Columbia Generating Station
Sources of Radiation
We live in a radioactive world—humans always have. Radiation is part of our natural environment. We are exposed to radiation from materials in the earth itself, from naturally occurring radon in the air, from outer space, and from inside our own bodies (as a result of the food and water we consume). This radiation is measured in units called millirems (mrems). The average dose per person from all sources is about 360 mrems per year. It is not, however, uncommon for any of us to receive far more than that in a given year (largely due to medical procedures we may undergo). International Standards allow exposure to as much as 5,000 mrems a year for those who work with and around radioactive material. The following document is published by the American Nuclear Society and provides information on common sources of radiation.
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