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?

The [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][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”[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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