Last updated: November 9, 2020

What Does Attenuation Mean?

Attenuation is the gradual loss in intensity of force passing through a medium. In the context of health and safety, attenuation is the gradual loss of harmful rays, heat, light and sound passing through any medium in workplace or within the equipment. X rays and other radiation hazards are attenuated by lead (lead jacket), sounds are attenuated by simple cotton and fibers (earplugs), light is attenuated by glass and colored glass etc..

Safeopedia Explains Attenuation

Attenuation is a process that weakens the force by consuming the energy while passing through a particular medium. People that work with radioactive equipment or serve in a radiation hazardous workplace such as X-ray rooms, atomic reactors, should wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing. These PPE should have effective radiation attenuation qualities. Similarly, people work in a noisy area such as aircraft hangers, engine rooms and furnaces are exposed to high level noise and need effective PPE, such as earplugs, that should have appropriate sound attenuation qualities.


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