Understanding Radiation

Protection From Ionising Radiation

We are exposed to natural background radiation on a daily basis and it accounts for about 80 per cent of the radiation doses which we are exposed to. However, an average person will almost never be exposed to sources of radiation which can cause acute health effects. Nonetheless, it is useful to be familiar with the radiation protection principles and how to take the necessary measures to protect oneself if such a situation arises.

Time, Distance and Shielding

The three factors: time, distance and shielding help to minimise exposure to radiation, as depicted in the graphic below.

 protection from radiation - time
 Limiting or minimising the exposure time to a radiation source reduces the dose
 protection from radiation - distance
The further away a person is from a radiation source, the lesser the dose of radiation.
protection from radiation - shielding 
Barriers provide protection from the different types of radiation.
Source: US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - https://www.epa.gov/radiation/protecting-yourself-radiation

What to do in an Emergency

In the event of an emergency situation such as a dirty bomb attack, members of the public are advised to adhere to the instructions from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) in order to protect themselves and their loved ones. An emergency handbook published by the SCDF containing information on what to do can be found here in chapter 5 (8th edition) (https://www.scdf.gov.sg/home/community-volunteers/publications/emergency-handbook).