It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Originally posted by C0bzz
Also 500 rem might be the fatal dose of radiation poisoning, but it's not really relevant because people in the US aren't being exposed to levels that high. The problem is cancer, not direct radiation poisoning. What you want to find is the amount of radiation exposed they're getting, then multiply that by a risk factor.
Then it provides links to other sources with different risk estimates.
The average person in the United States receives about 360 mrem every year whole body equivalent dose. This is mostly from natural sources of radiation, such as radon. (See Radiation and Us ).
In 1992, the average dose received by nuclear power workers in the United States was 300 mrem whole body equivalent in addition to their background dose....
According to the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation committee V (BEIR V), the risk of cancer death is 0.08% per rem for doses received rapidly (acute) and might be 2-4 times (0.04% per rem) less than that for doses received over a long period of time (chronic). These risk estimates are an average for all ages, males and females, and all forms of cancer. There is a great deal of uncertainty associated with the estimate.
BEIR VII risk estimates for fatal cancer are similar to the values from BEIR V, but they also estimated incidence rates, which were about 50% of the fatal cancer rate.
Risk from radiation exposure has been estimated by other scientific groups. The other estimates are not the exact same as the BEIR V estimates, due to differing methods of risk and assumptions used in the calculations, but all are close.
For more on risk, try:
Health Risk ................Est. life expectancy lost
Smoking 20 cigs a day........... 6 years
Overweight (15%)................... 2 years
Alcohol (US Ave).................... 1 year
All Accidents.......................... 207 days
All Natural Hazards ............... 7 days
Occupational dose (300 mrem/yr) 15 days
Occupational dose (1 rem/yr) 51 days
A 1998 U.S. Army guideline on low-level radiation set 50 cumulative millirems as a threshold at which exposed individuals should begin being monitored for harm.
From 50 to 500 millirems, one extra cancer death will occur in a population of 4,000 people, according to the Army’s data.
Each millirem of radiation we receive increases our risk of cancer by about 1 in 4 million.