How to use the XRF safely during analysis

During the analysis, the analyzer emits a directed radiation beam when the tube is energized (tube based instrument) or when the shutter is open (isotope based instrument). Reasonable effort should be made to maintain exposures to radiation as far below dose limits as is practical. This is known as the ALARA (As Low as Reasonably Achievable) principle. For any given source of radiation, three factors will help minimize your radiation exposure: time, distance, and shielding.

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a non-destructive analytical technique used to determine the chemical composition of materials. It is used extensively in the metal manufacturing, inspection and recycling industry. You might use it to identify the metal and alloys in a scrapyard, verify the content of your raw materials in your manufacturing plant, or check the gold content in a piece of jewelry.

Because this fluorescence is unique to the elemental composition of the sample, XRF is an excellent technology for qualitative and quantitative analysis of the material composition. While the radiation emitted from a portable XRF analyzer is similar to the exposure received in a normal medical or dental x-ray, care must be taken to always point a handheld XRF analyzer directly at the sample and never at a person or a body part

XRF occurs when a fluorescent (or secondary) x-ray is emitted from a sample that is being excited by a primary x-ray source. There are three factors will help minimize your radiation exposure: time, distance, and shielding. While the radiation emitted from a portable or handheld XRF elemental analyzer is similar to the exposure received in a normal medical or dental X-ray, care must be taken to always point a handheld XRF analyzer directly at the sample and never at a person or a body part. Here are seven safety tips:

  • Provide radiation safety training to operators
  • Never aim the device at yourself or others when the primary beam (x-ray on) lights are illuminated
  • Never hold samples during analysis
  • Be aware of primary beam indicator lights
  • Handle and use with respect
  • Store securely – obey local storage requirements
  • If you have a Safety Emergency, notify your Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) and analyzer vendor

Source: https://www.thermofisher.com/blog/metals/7-safety-tips-when-using-handheld-xrf-analyzers-offered-for-isri-safety-stand-down-day/

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