The Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA) has warned against exposure to radiation environment and objects, explaining that though it may not have immediate health hazards but at the long run becomes devastating.
It said the intensity of the effect of exposure to ionizing radiation which include cancer and other life threatening effects very much depends on the degree of penetration of radiation and the duration of exposure.
NNRA gave the warning during the 5th National Workshop for Editors and Correspondents on “Nuclear Safety and Radiological protection in Nigeria” held Wednesday.
Presenting a paper on “Overview of NNRA’s successes in ensuring safety of lives and the environment from the effects of ionizing radiation”, the Director of Radiological safety, Dr. Isa Sambo, cautioned that although one is exposed to daily radiation from natural background radiation, one should be mindful of the dose rate.
He noted that the health effects can manifest within days to months in form of life threatening or an injury which decreases the quality of life of person.
Dr. Sambo however, maintained that through NNRA, effective radiation protection in Nigeria has enhanced dose reduction, and likelihood for radiological hazards to the barest minimum over the years.
According to him, “NNRA has stipulated regulatory dose limits of 20 mSv/y for occupational exposures to radiation workers which must not be exceeded.
“Central to effective occupational radiation monitoring is adequate personnel dose monitoring, which is strengthened by the establishment and implementation of a National Dose Register (NDR) to monitor, evaluate, and track dose records of radiation workers irrespective of where they work.”
While saying that NNRA has established environmental and public monitoring programmes, Dr. Sambo further explained that environmental is necessary for determining the radiation level due to the radioactivity sources that contribute to effective dose to the population for which worldwide average is estimated to about 2.4 mSv/y.
On his part, the NNRA General Manager, Authorization and enforcement, Adamu Midala Hussaini, cited that Nuclear technology is widely applied in Nigeria in various sectors of the economy including oil and gas, manufacturing and construction industries, research, agriculture, health sector, security screening, among others.
He said the NNRA enforcement activities are intended to meet the authority’s performance goals and to server the public interest in ensuring that life, health, property and the environment is protected from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation.