In the year since an earthquake and tsunami triggered Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, employees around the world are more aware of the dangers of radiation. Swirling anxiety has led to much debate aboutprotocols that reduce radiation exposure.
The risk of radiation poisoning is extremely low for most employees in offices, retail stores, factories and class-rooms. While industries such as manufacturing, defense and healthcare may produce artificial radiation to varying degrees, many experts agree that exposure to harmful amounts of ionizing radiation is rare.
The risk escalates in underground work environments. Jobs that require people to spend significant time in basements, mines and subterranean service ducts can pose a problem. That’s because radon readings are often higher underground and in poorly ventilated, cramped rooms on a ground floor.
Your risk of experiencing the harmful effects of radiation also depends on other factors, including age, gender and genetics. Research shows that children face greater risk than adults of radiation-caused thyroid cancer. Women are at more risk of certain radiation-induced cancers than men. And some people are born with genetic predispositions to certain radiation-related diseases.