Answer to Question #10885 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Radiation Workers

The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:


I recently shook the hand of someone who frequents a nuclear power plant and has full access into the entire plant. I want to know if nuclear power plant workers carry any radioactive particles with them outside of the plant. I am concerned about any transfer of particles from the handshake. Also, do people who work inside the plant carry any radioactivity on them outside the plant, including those who work in contaminated areas as well as noncontaminated areas?


Thank you for your question. It's safe to shake the hand of a nuclear power plant worker.

Nuclear plant workers who enter areas where there may be radiation/radioactivity are screened for radioactive contamination upon exiting. They cannot "carry" radioactivity on them outside of the plant.

Kelly Classic
Certified Medical Health Physicist

Answer posted on 15 January 2014. The information posted on this web page is intended as general reference information only. Specific facts and circumstances may affect the applicability of concepts, materials, and information described herein. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of such professional advice. To the best of our knowledge, answers are correct at the time they are posted. Be advised that over time, requirements could change, new data could be made available, and Internet links could change, affecting the correctness of the answers. Answers are the professional opinions of the expert responding to each question; they do not necessarily represent the position of the Health Physics Society.