[ExI] How dangerous is radiation?

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Mon Jul 7 20:56:55 UTC 2014

On Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 8:02 PM, Mike Dougherty  wrote:
> Lots of people get xrays, is that sufficient amount of radiation to
> have noticeable effect?

No. A chest X-ray is negligible. CT scans are more.

>From cancer.org -----
The average American is exposed to about 3 mSv (millisieverts) of
radiation from natural sources over the course of a year. Much of this
exposure is from radon, a natural gas with levels that vary from one
part of the country to another.

For example, because the earth's atmosphere blocks some cosmic rays,
living at a higher altitude increases a person's exposure - residents
in the plateaus of New Mexico and Colorado, have an annual exposure
level of about 1.5 mSv more per year than people living at sea level.
And a 10-hour airline flight increases cosmic ray exposure by about
0.03 mSv.

Smoking a pack of cigarettes a day exposes the smoker to an extra 53
mSv per year. (!!!!!)

A single chest x-ray exposes the patient to about 0.1 mSv.
A mammogram exposes a woman to 0.4 mSv.
A CT scan of the abdomen (belly) and pelvis exposes a person to about
10 mSv, this goes up to 20 mSv if the test is done with and without
Other imaging tests such as ultrasound or MRI don't use ionising radiation.

Personally, I haven't worried since I was bitten by a radioactive spider.


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