Image default

What Makes a CBRN Radiation Shield Effective?

Personal safety is needed for professionals dealing with the effects of a nuclear or radiological incident. Any CBRN radiation safety approach will – or should be able to – defend personnel from gamma radiation’s destructive impact. 

However, as in so many other aspects of life, how you handle security is crucial. Many of the proposed options for defense are costly, bulky, and unsuccessful at blocking radiation involved with nuclear or radiation accidents since they do not adequately shield the body’s most sensitive sections.

CBRN radiation shielding technologies have a challenge

There are various alternatives to gamma radiation safety, the majority of which rely on applying a dense coating of materials such as lead, composite metals, or specialty fabrics to the body. 

Based to the American Nuclear Society, shield thicknesses of 13.8 feet of water, 6.6 feet of concrete, or 1.3 feet of lead are needed to minimize normal gamma rays by a factor of a billion. Thick, dense shielding is required to protect from gamma rays.

Where detector systems determine that a CBRN gamma radiation shield is required, the best option is a modular add-on to regular thin HAZMAT suits that prevent internal exposure with nuclear or other materials.

However, many CBRN radiation shield devices on the market are excessively defensive of the body from gamma rays, making even walking in the difficult, if not impossible. Some of the first responders at Chernobyl, for example, attempted to cover their whole bodies with thin sheets of lead. Even though they were weighed down by 26 kilograms of this material, their most vulnerable and delicate body parts remained unprotected.

The hematopoietic sub-syndrome of radiation exposure, triggered by the lack of bone marrow tissue, killed all of them.

CBRN radiation protection with advanced materials is also not a viable option

And by using fabrics that are said to be more safe than lead, wearing bulky whole-body protection suits slows the user down and causes excessive heat stress. A vest made of material with a density of 3.14 g/cm3 and an attenuation factor of 2 will weigh 58 kg since the typical male human body surface area is 19000 cm2, and the chest is about 36% of that surface area. 

This is an unrealistic weight for anyone to bear, and since the goods that utilize these materials are far smaller (one of their selling points), they have much less security than is needed.

And suppose you provided anyone with a 58 kg jacket that provided twofold security, and they were willing to wear it. In that case, the dosage obtained is equal to the duration of exposure, and wearing an extra 58 kg will significantly slow them down, negating the advantages of their covering or even worsening their ingested dose.

The best option for CBRN radiation protection

360 Gamma Suit offers substantial insulation in the most effective configuration to offer robust security to the most vulnerable body area—the pelvis, which contains half of the body’s bone marrow and other sensitive organs. 

This provides effective defense from gamma radiation in the case of a nuclear or radiological disaster.