[ RadSafe ] xkcd: Relative Radiation Dose chart

Hansen, Richard HansenRG at nv.doe.gov
Tue Mar 22 14:19:52 CDT 2011


Here are two other relative radiation dose charts.

Nicole Metting, the Program Manager at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Low Dose Radiation Research Program, has compiled two "Ionizing Radiation Dose Range Charts," intended as a simple, user-friendly, "order-of-magnitude" reference for radiation exposures of interest to scientists, managers, and the general public." The same information is shown in two charts, one in units of rem and one in sieverts.

In regards to cancer risk and 10 rem [100 mSv] "threshold," these charts state the following:
"Evidence for small increases in human cancer above 10 rem [100 mSv] acute exposure or 20 rem [200 mSv] chronic exposure."

For the PDF version of the charts:

The DOE Low Dose Radiation Research Program funds basic research to determine the responses induced by radiation exposures at doses of 10 centigray (cGy) [10 rem and 100 mSv for gamma radiation] and below. Program research will provide a scientific underpinning for future radiation protection standards.

I encourage anyone who has questions about the cancer risks for "low" doses of radiation to contact the experts at the DOE Low Dose Radiation Research Program. Nicole Metting has been very helpful in the past when I needed some assistance for our training materials.

Best regards,

Rick Hansen
Senior Scientist
CTOS - Center for Radiological/Nuclear Training at the Nevada National Security Site
National Security Technologies, LLC
Contractor to the United States Department of Energy
Office: 702-295-7813
Cell:    702-630-1131
hansenrg at nv.doe.gov<mailto:hansenrg at nv.doe.gov>

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Message: 1
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 08:51:03 -0300
From: Sandra Matzkin <matzkin at invap.com.ar<mailto:matzkin at invap.com.ar>>
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] xkcd:  Relative Radiation Dose chart
To: "The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing
                List"       <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu<mailto:radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>>

Thank you for all your comments and references. The HPS paper (Position Statement of the Health Physics Society) is particularly interesting and balanced.

This question came to me a few days ago when I heard a RP expert explanation addressed to a general (but educated) public. I was surprised to see the 100 mSv (10 rem) threshold stated as a fact. Now I see that it is more widely accepted than I initially thought.

Best regards,


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