Some Simple Inexpensive Methods For Detection of Radioactivity*

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THE recent article by Lauritsen and Lauritsen1 describing a “radiation meter for disaster use” is a timely and valuable contribution. These authors call attention to the serious danger to body and mind of civilians who have no training or knowledge of radioactivity and are totally unprepared to meet the dangers of an attack by an atomic bomb or other military use of radioactive materials. They describe a small, relatively simple radiation meter based upon the principle of ionization in air, and calibrated in fractions of one roentgen; they suggest wide distribution of such an instrument for general use in the event of disaster.

Everyone who is acquainted with or has worked in the field of protection against undesirable radiations will be in complete agreement with the Lauritsens when they stress the necessity for large-scale use of their instrument or of one of the various protective devices recently developed in other institutions.

Although there are at present numerous articles and books2 on health monitoring for those exposed to radiations, and these publications describe in great detail all kinds of Geiger counters, ionization survey meters, pocket ionization chambers and film badges, still the average citizen has not been given any satisfactory instruction nor any economical means of making even rough observations regarding the presence of radioactivity, in case of attack.

At present, there is even a shortage of indicating devices in the hands of organized civilian defense authorities. In the event of any kind of attack with radioactive substances, there would be. . .



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