[ RadSafe ] Adverse Health Consequences due to Extensive Exposures of Ionizing Radiation X-rays and Electromagnetic Radiation (UNCLASSIFIED)

Jeff Terry terryj at iit.edu
Mon Aug 2 16:24:02 CDT 2010

For Jon von Kessel:

See below.


Begin forwarded message:

> From: "von Kessel, Jon Mr CIV US USA AMC" <Jon.vonKessel at us.army.mil>
> Date: August 2, 2010 4:22:24 PM CDT
> To: "radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu" <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>, "JvK at clearwire.net" <JvK at clearwire.net>, Jeff Terry <terryj at iit.edu>
> Subject: Adverse Health Consequences due to Extensive Exposures of Ionizing Radiation X-rays and Electromagnetic Radiation (UNCLASSIFIED)
> Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
> Caveats: NONE
> Folks,
> I'm inquiring whether any of you well learned scholars have any information
> that you could share regarding the potential health consequences of
> Bremsstrahlung X-rays as they pertain to the subject matter and the
> following:
> George Chabot, PhD, CHP of the Health Physics Society, at:
> http://www.hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q6213.html, states that "In any
> high-voltage tubes the anode voltage has a direct bearing on the energies
> and intensities of 'bremsstrahlung' X-rays that are generated. The output
> intensity has strong voltage dependence, usually increasing with at least
> the square of the voltage. The effect such changes might have on the
> response of an ionization chamber depends largely on the specific
> characteristics of the chamber, especially its energy response
> characteristics. Ionization chambers vary in their energy responses,
> depending on design, especially on the wall material and wall thickness."
> According to Princeton University, in an article on Open Source Radiation
> Safety Training and Radiation Properties, their study reported at:
> http://web.princeton.edu/sites/ehs/osradtraining/radiationproperties/radiati
> onproperties.htm, that the effects of bremsstrahlung X-ray production was
> like a gamma ray, an X-ray is a packet (or photon) of electromagnetic
> radiation emitted from an atom, except that the X-ray is not emitted from
> the nucleus. X-rays are produced as the result of changes in the positions
> of the electrons orbiting the nucleus, as the electrons shift to different
> energy levels. X-rays can be produced during the process of radioactive
> decay or as bremsstrahlung radiation. Bremsstrahlung radiations are X-rays
> produced when high-energy electrons strike a target made of a heavy metal,
> such as tungsten or copper.  As electrons collide with this material, some
> have their paths deflected by the nucleus of the metal atoms.  This
> deflection results in the
> production of X-rays as the electrons lose energy. 
> I understand that this is the process by which an X-ray machine produces
> X-rays.  X-rays particularly can present a hazard from exposures external to
> the body. Essentially, this is the same effect that occurs with the cathode
> emitting electrons towards the anode within a power amplifier vacuum tube,
> such as that which are used to generate the LORAN-C transmitter's 1 to 3
> Megawatt navigation system's 100 kHz signals.
> Now, you might ask, why am I interested in the subject.  I spent a good part
> of 20 years working in the immediate vicinity of the power amplifier tubes
> of U.S. Coast Guard's LORAN-C transmitters.  The anode voltage used is 21.5
> kV.  I've encountered prostate cancer and other health related ailments of
> which may be a direct consequence of the effects of high levels of
> bremsstrahlung X-rays.  The nominal level of exposure conservatively
> estimated is about 38,400 mrem/day, with occasional periods of exposure at
> 76,800 mrem/day or 9600 mrem/hr.  Unfortunately for me and many other
> personnel, the potential radiation exposure levels were unknown to nearly
> everyone concerned, otherwise we would have probably had training and the
> area would have been classified as a controlled "Radiation Area".
> Your response will be much appreciated.  Thanking you in advance.
> Jon von Kessel
> U.S. Coast Guard (Retired 1984)
> Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
> Caveats: NONE

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