Personal Radiation Exposure - Activity Sheet

 

Average Personal Radiation Dose

Every day each of us is exposed to radiation: ultraviolet light from the sun, x-rays, warmth from other people, and a vast spectrum of electromagnetic waves. Some of these are very high energy and potentially dangerous. Exposure to these should be limited. Some radiation exposure is unavoidable, such as the cosmic radiation from space. Some radiation is permitted for medical or health benefits.

Use the information below to calculate your exposure to radiation for the past calendar year. This is only an estimated value.

Type of Radiation

Amount of Radiation in mrem

From Space

 

Cosmic radiation at sea level - 26

26

For your elevation (in feet) add:

 

1000 feet add 2

 

2000 feet add 5

 

3000 feet add 9

 

4000 feet add 15

 

From the Ground

16

(for the Atlantic Gulf Coastal Plain)

 

From Food, Water and Air

24

From Building Materials

 

If you live in a wooden structure -5

 

If you live in a brick structure -7

 

From Jet Plane Travel

 

For each 2500 miles add 1

 

From Nuclear Fuel Plants

 

Average dose is .1 mrem if there are one or more plants in your state.

 

Virginia has two nuclear plants.

 

From Radioactive Waste Disposal

 

Average US dose is 1.0

 

From Medical Diagnosis

 

x-rays: chest - 6

 

pelvis and hips - 65

 

arms, hands, legs, feet - 1

 

skull, head, neck - 20

 

mammogram - 400

 

From Cigarette Smoke

 

If you are exposed to cigarette smoke on a regular basis add 100-500

 

(Add 500 if you are exposed every day for 8 hours or more)

 

If you smoke one pack of cigarettes or more a day add 1500

 

 

 

TOTAL