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Radiation Suit Protection Against Harmful Exposures

By May 29, 2024June 10th, 2024No Comments

When you hear the phrase “types of radiation” you probably start thinking about gamma rays and the Incredible Hulk. But, the truth is that this is a pretty broad topic that requires a deep dive, especially if your facility employs any form of radiation technology.

Radiation is simply energy that’s released in different forms, so everything from the source to the way it’s emitted can vary. These nuances influence the effect that radiation has on the body, so you have to learn about the different forms of radiation to get the best personal protective equipment (PPE) for your technologists.

Let’s take a look at all types of radiation and their effect on the body. We’ll also highlight which radiation is used in medical settings and give you tips to protect your professionals exposed to this technology.


Radiation Types By Physical Behavior

Before delving into the different types of radiation, it’s important to understand that they can be categorized in a couple of different ways.

We’ll start by analyzing radiation from a physical perspective and grouping the different types of energy that behave similarly.


Electromagnetic Radiation

Some sources give off radiation in the form of electromagnetic (EM) waves, which consist of high-speed energy particles that don’t have any weight.

The reason why electromagnetic radiation is described as a wave is because this type of energy causes atoms to pulse or vibrate in oscillating patterns. It’s this same property that makes it a popular choice among diagnostic and imaging technology, but we will dive into the applications a little later.

It’s important to note that EM radiation is everywhere around us. From sunlight to radio waves and even radar technology, this type of energy plays a crucial role in our everyday lives.

There are many other different types of electromagnetic radiation as well, including:

  • Microwaves
  • Infrared radiation
  • Ultraviolet radiation
  • X-rays
  • Gamma rays


Particle Radiation

Particle radiation also consists of high-speed energy that’s being expelled from a physical source.

However, these particles carry both weight and energy, and this extra momentum completely changes the effect that this type of radiation has.

Radiation from particles can consist of subatomic components like neutrons, protons, and electrons. At the same time, it can also encompass bigger physical matter such as alpha and beta particles.


Radiation Types By Effect

Particle and electromagnetic radiation describe this type of energy based on how it behaves.

However, if you group radiation based on its effect, these categories look a little different.

Determining the effects of radiation is very important because it helps determine which types require additional protection such as PPE and other forms of shielding.

Let’s dive right in.


Ionizing Radiation

Ionizing radiation refers to all types of energy that causes electrons to come undone. Electrons are tightly-bound subatomic particles and they require a huge amount of energy to loosen. Not only this, but the loss of electrons unbalances the atom and causes ionization.

Ionizing energy can come from both EM and particle radiation, but its impact is the same: it causes chemical changes in both organic and non-organic molecules.

With that in mind, the changes in organic molecules (like those in the human body) are alarming and pose a huge health risk. Ionizing radiation can damage DNA genes and cause long-term health issues.

The most common types of ionizing radiation include:

  • X-rays
  • Gamma rays
  • Alpha particles
  • Beta particles


Non-Ionizing Radiation

Non-ionizing radiation doesn’t have enough energy to displace electrons and therefore it doesn’t ionize either molecules or atoms.

While all types of known particle radiation are considered ionizing, there are EM waves that are non-ionizing. These include:

  • Microwaves
  • Infrared radiation
  • Ultraviolet radiation

The different types of electromagnetic radiation that are considered non-ionizing have heating effects on matter. That said, the biological impact is non-existent when compared to particle beams, so non-ionizing radiation is considered safe.


Radiation in Healthcare: Types and Safety Considerations

But, which types of electromagnetic radiation might a doctor use to treat patients? Or a radiologist to perform an X-ray scan?

Let’s take a look at common types of radiation therapy and imaging.


Ionizing Radiation in Medical Diagnostic and Treatment

If your medical professionals are performing ionizing radiation diagnostics and treatments, it’s essential for both patients and your team to wear protective shielding.

This will help prevent serious health conditions and allow your technologists and healthcare specialists to perform their duties properly.

Common treatments that utilize ionizing radiation include:

  • X-ray imaging
  • CT scans
  • Radiation therapy


Non-Ionizing Radiation in Medical Diagnostic and Treatment

Non-ionizing radiation is used in a wide range of diagnostic processes and medical treatments. Their limited impact on organic matter means they can be used in cosmetic, orthopedic, and many other types of medicine. Treatments and diagnostics with non-ionizing radiation include:

  • Ultrasound
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)


Getting the Best Radiation Protective Gear for Your Facility

There are many types of radiation therapy machines that emit potentially harmful energy. The good news is that you can rely on Barrier Technologies to determine what type of shielding you need and source high-quality protective gear for your technologists.

We have two decades of experience and we continuously work to improve our protective equipment.

Our motto is “Your safety is our concern” so our number 1 priority is security, but we are also passionate about creating gear that’s practical, intuitive, and easy to use. We offer a full range of protective radiation shielding including:

All of our products are locally made in the USA following above-industry standards and craftsmanship practices.

We strive to make your life easier and we see ourselves playing a key role in your mission to protect your professionals.



EM waves and particle beams are the two main types of radiation if you see it from an energy-behavior perspective.

Now, if your facility employs diagnostics or other radiation-based practices, it’s essential to understand ionizing and non-ionizing energy as this will help you choose the best protective gear for your professionals.

If you want to learn more about the best lead aprons, thyroid shields, and other radiation-resistant PPE, get in touch with Barrier Technologies today.