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How much radiation exposure is needed to develop radiation sickness?

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Radiation is measured in an international unit called a sievert. Symptoms of radiation sickness show up when you're exposed to more than 500 millisieverts, or half a sievert. More than 4 to 5 sieverts is likely to be fatal. You get about 3 millisieverts, or three one-thousandths of a sievert, each year from radiation in the air, the water, and materials like brick or granite. Man-made sources like X-rays add about another 3 millisieverts. A CT (computerized tomography) scan, which is several X-rays taken from different angles, delivers about 10 millisieverts. People who work in the nuclear industry can't be exposed to more than 50 millisieverts a year.

From: What Is Radiation Sickness? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Radiation Effects Research Commission: "Frequently Asked Questions."

Garau, M. , July 2011. Reports of Practical Oncology and Radiotherapy

U.S. Atomic Energy Commission: "Medical Effects of Atomic Bombs."

World Health Organization.

International Atomic Energy Agency.

Health Physics Society: "Doses from Medical X-Ray Procedures."

The Mayo Clinic: "Radiation Sickness."

Baverstock, K. , May 2006. Environmental Health Perspectives

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on October 28, 2018

SOURCES:

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Radiation Effects Research Commission: "Frequently Asked Questions."

Garau, M. , July 2011. Reports of Practical Oncology and Radiotherapy

U.S. Atomic Energy Commission: "Medical Effects of Atomic Bombs."

World Health Organization.

International Atomic Energy Agency.

Health Physics Society: "Doses from Medical X-Ray Procedures."

The Mayo Clinic: "Radiation Sickness."

Baverstock, K. , May 2006. Environmental Health Perspectives

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on October 28, 2018

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