Radiological Emergency Management Independent Study Course 1-6 In many cases, some type of dense material is needed to reduce the hazard presented by gamma rays. Any material between the radiation source and the receptor is called shielding , because it absorbs some of the gamma ray energy before it can penetrate. For example, 2-1/2 inches (6 cm) of dense concrete will absorb approximately 50 percent of typical gamma rays. Five inches (13 cm) of water is just as effective. All three types of nuclear radiation can be a hazard if they are emitted by radioactive material inside the body. Such material can get into your body by eating food with radioactive material in or on it, breathing air with radioactive material in it, or drinking water with radioactive material in it. If you keep radioactive material outside your body, you can use your knowledge of some of the radiation characteristics described in this unit to minimize the amount of radiation that penetrates your body. Neutron
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