Background radiation

We are all exposed to radiation everyday just through living our lives.

The amount that we are exposed to varies depending on the activities that we undertake, where we live etc. However, the average values are shown in the pie chart.

Radioactive radon gas

Is a natural gas exposure varies across the UK and if you want to find out the levels in your area you can do so here.

Medical radiation

This is the average exposure over the population. Some people will have no exposure over a year.

Terrestrial gamma radiation

Radiation from buildings and the ground.

Cosmic radiation

Radiation from space that reaches the earth.

Intake of radionuclides

Some food and drink such as bananas and brazil nuts contain small amounts of naturally occuring radioactive material.

The average annual background dose in the UK is 2.7mSv of which 2.2mSv is from natural sources.

We can put the risk from medical radiation into context by how long you would need to get the same dose from natural background radiation.