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Radioactivity 3. Background radiation. 'Mr. Average UK‘ – Background dose. Background radiation. There are radioactive substances all around us, including in the ground, in the air, in building materials and in food. Radiation also reaches us from space.

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Radioactivity 3

Radioactivity 3

Background radiation



Background radiation
Background radiation

  • There are radioactive substances all around us, including in the ground, in the air, in building materials and in food.

  • Radiation also reaches us from space.

  • The radiation from all these sources is called background radiation.


Background radiation1
Background Radiation

  • Most of the background radiation dose we receive in the UK is from natural sources (about half is inhaled as radon gas).

  • About 15% of our annual dose comes from human activities such as X-rays in hospital or at the dentist or emissions from nuclear establishments.


Your background radiation dose
Your Background Radiation Dose

The radiation dose you get in a year depends on:

  • where you live (the rock type in your locality),

  • your state of health (whether you require treatment or investigation in hospital that involves ionizing radiation ),

  • your diet (salt substitutes contain potassium rather than sodium and the percentage of potassium that naturally occurs in the radioactive form is higher than that of sodium),

  • your occupation (do you work in an environment that exposes you to nuclear radiation?)


Experiments
Experiments

  • You need to count the background radiation before you perform an experiment.

  • The background count can then be deducted from the count in your experiment.


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