Radiation exposure when using particle accelerators

The increasing use of special purpose particle accelerators has prompted the
US-American Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a Safety and
Health Information Bulletin (SHIB) identifying the risks and providing
information on the safe operation of these devices.

Special purpose particle accelerators use electrostatic or electromagnetic
fields to increase the speed of electrically charged particles and direct the
particles to collide with each other or other targets. In the medical field,
accelerator-produced particle beams or X-rays are directed at cancerous tumors
that are not reachable by other methods. Although accelerators can target
life-threatening growths within the body, these devices can also potentially
expose serious risks to operators.

"Based on safety and health inspections and audits that OSHA conducted, workers
are potentially exposed to harmful radiation, electrical hazards from
high-voltage cable systems, oxygen-deficient atmospheres and confined spaces,"
said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. "Workers will
suffer fewer injuries and illnesses if employers follow the safety measures
specified in this bulletin and in OSHA standards."

More information: - Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration