It is not immediately crucial to know the identity of the radionuclide, however it is important to determine whether the nuclide emits beta-gamma radiation and/or alpha radiation. Commonly used radiation survey meters easily detect beta and gamma radiation. Detection of alpha radiation requires special instrument probes and careful monitoring techniques. Alpha radiation is shielded by any moisture, including perspiration and blood. Therefore, only trained individuals should perform surveys for alpha-emitting contamination.
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