielding – use clothing made of materials thick enough to reduce the penetration of the rays.


Half-life is the time it takes for a quantity to reduce its value to half. The whole quantity is measured by the start of the time period.


  1. – radioactive decay
  2. – the chemical reaction of the first order

Electromagnetic radiation

This kind of radiation is made up of magnetic and electric elements. It is the energy that is released and taken in by charged atoms. The radiation behaves like waves when traveling through space.

Overhead power transmission lines

Examples of hazards caused by the lines are disruption of radio frequencies, shedding ice, which creates harm to the surrounding communities, disruption of the airline, and environmental hazards.

Types of Laser

The table below summarizes various types, examples and hazards lasers.

Type of laser Example Hazards
1 Solid state lasers Ruby laser
Titanium sulphate
Titanium sapphire
Causes pollution
2 Gas lasers Helium-neon
Xenon ion, carbon monoxide
Interfere with eyesight
May kill cells in the body
3 Chemical lasers Hydrogen fluoride
All gas – phase iodine
Deuterium fluoride laser
They are toxic substances that are dangerous to operate. Can cause infection in the body
4 Dye lasers Dye lasers They are highly flammable. They are likely to cause fire
5 Semiconductor lasers Lead salt
Hybrid silicon laser GaN
The high electric voltage is deadly
6 Metal – vapor lasers Helium – cadmium
Copper vapor laser
Effects eyesight and other body organs

Range of electromagnetic spectrum

An electromagnetic spectrum is an array of light that can be recognized. The spectrum have emissions of dissimilar wavelengths. The spectrum can handle unlimited and unbroken wavelengths. These radiations are used in various ways such as radiotherapy and in the field of science. The numerous wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum are divided into a several regions these are, gamma radiations, radio waves, microwave emission, terahertz emission, infrared, visible, ultraviolet, x – ray and emissions. Visible light is located above infrared in the spectrum. They have a wavelength between 400 and 800 terahertz. Besides, they can be detected by the human eye.


Plog, A., & Quinlan, P. (2012). Fundamentals of industrial hygiene. USA National safety council.

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"Industrial Hygiene." IvyPanda, 12 Jan. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/industrial-hygiene-essay/.

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