Radiation Protection Glossary

A radiation protection glossary for Radiation Protection Supervisors (RPS), Radiation Protection Advisers (RPA) and anyone else interesting in radiation safety terms and definitions. The glossary is a mixture of health physics , phrases related to radiation protection legislation, transport, practical safety, technical terms and similar.

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For formal advice, see our Radiation Protection Adviser pages. 

Personal Decontamination

Personal decontamination requires the removal of Radioactive Contamination from the clothes and skin (including eyes, ears mouth and hair) of a contaminated person. Whilst it is obviously advantageous to remove contamination quickly, it should be done so in such a way that restricts the possibility of radioactive materials being taken into the body (of both contaminated person and helper). For example, when removing contamination from the hair by washing, one should ensure that contaminated water does not run into the eyes or mouth (it might, for instance, be better to cut the hair off or use sticky tape). In addition, care should be taken to avoid corrosive cleaners or abrasive techniques which could break the skin causing discomfort, but also a route of entry into the body.

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life

– Charles Darwin -