Concerns about Radiation

A brief article in the June 2011 issue of “Redbook Magazine” discussed radiation and when to be concerned.

“Radiation is all around us.  When should you worry?


[2011] nuclear crisis in Japan sparked not only debate about the safety of power plants but also fear over radiation we encounter every day.  But Henry Royal, M.D., a nuclear medicine specialist at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in St. Louis, offered this reassurance: The doses of radiation that traveled from Japan and our daily exposures are too small to pose much risk.  Radiation is a weak carcinogen, so only much larger amounts harm your health, he says.  Experts discourage unnecessary exposure, but this factoid puts the danger in context: To hit the upper yearly exposure limit for nuclear power plant workers, a person would have to get a heart CT scan, 10 mammograms, about 252 chest X-rays, and spend about 100 hours in an airplane…[here’s] how much radiation you get from common sources.

Acute radiation sickness begins: 100,000 millirems (mrems)

Annual recommended limit for nuclear power plant workers: 5,000 mrem

Getting a cariac CT scan: 2,000 mrem

Getting a whole-body CT scan: 1,000 mrem

Living at high altitude (radiation from the atmosphere): 52 mrem/year

Getting a mammogram: 42 mrem

Smoking a pack of cigarettes: 36 mrem

Living at sea level (normal radiation from the atmosphere): 26 mrem/year

Having a chest X-ray taken: 10 mrem

Traveling in an airplane: 0.5 mrem/hour

Having a dental X-ray taken: 0.5 mrem”

By | 2017-02-02T20:45:53+00:00 September 21st, 2013|Dental, General Dental Information, General Health|