Radiation inside us why we are exposed daily

(ORDO NEWS) — Virtually everything we encounter contains radioactive materials: the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the ground we walk on, and the consumer goods we use every day. Why, even your own body is phoning!

At the same time, when many people hear the word “radiation”, they imagine the nuclear mushroom of the atomic bomb and the mutant monsters that inhabit the world of science fiction, but radiation itself can help diagnose and even treat serious diseases. So how much radiation do we get every day and how dangerous is it for our health?

According to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, about half of all the radiation we encounter each year is background radiation. You don’t have to live across the fence from a nuclear power plant or take an x-ray every day to get a dose of radiation.

Why so much radiation?

Let’s start simple. Love bananas? Excellent and very useful fruit. It contains fiber, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins, ascorbic acid. They also contain the isotope potassium-40. This fruit is so common around the world that there is even an unofficial household measure of BED radiation – Banana Equivalent Dose.

Okay, to hell with bananas. Almost all types of nuts, sunflower seeds, potatoes, zucchini and pumpkins, as well as all legumes – all this and many other products contain radium, potassium-40, iodine-131, polonium-210.

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Why do they have so much radiation? One of the main sources of radiation is the earth’s crust. Its level of radiation depends on the location and concentration of a particular radionuclide.

On average, the surface layer of fertile soil measuring 40×10 meters and one meter deep contains almost a kilogram of potassium-40, a couple of kilograms of uranium and six kilograms of thorium.

The concentration of radioactive gas Radon in the bathroom is three times higher than its concentration in the kitchen and 40 times in living rooms

The radiation background is not only for products. Radioactive gas radon is constantly accumulating in your kitchen and bathroom. It has no taste or smell, it enters our bodies not through food, but through the respiratory tract.

Radon is found in natural gas and drinking water, so if these rooms in your apartment are not equipped with an exhaust hood, then you are at risk. It’s no joke – the concentration of this gas in the bathroom is three times higher than its concentration in the kitchen and 40 times in living rooms. Keep this in mind the next time you take a long shower.

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Water is not the only source of radiation in an apartment. Brick, concrete, wood, ceramic tiles – all this is also very bright. Of particular note is the granite. It contains radioactive uranium and thorium because these elements are found in the magma that eventually made granite.

Do not forget to add radiation from household appliances here. No, we are not talking about a microwave, just it does not pose a danger. An ordinary TV is a real radioactive villain, from which you receive up to 10 microSv of radiation per year.

Is it possible to hide from the radiation?

Let’s say you want to escape radiation and flew to a desert island. By the way, the higher you rise from the surface of the Earth, the less the atmosphere of our planet protects you from cosmic radiation. On average, you receive a dose of 5 μSv per hour of flight.

But we digress. You live on an island without a TV and away from concrete with ceramic tiles. The bad news: the sun is one of the main sources of natural radiation. That is, even if you do not eat bananas and do not take a shower, then you are still irradiated.

What’s more, your body itself is relatively radioactive: the natural amount of carbon-14 present in the human body allows archaeologists to determine the age of the remains.

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And finally. You can do x-rays, x-rays and CT scans every month, fly once a week on an airplane and overeat bananas, but all this cannot be compared with smoking.

The radiation in cigarettes doesn’t come from the chemical additives that everyone warns smokers about, it’s the tobacco itself. Just as bananas and nuts become radioactive, so too can tobacco plants absorb radioactive radium, lead-210, and polonium-210 from fertilizers and soil.

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