The Life of a Rad Worker

Last night I was talking to my mom on the phone about my new job and hers (she just be came a librarian). Ethan has a night class on Monday nights so it is a good time for us to talk without Ethan in the house. Something she said surprised me. She said she was worried about me everyday. If you don’t know, I work at Argonne National Laboratory. I am apart of the health physics group which provides support for other division thats research utilizes radioactive materials or helps with construction to ensure that old duct work and the like has no contamination. While this does sound scary for most I was surprised that my mom worried that much. I studied radiological health engineering in college, she is married to a former engineering officer on a nuclear sub and former engineering at a Nuclear Power plant.

It surprises me that someone that has been exposed to the rad worker life for over 25 years is still extremely worried when a child follows the other parent into the same industry. While it isn’t a workplace that should be looked at flippantly, I feel like my mom’s reaction really shows the ignorance the public has when it comes to radiation. If a woman who has heard about it and all the thousands of regulations that come with the industy is still scaried for her daughter while she is at work, no wonder so many people that have no exposure to radiation are deathly afraid of it.

This was just an interesting observation that I had. Its nothing to deep or profound, but it does make me wish that more people were educated on this topic. Radiation is encountered everyday but every single person on this planet. It is nothing to be afraid of, but something to be respected and handled carefully.


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