For Immediate Release
Contact: Isabelle Busenitz, 785-296-8286
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) today announced the celebration of National Radiation Protection Professionals Week taking place November 4-10. The weeklong event to honor radiation protection professionals is set in November to celebrate the discovery of X-rays by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen on November 8, 1895. The Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, Inc. (CRCPD) organizes the nationwide event.
“ Kansas is fortunate to have dedicated professionals to protect the public from the hazards of radiation,” stated Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE. “These radiation protection professionals provide leadership and work diligently to ensure that radiation and radioactive materials are used safely and beneficially in many different ways.”
The KDHE Radiation and Asbestos Control Section administers regulations that protect workers and the public from needless or accidental exposure to radiation and radioactive materials. The section also houses the state’s Radioactive Materials Licensing Program, which ensures that radioactive materials are stored, handled and used only by licensed and trained professionals.
Some KDHE staff members are trained and equipped to detect releases of radiation into the environment. Workers in healthcare and other industries play an active role in the safe use of radiation devices to care for patients and provide for public safety and well-being.
Many people recognize that radiation and radioactive materials are used in nuclear power plants and medical devices such as X-ray and mammography equipment, as well as CT and PET scanners. These materials are also a vital component of smaller devices, such as road testing and well drilling equipment.
What many may not realize is that by far the largest source of background radiation exposure is indoor radon. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can emanate from soil, occasionally becoming trapped in homes and other structures. KDHE encourages people to have their home tested for radon by purchasing inexpensive test kits at their local retail or home improvement store. Homes that consistently have more than 4 pC/L (picoCuries per liter) of radon should be repaired to prevent radon from entering.
Smokers may not be aware that another large source of radiation exposure comes from the Polonium-210 contained within tobacco smoke. Through educational programs, KDHE encourages Kansans to stop using tobacco and provides the toll-free Kansas Tobacco Quitline at 1-866-KAN-STOP (1-866-526-7867) to help people to quit.
According to Debbie Gilley, Chairperson of the CRCPD Board of Directors, “Radiation protection professionals are a vital safety net; they help to make sure that medical uses of radiation are safe, that industrial uses and products are safe, and that our homes and our country are safe.”
To learn more about the KDHE Asbestos and Radiation Control Section, please visit www.kdheks.gov/radiation/. More information on radiation can be found at www.CRCPD.org.