We are all exposed to radiation all the time...from the starts, from food from water.

But HOW MUCH? and from WHAT?

We live in a radioactive world-always have. Radiation is all around us as a part of our natural environment. It is measured in terms of millirems (mrems). The annual average dose per person from all sources is about 360 mrems, but it is not uncommon for any of us to receive far more than that in a given year (largely due to medical procedures we may have done). As an example, international standards allow up to 5,000 mrems a year exposure for those who work with and around radioactive material.



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*Some of the radiation sources listed in this chart result in an exposure to only part of the body. For example, false teeth result in a radiation dose to the mouth. The annual dose numbers given here represent the "effective dose" to the whole body.

**The value is less than 1, but adding a value of 1 would be conservative.

***These are yearly average doses. If you have had many such procedures, your dose would be much greater.

Primary sources for this information are National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement Report: #92 Public Radiation Exposure from Nuclear Power Generation in the United States(1987); #93 Ionizing Radiation Exposure of the Population of the United States (1987); #94 Exposure of the Population in the United States and Canada from Natural Background Radiation (1987); #95 Radiation Exposure of the U.S. Population from Consumer Products and Miscellaneous Sources (1987); and #100 Exposure of the U.S. Population from diagnostic Medical Radiation (1989).

Note: Items of this COLOR are man-made radiation; others are naturally occurring.


The above information is from the "Personal Radiation Dose Charts" of the American Nuclear Society.

American Nuclear Society

Public Communications Department

555 North Kensington Avenue

La Grange Park, Illinois 60525