Safety in using X-rays in the food and pharmaceutical industries
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Dylog machines and safety

Protection from exposure to radiation

X-rays are clean energy. Radioactive materials are not involved. Dylog machines for food or pharmaceutical X-ray inspections do not constitute a source of exposure to radiation as leaks are certified below 0.5 µSv/h (micro Sievert/hour) even if permitted doses vary depending on the country.
Some examples:

  • USA: max 5 µSv/h
  • Europe: max 1,0 µSv/h
  • Japan: max 2,5 µSv/h

To have an idea of what these figures mean, and if we want an oversized estimate, we can assume that a hypothetical operator that works 8 hours a day, even every day of the year, in front of a machine, is subject to

0,5 µSv/h * 8h * 365days= 1460 0,5 µSv/year = 1,46 mSv /year

Thus at an absorbed dose lower than that of total neutral radiation on the ground, equal to approximately 2 mSv / year, given by:

Natural terrestrial radiation: 1,7 µSv/h
Natural cosmic radiation at sea level: 0,3 µSv/h
Tot: 2,0 µSv/h

Therefore operators in contact with X-ray machines are not considered as “exposed personnel” (i.e. like operators in hospital X-ray departments), so

  • operators do not require dosimeters
  • an area does not have to be marked out
  • medical surveillance for personnel is not required

By way of comparison, the values of doses absorbed by a human being in 3 common situations are given below:

Intercontinental flight (7h) 0,05 mSv (milli-Sievert)
Chest X-ray 0,04 mSv (milli-Sievert)
Exposure of a pilot (national flights) to cosmic radiation 2 mSv (milli-Sievert)/year

Operator safety

The machines manufactured by Dylog are certified in compliance with European directives 89/391, 89/654, 89/655, 89/656, 90/269, 90/270, 90/394, 90/679 on occupational health and safety and directives on protection against ionising radiation 80/836, 84/467, 84/466, 89/618, 90/641 and 96/29.

The protection system is oversized compared to international standards to guarantee X-ray leaks that are practically non-existent and that are certified, in any case, as below the strictest limits of international legislation.

For this reason, the inspection unit is lead lined inside and leaded steel guards are fitted at the inspection area entrance and exit.

When the machine body is opened, with the operator directly accessing the X-ray exposure area (for example for maintenance and/or cleaning of the inspection compartment), X-ray emission is immediately stopped by a sophisticated system of safety detectors (interlock).