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Effects of radioactive radiation on a wireless mic...


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So, I provide a lot of large scale event public address. One of my regular clients has a regular commentator (who is excellent at what they do) who it about to undergo Brachytherapy where small radioactive iodine implants are positioned around a malignant tumour. The location is the front of the neck.

Whilst alpha and beta radiation should be contained by the soft tissues (if my recollection of my A level physics is correct!) if these sources emit significant gamma radiation I am concerned on the effects of any electronics placed in close proximity such as a handheld radiomic.

We use Sennheiser SKM2000 transmitters on this type of work, and I have been in contact with Sennheiser who have replied saying that they have no data as to the possible effects.

I know that electronic circuitry does suffer in very high dose environments ( Chernobyl cleanup etc) but am naturally keen not to fry any mics...

So, has anyone here come across this potential issue?

My immediate thought is to use a SK2000 pack and a suitable dynamic mic on a lead, with the pack positioned on the back rear, the small increase in distance should result in a significant decrease in the intensity of any radiation as I believe gamma radiation follows the inverse square law as it disperses in a full space environment.

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No-one will have accurate information! Brachytherapy isn't an everyday procedure and being a good commentator isn't a common skill so this question probably has possibly never occurred before.

Offering a dynamic mic that doesn't need power covers you for any damage to the circuitry inside a radio Tx. However  this person will live a normal life between hospital visits so the damage to the surroundings will already be minimal.

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thank you for your reply.

As you say, this combination of treatment, profession and in particular the location of the implants is possibly unique. My primary reason for being concerned about the radiation effects on a transmitter are due to the location of the treatment being just a few centimetres from where the TX would be held. in another bodily location I would not likely be so concerned.

As it happens, one of my very best crew guys, who happens to be in his mid 70's (and who often runs rings around people 30 years his junior) underwent the same therapy but in a different location around 6 months ago. Whilst the effects have certainly been less than more traditional Radiotherapy, there have been effects on his life through not being able to come into contact with children, not allowing his cat to sit on him etc etc. Im quite sure as a cancer treatment goes it is far less damaging to general health though as this chap has continued to work throughout. It is working too, which is even better, so I have high hopes that it will also help cure the commentator who I have been working with for 20 years now and would be impossible to replace.

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My instinct would be to ask “does he use a mobile phone?”

If he does and it’s surviving repeated daily exposure then a radio mic shouldn’t have any problems from a one-off event. If hes told not to use one (or he’s getting through a lot of them) then you’ve got your answer. 

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If this is a permanent implant the patient will not be allowed near others until the daily diminishing dose has reduced sufficiently. If it is Low Dose or High Dose the implants will not be in place outside the treatment rooms. If you are still worried have a chat with the unit secretary who will know a lot more than Sennheiser. 

I asked the oncologist how safe my partner's "Bionic Bumbag" of 96 hours radioactive fluid through her PICC line was and he replied; "Just don't drink it." The survival of a mic or three pales into insignificance. 

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On 5/25/2024 at 8:34 AM, csg said:

My immediate thought is to use a SK2000 pack and a suitable dynamic mic on a lead, with the pack positioned on the back rear

Seems the obvious solution

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