Next week is National Radiation Protection Professionals Week. Why them? Let's let Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) tell you (warning: pdf):
Members of the radiation protection profession make it their life’s work to allow government, medicine, academia, and industry to safely use radiation. By providing the necessary leadership, these professionals protect people from radiation hazards thus enabling society to reap benefits of this remarkable technology.
And so it is: we of course think of radiation as a factor in the nuclear business but radiation is everywhere:
Small amounts of radioactive materials can be found in our bodies, in products we use daily, in the ground, in building materials, and in outer space. They are a natural part of our everyday life. We commonly find radiation devices such as x-ray machines in a hospital or at the airport. We use radiation mainly for its beneficial purposes such as in medicine to diagnose disease, in industry to generate electricity, and in smoke detectors to make our homes safer.
That comes from Radiation Answers, a Web site that's a gold mine of information. It dispels myths, shows how radiation is used in every aspect of our lives, and yes, shows when and how radiation can be dangerous. If there weren't some danger, we wouldn't need radiation protection professionals, would we?
Here, via the Health Physics Society (another pdf - they must have a deal with Adobe), are some suggestions on what you can do during their special week:
• Post National Radiation Protection Professionals Week posters around your office and distribute informational pamphlets (such as What is a Radiation Protection Professional?) to staff, management, clients and local schools.
• Hold a staff appreciation lunch and distribute items of appreciation.
• Create a forum where people can discuss radiation protection professional recent advances in technology.
• Invite clients, citizens, management and or public servants to tour facilities showing beneficial uses of radiation when possible.
We'd add a treasure hunt so you can do something with those geiger counters you brought to the party. The Health Physics Society sponsored the resolution with the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (and boy, does their Web site need a second look! - great information, though). It looks like Congress recessed before passing Inhofe's resolution recognizing the week, but let's just pretend it did and party anyway.