Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Survey on the use of THz sources at occupational sites and recommendations on exposure conditions

A questionnaire was distributed to collect information on the main radiation parameters of THz sources, which are currently in use at various laboratories worldwide.

The questionnaire collected information concerning:
- The main radiation parameters of THz sources (e.g. frequency range, power level, modulation).

- Biological and potential biomedical applications of THz sources.

- Exposure conditions (if any) of technical personnel.

- Safety measurements or precautions currently adopted.

The questionnaire also requested information about any risk perceived in using THz-radiation.

The questionnaire was designed by the THz-BRIDGE consortium members and was delivered to a list of about hundred research groups in occasion of several conferences. The questionnaire was also put in an interactive form on the project web-page. Compiled forms have been collected over an 18-month period and the statistical basis has been continuously updated.

The survey was mainly designed to look at safety issues at specific occupational sites. These were defined as sites where THz sources are employed or in development. Due to the early stage of THz technology these are to be mainly found in Universities or Research facilities. The questionnaire collected data of currently used terahertz sources for the first time.

As of February 2004 25 groups have returned a completed questionnaire providing information about 35 different THz systems. 37% of the responses came from the European Union; the remaining contributions came from the United States, Japan and Russia. It is planned to continue to update the statistical basis with support from the EMF-NET Coordination Action.

- 25 groups returned data (1 off these was rejected as they submitted laser parameters rather than thz).
-- Most of these groups are using terahertz radiation generated by short pulse solid-state lasers;

-- They are mostly interested in source development and biomedical applications;

-- Data has been provided on 34 systems

- 5 groups expressed concerns of exposure to THz radiation.

- Mainly FEL groups take precaution against THz radiation in the frame of more severe shielding requirements of the accelerators on which they are based.

- It appears currently that there are no records taken of occupational workers exposure to THz radiation.

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TeraView Ltd.
Platinum Building, St. John's Innovation Park
CB4 0WS Cambridge
United Kingdom
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