Radiation Doses - CNSC Online

Radiation Doses

Radiation Doses

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Radiation Doses

Briefing

Decorative graphics

A dose of radiation is like a sunburn; its severity depends on the intensity of the source and the amount of time a person is exposed.

A dose is measured in millisieverts (mSv). It is a measure of how radiation is absorbed by the human body.

To keep things simple, we use the abbreviation mSv instead of millisieverts, just like km/h stands in for kilometres per hour.

Radiation Doses

Briefing

These amounts can be vastly different, so it helps to look at them as boxes of radiation dose. The bigger the box, the more radiation it holds.

Here's a way to see how doses are related. The dose from a single x-ray is 200 times smaller than the annual public dose limit for a Canadian, or 20,000 times smaller than the smallest amount known to cause cancer.

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Radiation Doses

Up to 1mSv

Typical dose from living one year within a few km of an operating nuclear power plant in Canada

0.001mSv

1 bone density x-ray

0.001mSv

1 dental x-ray

0.005mSv

Average daily dose from natural background radiation in Canada

0.005mSv

1 panoramic dental x-ray

0.01mSv

Average annual dose due to air travel

0.01mSv

Annual dose from naturally occurring carbon-14 in the body

0.012mSv

Typical cross-Canada flight

0.02mSv

Typical transatlantic flight (Toronto to London)

0.04mSv

Typical chest x-ray

0.1mSv

Typical annual dose from naturally occurring potassium in the human body

0.17mSv

Typical mammogram

0.18mSv

Annual dose from food ingestion

0.29mSv

Annual dose from cosmic radiation

0.32mSv

Typical daily dose received during space missions

0.4mSv

Annual dose from naturally occurring radioactive materials in the earth’s crust

0.48mSv

Typical abdominal x-ray

0.7mSv

Radiation Doses

Over 1mSv

International Commission on Radiological Protection annual public dose limit for artificial radiation

1mSv

CNSC annual public dose limit

1mSv

Typical annual dose received by nuclear power plant workers in Canada

1mSv

Typical annual dose received by uranium mine workers in Canada

1mSv

Average annual dose due to indoor radon in Canada

1.15mSv

Annual average dose to aircrew in Canada from cosmic radiation exposure

1.36mSv

Average annual dose from natural background radiation in Canada (including radon)

1.8mSv

Typical head CT scan

2mSv

Annual worldwide average dose from natural background radiation

2.4mSv

CNSC annual dose limit for pregnant nuclear energy workers

4mSv

Typical chest CT scan

7mSv

Typical pelvic CT scan

10mSv

CNSC annual dose limit for nuclear energy workers

50mSv

The maximum estimated dose to members of the public evacuated following the Fukushima accident

68mSv

Radiation dose from a full body computed axial tomography (CAT) scan

30-100mSv

Lowest dose at which cancer due to radiation has been observed

100mSv

CNSC five-year dose limit for nuclear energy workers

100mSv

Average annual exposures to astronauts working on the International Space Station

150mSv

The maximum allowable short term dose limit to Fukushima responders during the emergency

250mSv

Annual background radiation dose in Ramsar a city in northern Iran

260mSv

CNSC dose limit for nuclear energy workers carrying out emergency work

500mSv

Highest dose received by a worker responding to Fukushima

670mSv

Dose which may cause symptoms of tiredness and nausea if received within 24 hours

1000mSv

Dose which may lead to death if received all at once

5000mSv

Radiation Doses

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