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When working with ionizing radiation or radioactive materials, it is a federal regulatory requirement that all reasonable efforts be made to maintain exposure to ionizing radiation as far below the dose limits as practical. ALARA translates as "As Low As Reasonably Achievable" and not only needs to be an integral part of all tasks that involve the use of radiation or radioactive materials but also used as the guiding principle to stay consistent with the purpose for which the activity is undertaken.
There are three major principles that assist in maintaining ALARA and can help prevent both unnecessary exposure and overexposure: time, distance and shielding.
A common example of how these three principles work together is an x-ray at a doctor’s office. The radiation technician goes behind a barrier while taking the x-ray image to protect them from the repeated daily exposure to radiation.
ALARA insures that any work with ionizing radiation or radioactive materials is consistent with the purpose for which the licensed activity is undertaken and that all safety precautions are taken to protect workers.
Watch for more blogs from us on ALARA. You should also check out the RaySafe i3 Real-time Dosimeter which helps people monitor and modify their behavior to reduce radiation exposure.