[ RadSafe ] Radiation from xenon in california put in perspective

Nathan Russell windrunner at gmail.com
Sun Mar 20 10:53:35 CDT 2011

We don't seem to have a very good source for the amount of radiation
detected from the Xenon picked up in California (I've seen things like
"a billionth the amount that could be dangerous", but as a tie-in to
the chart recently posted on XKCD,


I wrote the following facebook comment:

Ok, I think I saw an article about a "millionth of background"
detected in California. So that would be 10 pSv/day. So if a square
centimeter of blue is .3 uSv (300,000 pSv), which looks right
eyeballing, it's 3,333 square microns. Or a ......square say 57
microns on a side. A human red blood cell is about 7 microns in
diameter, so an area of 38. Take 88 red blood cells, paint the tops
blue, put them on that chart, and if I haven't screwed up any math,
that's the daily dose to your friends in CA. On the day the xenon was

Please do check my math...  but hopefully someone can use it to
further calm paranoia.


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