Radiation Exposure Graphic

Great visual depiction of the magnitudes of radiation exposure from Scientific American.



4 Replies to "Radiation Exposure Graphic"

  • Mike Lawrence
    May 3, 2011 (11:26 am)

    Unfortunately the human visual system tends not to accurately discriminate differences between circular areas. The XKCD graphic you posted a while ago, using square areas, was much better.

  • Alex VanderWoude
    May 5, 2011 (12:37 am)

    I would like to submit the following table that I made a few months ago based on the xkcd cartoon data. It is, in my opinion, an even better way to explain to a layman the various dosages.

    Eating one banana: 0.1 uSv
    Average background daily dose: 10 uSv (100 bananas)
    Flight from New York to Los Angeles: 40 uSv (400 bananas)
    Living in a stone, brick, or
    concrete building for a year: 70 uSv (700 bananas, 2 per day)
    Yearly dose from the
    body's natural Potassium: 390 uSv (3,900 bananas, 11 per day)
    Mammogram: 3 mSv (30,000 bananas)
    Mild radiation poisoning: 400 mSv (4,000,000 bananas)
    Severe radiation poisoning: 2 Sv (20,000,000 bananas)
    Fatal radiation poisoning: 8 Sv (80,000,000 bananas)

    In March 2011, two sites 50 km from the Fukushima Daiichi reactors registered daily doses of about 3.6 mSv (36,000 bananas), although other sites closer to the reactors were only barely above normal.

    Ten minutes next to the reactor core at Chernobyl after the explosion and meltdown were 50 Sv (500,000,000 bananas).

  • Jaro
    May 12, 2011 (7:05 pm)

    I posted the following comment on SCientific American's facebook page a couple of times, but still no reply — they seem to be totally unresponsive to readers' comments…..

    Regarding your May 2 graphic “Radiation Sources Range from Cigarettes to CT Scans”, please explain where you got the figure of 72mSv/year for "Astronaut on space station" in this graphic.
    As best I can tell, this is LESS than the dose rate for the crew of a jet flying at 60,000 feet altitude (depending on trajectory latitude).
    This and other sources state that astronauts on ISS get about 1mSv/day – or around 360mSv/year: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_

  • Kevin
    May 13, 2011 (9:55 am)

    There seems to be some disagreement on exposure.

    "Average exposure on the ISS is a rate of 150 mSv per year, though crew rotations are shorter than that.[10] Astronauts on Apollo and Skylab missions received on average 1.2 mSv/day and 1.4 mSv/day respectively."

    "Crews aboard the space station receive an average of 80 mSv for a six month stay at solar maximum (the time period with the maximum number of sunspots and a maximum solar magnetic field to deflect the particles) and an average of 160 mSv for a six-month stay at solar minimum …"

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