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What is the average dose to Lithuanian population from the natural sources of ionizing radiation?
The average annual dose due to natural sources of ionizing radiation in Lithuania is 2,2 mSv. The following sources are included: indoor radon – 1 mSv, cosmic radiation – 0,35 mSv, soil (external radiation) – 0,06 mSv, construction materials indoors – 0,45 mSv, radionuclides in human body – 0,34 mSv. The average dose of world population due to natural radiation is 2,4 mSv per year.

What is the average dose to Lithuanian population due to operation of nuclear energy installations?
The dose due to nuclear energy installations is constrained by means of limitation of releases of radioactive materials from these installations. The concept of dose constraint is used for this reason. It means, that dose constraints are determined for each source and are used for optimization of radiation protection. All the possible exposures from all the controlled practices are taken into account. The sum of all these doses shall be lower than the dose limit. When dose constraint is used, the doses to members of critical groups due to use of even of a few sources do not exceed dose limits. The critical group is a hypotetical group of mostly exposed people. The dose constraint for members of critical groups due to installations of nuclear energy is 0,2 mSv per year.

It is calculated that annual dose of Lithuanian population due to operation of nuclear energy installations does not exceed 1/100 of dose limit for members of public and is about 0,01 mSv.

What is the average dose in Lithuania due x-ray diagnostics?
According to the international publications, more than 30% of the total dose is due to medicine. The dose, which is received by patient during any diagnostics procedure, depends on tissue or organ under examination, size of patient, performance of equipment, qualification of staff, protocols of procedures. Guidance levels of exposure for different examinations are determined and measurements of patients’ doses in separate hospitals are started. More data will be available later.

Does ionizing radiation remain in our body after x-ray examination?
When x-ray examination is finished, no radiation in the body of patient remains. X-ray machine is the electronic device, which emits x-ray only then it is switched on. And it is switched on only then x-ray image is taken. It lasts less than second to a few seconds depending on the type of examination.

X –ray radiation is of electromagnetic, i.e., of the same nature as radio waves. However, ionizing radiation is of very high frequency and energy. For this reason it penetrates our body and ionizes it. If radio transmitter is switched off, no radio waves are radiated. The same happens with x-ray radiation if x-ray machine is switched off.

What shall be done if suspicions what some unknown material radiates ionizining radiation arise or if the source of ionizing radiation is found?
In such a case the Radiation Protection Centre shall be called by telephone 370-5 2361936 or its departments in Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiualiai or Panevėžys contacted. You will be given the advice what should be done.

Shall stabile iodine be used not in radiological or nuclear accident, but in everyday life?
Definitely, not. It shall be used only then release of radioactive iodine into environment is possible.

What devices with sources of ionizing radiation are used in everyday life most frequently?
Radioactive materials are used in everyday life, though their common use is restricted. All the appliances with radioactive materials may be divided into two categories – the ones manufactured within last 10 years and ones manufactured before. Development of new technologies helped to create and manufacture appliances, which are almost not dangerous or even safe.

Smoke detectors are used for fire protection. Old detectors contain Pu239 which is very radiotoxic. Less radiotoxic Am241 is used in modern detectors. Activity of Am241 is about 1000 times as lower as activity of Pu239. Radiation on the surface of detectors of both types does not exceed the background level.

Other group consists of appliances with fluorescent dials and surfaces. Watches are the most famous examples. The old watches may have radium or phosphorus. Dose rate on the surface of such watches may be as high as 10 to 50 m Sv/h. Tritium is used in modern watches. Since it emits betas, radiation is not escaping the cover of the watches.

Old TV sets could be rather important source of exposure, because x-rays are emitted by electronic tube. Now the standards of the International Standards Organization are followed when electronic tubes are manufactured. Level of radiation was decreased. The strict requirements are in force for computer monitors, because people are spending plenty of time at the monitors. Radiation, which is emitted by modern displays, is much lower than the maximum permitted levels.

Are smoke detectors dangerous for our health?
As it was mentioned before, radiation on the surface of smoke detectors does not exceed background level. For this reason they are not dangerous for our health if instructions of their usage are followed.

Where is it possible to evaluate radioactive contamination of foodstuff?
If you wish to know about radioactive contamination of foodstuff, you have to turn to the Radiation Protection Centre in Vilnius, Kalvarijų 153, or its departments in Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai or Panevėžys. Determination of radioactive contamination of foodstuff of private persons, if they do not need any official certificate, is performed free of charge. Prices of charged services provided by the Radiation Protection Centre are approved the order of the minister of health No 621 of 2000 11 09. All the services for the institutions, funded by the state budget, are free of charge.

Our location
Kalvarijų 153,
LT-08352, Vilnius

ph. +370 5 236 19 36
fax +370 5 276 36 33
Kilus bet kokiems su darbuotojų, gyventojų, pacientų radiacine sauga susijusiems klausimams, prašome kreiptis į Radiacinės saugos centrą. Atsakome į klausimus bei konsultuojame:

Vilniuje, Kalvarijų g. 153, pirmadieniais ir trečiadieniais 8.00 – 17.00 val., antradieniais ir ketvirtadieniais 7.00 – 17.00 val., penktadieniais 8.00 – 15.45 val. (pietų pertrauka 12.00 – 12.45 val.) tel. (8 5) 236 1936 arba el. paštu;

Kaune, Aušros g. 44, darbo valandomis tel. +370 608 06187 arba el. paštu;

Klaipėdoje, Bijūnų g. 6, darbo valandomis tel. +370 608 06185 arba el. paštu;

Šiauliuose, Vilniaus g. 229, darbo valandomis tel. +370 608 06198 arba el. paštu

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The web site was updated under the auspices of Swedish Radiation Safety Institution (now SSM)