[ RadSafe ] "exposure" to radiation in other languages

Ansari, Armin (CDC/CCEHIP/NCEH) asa4 at cdc.gov
Mon Aug 25 12:09:42 CDT 2008

Dear radsafe colleagues,

As you are well aware, we always have difficulty communicating the
concept of "exposure" to non-radiation audiences in plain English.  This
is because the word "exposure" in case of chemical and biological agents
means coming in contact with something - similar to how we use
"contamination".  Exposure to radiation of course means just that, no
contamination.  This distinction is second nature to us, but very
difficult to get across even to a highly-educated audience.  We find the
word "irradiation" works better than exposure, but so much of our
technical literature and fact sheets still use the word exposure.

I was wondering if a similar difficulty is encountered in languages
other than English.  What words are used for "exposure" and
"contamination" and if the word used for exposure to chemicals or
biological agents creates the same communication issues in those

If you can reply to me off-line with information about any other
languages you know, I would appreciate it very much, and I would later
share a summary with the group.

Thanks in advance!


Armin Ansari, PhD, CHP
Radiation Studies Branch, EHHE, NCEH
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, GA 30341-3717
Phone: 770-488-3654
FAX: 770-488-1539
asa4 at cdc.gov 

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