Protection of the Radiation Worker*


THE basic ideas of protection for radiation workers by the use of remoteness and absorptive shielding are obvious enough: the remarkable thing is the time it took to secure their observance. Naturally, the X-ray tube as evolved by Rontgen and his contemporaries in 1895 onwards was entirely unprotected, but although the explanation was not clear, the dangers of superficial injuries through indiscriminate exposure to the rays had become evident within a few months of their discovery. There were those who attributed the injuries to personal idiosyncrasy, electrical effects, ultra-violet rays, platinum particles from the X-ray tubes, platinocyanides from the fluorescent screens, etc. Among other things, red silk and thin rubber sheet were actually advocated as preventives ! Rontgen himself probably escaped hurt for the reason that he conducted his experiments, which were mainly photographic, with the X-ray tubes inside a metal box.

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

KAYE, G. Protection of the Radiation Worker*. Nature 145, 370–373 (1940).

Download citation


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.