Overview

It’s in the soil, water and the light from the sun. We may not feel it, but, every day, we’re exposed to many forms of natural radiation in addition to man-made sources such as that from cell phones and X-rays.

  • Fig. 1: Types of radiation in daily life. The electromagnetic spectrum covers a wide range of wavelengths.

    What Is Radiation?

    Radiation, taken from the Greek “radius” (meaning beam of light) is the outward emission of energy from a central source.

  • Fig. 1: Sources and distribution of average radiation exposure to the world’s population.

    Radiation Sources

    Radiation is, and always has been, a natural part of our environment. Consequently, a range of different sources – both natural and man-made – contribute to our exposure to ionizing radiation in daily life.

  • Radiation in Medicine

    Benefits and Risks of Radiation

    It’s a natural conundrum! Being exposed to too much radiation can be harmful, if not lethal. On the other hand, without radiation, we wouldn’t benefit from the heat of the sun and life wouldn’t exist as we know it.

  • Fig. 1: Röntgen's name is chiefly associated with his discovery of the rays that he called X-rays.

    History of Medical Radiation

    X-rays were discovered by Wilhelm Röntgen in 1895. Within six months, they were being used to locate bullets in wounded soldiers and today they form the center of many areas of medical diagnosis and treatment.

  • xray-easily-explained

    Videos: X-ray easily explained

    Watch “X-ray easily explained” a generally understandable explanation in 20 short episodes. From the basics over medical usage to dose reduction.

Last updated: Oct 10, 2011

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