Radiation Exposure and Sources Copy

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It is important to identify radiation sources and minimize radiation exposure to the human body. According to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, “in 2006, Americans were exposed to more than seven times as much ionizing radiation from medical procedures as was the case in the early 1980s.” Medical or “man-made” exposure constituted nearly half of the total radiation exposure of the U.S. population from all sources and was primarily a result of the growth in the use of medical imaging procedures.

Especially important in efforts to minimize radiation exposure is the recognition that 50% of the average dose of Ionizing Radiation to US citizens is due to background radiation, which comes from natural radiation in soil and rocks (terrestrial), radon gas, radiation from space (cosmic) and radiation sources that are found naturally within the human body (internal) (Figure 1-4).