What’s Your Radiation Dose?

Yes, indeed, you do have one. It’s rather surprising that many people simply don’t realize that radiation exists naturally all around us, and is part of our everyday lives—whether we are aware or not.

So become aware! Click the image below to visit the quick and easy ANS Interactive Radiation Dose Chart

dose chart linker 301x198

The average radiation does for a person living in the United States is about 6.2 milliSieverts (mSv) per year. About half is from natural background sources, and about half from medical diagnostics and treatments.

For a quick primer on the basics of radiation, see the Radiation page at NuclearConnect. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a highly informative page on Radiation Doses In Perspective. And for more perspective, also recommended is a recent post Get a grip on radiation, people at idigumining.

This chart from xkcd is a very interesting graphical comparison of radiation doses from many sources. Also, this chart (along with a click of the magnification button) from Information Is Beautiful is, well, beautifully portrayed, although do keep in mind it’s logarithmic so it can fit on one page.

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2 Responses to What’s Your Radiation Dose?

  1. James Greenidge

    Nice chart, but a little too involved for a layperson to grip I believe. Why not a much simple linear chart of health impact equivalence? (what similar health impacts incurred by common substances with a certain level of milliSieverts)

    (inaccurate just examples)
    .2 milliSieverts (mSv) = 1 puff from a cigarette (all in equivalent health impact).
    .3 milliSieverts (mSv) = passing through someone’s cloud of cigarette smoke in a terminal.
    6.2 milliSieverts (mSv) = a waft of barbecue smoke at you or from a autumn bonfire or fireworks display.
    9.
    10.2 milliSieverts (mSv) = A whiff of chlorine bleach while doing laundry.
    12.1 6.2 milliSieverts (mSv) = fumes from a passing bus or truck.
    3.6.2 milliSieverts (mSv) = 2 minutes next an idling bus or truck in a tunnel or underground parking garage.

    Etc, my example numbers are all wrong but you get my drift. Take the arcane mystery terror out of milliSieverts by breaking it down to Joe six-pack comprehension!

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

  2. ansnuclearcafe

    Excellent idea – let us see what we can do with this – thanks!