What is Background Radiation?

Naturally-occurring background radiation is the main source of exposure for most people. Levels typically range from about 1.5 to 3.5 millisievert per year but can be more than 50 mSv/yr.


Ionising Radiation

Ionizing radiation occurs in two forms, rays and particles, at the high frequency end of the energy spectrum. Ionising radiation produces electrically-charged particles called ions in the materials it strikes.


What are health risks from Ionising Radiation?

At very high levels, radiation can cause sickness and death within weeks of exposure. But what are the chances of developing cancer from low doses of radiation? 


Nuclear Radiation and Health Effects

Natural sources account for most of the radiation we all receive each year. Up to a quarter originates mainly from medical procedures. Radiation protection standards assume that any dose of radiation, no matter how small, involves a possible risk to human health. This deliberately conservative assumption is increasingly being questioned.

Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Materials NORM

Radioactive materials which occur naturally and where human activities increase the exposure of people to ionising radiation are known by the acronym 'NORM'. NORM results from activities such as burning coal, making and using fertilisers, oil and gas production.