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Background Radiation.

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Presentation on theme: "Background Radiation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Background Radiation

2 Radiation is everywhere
Cosmic Inhaled Radon Bodies Plants Radioactive Elements Rocks We live in a sea of radiation…

3 BACKGROUND RADIATION The average background radiation per person is 370 millirems (mrem) per year. This varies widely depending on where someone lives, and their occupation, health and lifestyle.

4 Background Radiation Most background radiation is natural. It is part of nature. It has always been here. People have always lived with it.

5 Radiation comes from space- sun and cosmic rays
Because this type of radiation is somewhat shielded by the atmosphere, the dose is higher at higher altitudes

6 Background Radiation Exposure at Different Elevations
-282 Ft 427 Ft 5,280 Ft 10,157 Ft Every 200 feet increase in altitude increases dose 1 mrem/year Every 800 feet increase in altitude increases dose 4 mrem/year

7 Radiation comes from the earth
Radiation comes from the earth Some rocks, like Uranium are radioactive. So are coal and some building materials such as granite. The natural radiation from the granite in Grand Central Station is higher than is allowed to certify a nuclear power plant.

8 Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from inside the earth Usually radon escapes into the air in very small amounts and does not hurt us. However, sometimes radon can get trapped in buildings. Then there is more radiation than is healthy for us.

9 Radiation comes from within our own bodies.

10 Cells in our body contain radioactive elements, such as Potassium, which come from the food we eat

11 Background Radiation Radioactive elements in our bodies

12 Man-made Background Radiation
Other radiation is man-made. Radiation from X-rays, medical isotopes, televisions, smoke detectors, nuclear fuel, and weapons fallout are all man-made sources of radiation.

13 Normal annual exposure from natural radiation
About 300 mrem/yr Radon gas mrem Human body mrem Rocks, soil mrem Cosmic rays mrem Normal annual exposure from man-made radiation About 70 mrem/yr Medical procedures mrems Consumer products mrems One coast to coast airplane flight mrems Watching color TV mrem Sleeping with another person mrem Weapons test fallout less that 1 mrem Nuclear industry less than 1 mrem This slide demonstrates that we all receive a total of about 370 mrem (0.37 mSv) of radiation exposure each year from background sources. The range of exposures from background is very high in different environments. Background radiation increases as a function of elevation, as a function of radon in homes and from natural radioactive materials in the environments. There are some areas where the natural background radiation dose is increased by more than a factor of ten. Many of the man made exposure are being regulated at levels much below background. For example there are some very vigorous discussions on whether the level for exposure from man-made sources should be 15 or 25 mrem per year. Since both of these levels are far below the background level, and the range of background level is so high, it is difficult to justify the needed expense required to comply with the lower standard.

14 Background Radiation The body does not distinguish between natural and man-made. Neither natural nor man-made background radiation has been shown to be harmful. The body has developed repair mechanisms to deal with negative effects of background radiation.

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