Mirion Technologies Dosimetry Services Division : "As a global leader in radiation measurement, we are driven to protect people, property and the environment from the harmful effects of ionising radiation."
Member Since: 2001
Interview Date: November 2020
What is your name and role?

Ron Dearden, Regional (UK) Sales Manager.

What does the organisation do?

The Dosimetry Services Division in Windsor offers personal dosimetry monitoring solutions, focused on individual radiation exposure measurement and official dose of record reporting for occupational exposures.

Why is wearing a personal dosimeter important?
We live in a radioactive world, and radiation has always been all around us as a part of our natural environment. Every day, we’re exposed to radiation. It comes from the sun, our cell phones, and even riding in an airplane–the longer the airplane ride, the more radiation you’re exposed to. Naturally-occurring background radiation is the main source of exposure for most people–contributing about 88% of the annual dose to the population–while medical procedures contribute most of the remaining 12%.

For healthcare professionals who work with medical imaging equipment and other industry professionals who are/may be occupationally exposed to ionising radiation (from x-rays and medical imaging equipment to radioactive therapy treatments) at work, your exposure risks are compounded. The natural, everyday sources we normally are exposed to (explained below) PLUS the occupational exposures you may be subjected to every day mean that measuring and monitoring your exposures at work–using a personal radiation dosimeter–are more important than ever!

No matter how small you think your occupational exposure risk may be, when you compound it with what you already receive by just breathing and eating every day, you can clearly see why knowing your dose is essential to safeguarding your health. 

Earthly Radiation

  • The sun and stars send a constant stream of cosmic radiation to Earth, like a steady drizzle of rain. 
  • The Earth itself is also a source of terrestrial radiation. Radioactive materials (including uranium, thorium, and radium) exist naturally in soil and rock.
  • All air contains radon, which is responsible for most of the dose that we receive each year from natural background sources.
  • All people have internal radiation, mainly from radioactive potassium-40 and carbon-14, inside their bodies from birth and, therefore, are sources of exposure to others.3

Food Radiation

  • All organic matter (both plant and animal) contain small amounts of radiation from radioactive potassium-40 (40K), radium-226 (226Ra), and other isotopes.
  • All water on Earth contains small amounts of dissolved uranium and thorium. As a result, the average person receives an average internal dose of about 0.3mSv of these materials per year from the food and water we eat and drink.

Indoor Sources

  • If you have ceramic tile or granite in your home, you are receiving more annual radiation exponentially from being indoors than you will receive from getting your annual dental X-rays.
  • The worldwide average indoor effective dose due to gamma rays from building materials is estimated to be about 0.4 m Sv per year, or 40 mrem… the equivalent of 80 dental X-rays.
  • As most people spend more than 80% of their time indoors, the internal and external radiation exposure from building materials creates prolonged exposure situations. 

Travel Risks

  • If you fly, depending on your departure location, a single flight can add another year’s worth of radiation exposure equivalent to, or exceeding, the amount you would receive from dental X-rays before you even reach your destination.

Calculating all the natural and occupational radiation exposures you are subjected to can be daunting. However, if you work with or around medical imaging equipment today there is an easier way to monitor your occupational exposure. Using a wireless Instadose+ dosimeter that measures, monitors, and silently tracks your cumulative exposure AND wirelessly transmits your dose exposure data to your legal dose-of-record, where you can view it anytime day or night, makes it easier than ever to safeguard your health from unintended over-exposures. Plus, in a post-COVID world you’ll never have to worry about collecting and redistributing your Instadose badge every wear period because YOU wirelessly read it, whenever YOU want, from wherever YOU are. 

How many people work in the organisation?

Mirion Dosimetry Services Division DSD (Mirion DSD) have a number of sites world-wide employing approximately 300 staff.

Where are you based?

Windsor, Berkshire.

Why are you an Affiliated Organisation?

The radiation community is very much one big family. Someone knows someone else. Being an Affiliated Organisation is a great way to channel large or small communication to SRP's members.

What was the first service the organisation supplied?

A film badge service, using the type 2 Kodak film pouch.

The old and the new: the first type of film badge that Mirion DSD supplied, and their most advanced product, a real-time dosimeter, designed for NASA.
Tell us about your latest product

Instadose, a wireless, real-time dosimeter created for NASA. NASA wanted to better manage astronaut radiation exposure during space exploration missions.  The Instadose enables astronauts in space to view their radiation exposure levels in real-time via its LCD display screen.  At the same time it allows NASA to monitor the levels from thousands of miles away.

You can see the Instadose on the astronaut's right shoulder.
How has Covid-19 affected the way you work?

From a busy travel schedule to not having had a physical meeting since March!

Adapt or die! A salesperson that survives is one able to adapt, and adjust best, to the changing environment in which they finds themselves……so (almost) says Charles Darwin in his Origin of Species. Virtual meetings are now the commonplace way of “doing business”.

So the life of a travelling (not) salesperson goes on!

What has been the most memorable SRP conference you have attended and why?

My first SRP conference in London in the late 90s. I was ready for a career change, but wanted to remain in the radiation sector.  A very sweet lady on the registration desk asked me why I was attending, and then made it her job to show me the exhibition area, introducing potential career moves. That lady was Tessa.

What's your most popular giveaway at conferences?!

I would like to turn this on its head. What has been the worst?!  The Mirion stand offered a short quiz, with Homer the Radioactive Man as first prize. Nobody came to collect him: I wonder why? He is now has pride of place in my office.

Homer Simpson, who famously works at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant in 'The Simpsons', is a great fan of the original Radioactive Man superhero, and wore this outfit to a fancy-dress party.
Do you have a mission statement?

"As a global leader in radiation measurement, we are driven to protect people, property and the environment from the harmful effects of ionising radiation."

Who might we meet on your stand?

Myself and customer service manager Gill Buck.

Ron on the stand at SRP's annual conference in Scarborough in 2019.
Describe Mirion Technologies in three bullet points
  • Focused on innovation.
  • Responsiveness to customer needs.
  • Pursuing progressive growth.
When was the organisation started?

ICN Dosimetry Services began in 1974.

What's the best thing about Mirion Technologies?

It allows its team members the freedom to work without micro-management.

  1. United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  2. World Nuclear Association
  3. Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Senthilkumar, G., Raghu, Y., Sivakumr, S., Chandrasekaran, A., Prem Anand, D., Ravisankar, R. Natural radioactivity measurement and evaluation of radiological hazards in some commercial flooring materials used in Thiruvannamali, Tamilnadu, India. Journal of Radiation Research and Applied Sciences 7(1) Jan 2014; 116-12.

If you would like to be featured in our weekly Affiliated Organisation Interview column (or would like to recommend someone) please email sara.harrington@srp-uk.org

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