HKNIC - Radiation in Our Daily Life
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Radiation in Our Daily Life
Radiation and radioactive substances are everywhere and have been around since the universe was born. We are exposed to radiation all the time. Radiation reaches us from outer space and is also emitted from radioactive substances in the ground, in the sea and in the air. Even our bodies are radioactive. Nowadays we are also exposed to radiation that we create, from X-rays used in medicine, from televisions and from certain types of measuring equipment in industry. Apart from the very narrow spectrum of visible light, radiation cannot be seen, touched or tasted, but can only be measured by scientific instruments.
Radiation in Our Daily Life
Radiation in Our Daily Life
The amount of radiation that we receive is called the radiation dose, which is measured in milliseiverts. The dose depends on our exposure to cosmic rays, the geology of the location where we live, the building materials used for our home, the food we consume, the medical treatment we receive and our way of life, such as air travel or smoking. The radiation around us that comes from naturally occuring radioactive sources is called “background radiation”. It varies from place to place but in Hong Kong, we are typically exposed to 3 millisieverts of radiation each year. We would receive a higher dose if, for example, we needed medical treatment or diagnosis that involved radiation.