What’s a normal day like for you? Whether you know it or not, your body is being exposed to different levels of radiation. However, the majority of these radioactive sources aren’t powerful enough to make us don a hazmat suite and get a radiation detector out.

More powerful forms of radiation are primarily dealt with by workers in the nuclear, industrial and educational sectors. Companies like Tracerco provide radiation protection and specialist equipment like monitors, measuring instruments and FCC units. Thankfully, the majority of us won’t require this level of protection, but it’s still interesting to know what radiation we could encounter.

One device that almost everyone will have in their house is a smoke detector. But did you know that some of them have radioactive material encapsulated inside them? An ionization smoke detector senses smoke particles by using a very small disc that is a composite of americium-241. By comparison, a photoelectric detector uses a light sensor to detect a fire. Each device is good at detecting different types of fires, and you’ll find that most detectors contain both elements.

As long as the radioactive source remains covered by the casing, everyday exposure is negligible; however, it’s still not a good idea to tinker with the source in the detector device. You can learn more about these detectors by reading this article on How Stuff Works.

You mightn’t initially associate microwaves with traditional radiation, but the radio frequency waves that they produce can do us harm if they are allowed to leak through the appliance.  A broken microwave door that has become worn down from excessive use or slamming can allow the radiation to escape. The particles are odourless and can’t be seen, so make sure you take good care of your microwave. Read these guidelines from the FDA to ensure that you’re operating this appliance in a safe manner.