Nuclear exposure has long been debated on how it can cause harm to exposed workers during their daily work routines. Many have said that it increases cancer development while some say otherwise. Beyond the argument, the much more frustrating dilemma is who to listen to and what to believe.
Fact About Radiation
Radiation may not always be common, and most mentions of it are associated with nuclear meltdowns like Chernobyl and Fukushima. For the layperson, radiation is associated with danger, but knowledge of it is limited. Most fail to understand that radiation is emitted from a wide range of sources, such as the sun or even a microwave oven, that are impossible to avoid entirely. In other words, radiation is everywhere; it’s the dose that makes it harmful.
Ionizing radiation is one type of radiation that is powerful enough to harm a person’s biology. And more often than not, these are acquired from a work environment. According to research, people who get exposed to constant radiation, even from low doses, are about 10% more likely to die from cancer, and 19% from leukemia.
Unfortunately, these studies were conducted long before the guidelines for employee protection were made, which aren’t as airtight as today.
Job-Related Radiation Exposure
You may think that working in a nuclear power plant is the dangerous field as far as radiation is concerned, but it’s quite the opposite. Nuclear power plants are the most stringent in terms of radiation protection.
It may surprise you that other fields have more radiation exposures, such as being an airline pilot or a flight attendant; exposure to cosmic radiation is the culprit. Another group of workers at risk are radiology technicians and baggage screeners, due to operating machinery emitting ionizing radiation.
Despite all the dangers associated with these jobs, work-related health guidelines exist to protect workers. Moreover, EEOICPA health care centers specialize in taking care of workers involved with these kinds of risks.
Radiation is inescapable, but minimizing exposure is the surest way to avoid illnesses. And, just in case you may be exposed to higher amounts of radiation more than necessary, the law can protect your health and your rights.