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Will This Wearable Dosimeter Tell How Much Radiation We’re Exposed To?

How much radiation passes through our body on a daily basis? Up until recently, that seemed like one of life’s great unanswered questions. California-based Mirion Technologies has recently launched Dosime, a wearable dosimeter that can measure the amount of ionizing radiation a person experiences on an average day.

Radiation is present in many aspects of everyday life. From microwaves to the TSA security scanners at the airport, it’s nearly impossible to hide from it. There are two types of radiation: ionizing and non-ionizing. Electric and magnetic fields, radio waves, microwaves, ultraviolet, and infrared are classified as non-ionized radiation because they don’t produce sufficient energy for electrons to ionize atoms. Ionized radiation, which includes x-rays and gamma rays, can throw an electron out of an atom’s orbit, thus charging or ionizing it.

Dosime calculates radiation in real-time, and lets its user know the current dose rate and a cumulative dose. Dosime displays a series of different colored lights to indicate the severity of radiation in the area: green is low exposure, amber is elevated exposure, and red is severe. Whenever the wearer is in an area with unsafe radiation levels, the device will send out a text or email alert.

Radiation is measured in units of millirem. According to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, people living in the U.S. are exposed to an average of 620 millirem every year. According to medGadget, a publication that tested Dosime, in Minnesota, the dosime levels ranged from 0.005 and .008 mrem per hour with a cumulative dose of less than 1 mrem.

“Dosime [is] user friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and informative without being overwhelming,” wrote Kenan Raddawi for medGadget. “Many of us do not think about radiation exposure on a regular basis. However, given the potentially adverse health effects associated with high exposure to ionizing radiation, investing in a device like Dosime may be worthwhile.”

 

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