There are two main types of radiation, ionising and non-ionising, the main difference between ionising and non-ionising radiation is in the amount of energy the radiation carries. Ionising radiation carries more energy than non-ionising radiation.
Ionising radiation includes: X-rays, gamma rays, radiation from radioactive sources and sources of naturally occurring radiation, such as radon gas. Ionising radiation has many uses in industry, such as, manufacturing, medicine and research and produces many benefits to society. However, it is important that the risks of ionising radiation are managed to protect workers and the public.
Non-ionising radiation includes: visible light, ultra-violet light, infra-red radiation, and electromagnetic fields. Sources of electromagnetic fields are used extensively in telecommunications and manufacturing with little evidence of related long-term health problems. Ultra-violet light is part of natural sunlight and also forms part of some man-made light sources. It can cause a number of health problems, including skin cancer.
GHS Health and Safety consultants can help your business on carrying out risk assessments, determining exposure to your workforce and potential leak paths to soil and ground water, controlling risks, arranging health surveillance, and how to obtain competent help with your assessment and control of risks.
One of the first recognised occupational diseases was mercury poisoning leading to psychosis for individuals working with mercury. Mercury in the form of mercury nitrate was used to cure/ treat and condition fur to make felt hats.
Mercury in crude oils exists in three distinct forms, elemental, inorganic and organometallic, some of these are shown in the list below.
- Elemental Mercury (Hg);
- Organometallic Mercury (R2Hg); and
- Inorganic Mercury (HgCl2, HgS, RHgX).
Most mercury compounds are soluble in hydrocarbons and these constitute the bulk of the mercury in hydrocarbons. However, absorption of elemental mercury onto surfaces of suspended particles is also another common form. When the saturation limit for elemental mercury is reached mercury will exist as fine suspended droplets, which can settle during storage or transport, but will dissolve upon heating.
GHS Health and Safety consultants can help your business to carry out mercury risk assessments, determining exposure to your workforce and potential contamination leak paths to soil, controlling risks, arranging health surveillance, and how to obtain competent help with your assessments