Q1. How do I return the badges to you?
A. You will receive an addressed envelope to return the badges for processing. If you do not have an addressed envelope, please send the badges in a sturdy envelope to 7301 N FM 620 Ste 155 #347, Austin, TX 78726. Do not forget postage.
Q2. Is postage to return the badges prepaid?
A. No. You choose the service by which you return your dosimetry badges to us & pay for the cost.
The data that the badges contain after their time in the field is irreplaceable. Therefore, you may consider using a
traceable mail carrier, such as, FedEx, UPS, or DHL to ensure that your badges/data are not lost in the mail.
We have included for your convenience a postage calculator to help you navigate the confusing United States Postage Rates.
Q3. What do I do with the Control Badge?
A. The control badge travels with the other badges to measure the radiation that the badges were exposed to in transit to you, along with the ambient radiation due to naturally occurring sources. You receive a new control badge with each regular dosimetry shipment. Proper use of the Control Badge will increase the accuracy of the results. It is very important that you return the Control Badge every wear period.
Q4. I have a new employee, or have lost a badge, can I give them the control badge?
A. No, See question #3. If you use this badge for someone else it will invalidate the readings.
Q5. Do I need to return the Control badge since it is not assigned to anyone?
A. Yes, we need this badge to determine the most accurate dosimetry results. Additionally, if you do not return a badge to us, we will assess a $15 fee for all lost badges.
Q6. Is there a charge for the Control Badge?
A. No. One control badge per account is complimentary. Any additional controls would be charged at the same rate as a regular badge.
Q7. Is there a fee to establish an account?
A. No. There is not a set-up fee.
Q8. Are there any processing fees for changes made to our account?
A. No. Sierra does not charge processing fees for customer service.
Q9. Does Sierra charge for dose reports?
A. No. Dosimetry reports are included in our price. Also, we make your reports available to you online so you will always have a “file” of them.
Q10. If I have unused badges, should I simply throw them away?
A. No. All badges are the property of Sierra Radiation Dosimetry Service. Our charges to you are for the Dosimetry Service we provide. We will charge a $15.00 fee each unreturned or damaged dosimetry badge.
Q11. Are my dosimetry reports reviewed and will I be contacted if my dose level is high?
A. Yes, and Yes. We review every dose report for accuracy and any unusual results.
Q12. Should I keep my badge in my purse, or backpack for safe keeping?
A. No, the service is tailored to determine your radiation dose from your work place. If you should take the badge home, and you should happen to go near someone who has just had a Nuclear Medicine treatment there is a possibility that your badge could pick up a dose from that person, and attributed to your workplace processes.
Q13. I travel a lot because of my job, can I take my badge through security at the airport?
A. Yes, you have a few options here. You can carry the badge with you, declare that you have a dosimeter, and attempt to pass it through security in the same manner as you would you spare change or a wallet. This option is ideal, but can cause issues with TSA. Not all TSA Agents are trained to recognize that the badge has no threat to security. The next best option is to carry a control badge that is assigned to you, and pass both of them through the security in your luggage.
Q14. The cost seems low when compared to other service providers. What am I giving up?
A. Nothing! We have tailored our service, and our internal procedures to be as efficient as possible. In some cases we offer superior service. We offer free online access to our “state of the art” account management service. Every dose report is available on our web site, and as opposed to some of our competitors, we do not archive our reports. Sierra is always thinking of new ways to improve our service at no cost to our valued clients.
Q15. Your cost low today. What will it be next year?
A. Sierra does not offer teaser rates. Actually, we restructured our pricing tiers, and some clients actually paid less in 2009 than 2008.
Q16. I have completed my state's required monitoring period, and saw no dose on my reports. Why should I continue with my badge service?
A. Completing badge service for a specified time period shows you exactly what your dose was during that time period. It says nothing for what your dose will be six months from now, or even six days from now. Therefore, you will not know what your true exposure is. If your radiation producing device malfunctions, and you are not monitoring your radiation exposure you may have been inadvertently exposed to excessive amounts of radiation, and you will never know it. Finally, in a worst case scenario as a business owner, how will you definitively prove that your employees did not receive excessive radiation from your business in the event of a Radiation Damages Lawsuit.
Q17. We have a Digital X-ray Machine. We were told by the salesman that we would not need radiation badges anymore. Is this true?
A. While Digital X-ray Machines are safer that traditional x-ray machines, they are not 100% safe. You still need to exercise caution. Digital x-rays use radiation to cast an image on the digital detector. Although the typical digital imaging unit can create an image using less radiation, some studies have shown an increase in exposure to patients and staff for a variety of reasons. The passage below is taken from an article in the British Medical Journal:
"Digital x ray imaging has brought obvious benefits to health care, but, as with all new technologies, it both requires and leads to changes in behavior and processes, some obvious and some less so… It was once thought that digital systems would reduce radiation doses… Although some studies have shown dose reductions, there is a tendency towards increased doses. The reasons include the fact that overexposure can go undetected, unlike with film, where the image turns dark, but more important factors are a tendency to take more images than necessary and at a higher image quality (and hence radiation dose) than necessary." From: British Medical Journal, 16 October 2006, "X ray imaging goes digital", Kwan-Hoong Ng and Madan M Rehani.
Q18. How can I improve my Radiation Dosimetry Results?
A. Please see “How to ensure you get the best results from your Radiation Dosimetry Service” (Learn more)
Q19. What exactly am I paying for with my Annual Badge Fee?
A. Your fee is for all activities associated with dertermining a wearer/area's exposure to radiation. This includes the use of a dosimetry badge, all shipping to send the badge to you, all activities associated with producing and delivering a dose report to you in a timely fashion. The service fee does not purchase the dosimeter badge itself. It remains the property of Sierra Radiation Dosimetry Service, Inc., and failure to return the badge to us in a timely manner may result in a Lost Badge Charge.
Q20. I see that you offer a TLD with CR39. What is this and is it better than a standard TLD?
A. A TLD with CR39 is nothing more than our standard TLD badge with a piece of CR39 inserted into it. CR39 is used extensively in neutron dosimetry. Unless you have neutrons at your facility then you do not need it. It is only better if you are needing to monitor for neutrons
Q21. Do I need any special software to view my dose report online?
A. Yes, you will need to have an application that is capable of opening Portable Document Format (PDF) files. There are several applications available that will display our dose reports. The most common application Adobe Reader. It is free, and you can downloadd it from thier website. Download Adobe Reader Here
Q22. Other than through your website and a mailed report, are there any other ways to retireve my dosimetry results?
A. Yes, we have implemented a syndicated news feed that allows you to see your dosimetry report, be notified of badge shipment, invoice publication/status, and Sierra Dosimetry News. To learn more about this service please click the following link. learn more