Dosimeters are electronic devices that are used to evaluate the degree of exposure that an individual experiences when working in a potentially hazardous setting. Devices of this type are utilized in places where people deal with hazardous waste or radioactive substances, or where there is regular exposure to high levels of sound. The function of the dosimeter is to measure the rate of exposure and make sure that no one is subjected to what is considered an unsafe level.
In general, the concept of dosimetry is all about measuring the effects of exposure to various types and levels of all sorts of stimuli. A noise dosimeter is often helpful in manufacturing situations where heavy machinery is used to produce goods. Data retrieved from the device can help management identify the most effective types of ear protection for the employees working near the machines. The devices are also helpful for measuring sound levels in other settings, such as concerts, airport terminals, and any other area where people are subjected to loud noise.
A radiation dosimeter is used to identify the presence and intensity of any type of ionizing radiation within a given setting. Some examples of ionizing radiation would include gamma rays, alpha and beta rays, and X-rays that are commonly used in medical settings. Often, people who work in places where there is constant exposure to any of these types of rays wear a small dosimeter at all times. The meter helps them to know the current rate of exposure at any point during their work day, thus making sure the rate of exposure remains in safe limits.
It is also possible to use a dosimeter in a food production setting. Here, the device will measure the level of food irradiation that is taking place in the facility, effectively maintaining acceptable levels of radiation exposure for both the food and the employees who work in the facility. Long-range dosimeters are commonly used in this setting, making it possible to track radiation levels throughout the facility.
Both personal and long range dosimeters are in common usage today. In some settings, such as in a manufacturing plant, the use of both types of the electronic dosimeter is not uncommon. This makes it possible to obtain individual readings from employees as they move about the facility, as well as get an overall reading for the general area. Both forms of data are helpful in keeping workers safe and relatively free from any danger of overexposure.