The Seattle Times Web Edition: 50 Years from Trinity

How hot are you? Answer these questions and find out.

The following simple way of calculating how much radiation you receive each year calculated in a unit known as millirems, is distributed by the Radiation Protection Division of the White Sands Missile Range.

For context, nuclear-industry workers must not be exposed to more than 5,000 millirems per year under federal rules, and employers usually impose a limit of 2,000 millirems annually.

Fill in the blanks below to get an idea of how much radiation in millirems YOU'RE exposed to each year.


                                     PLACE
RADIATION SOURCE                     FIGURE HERE
----------------                     ---------
Radiation from the sun and outer
space reaches the Earth:             28 millirems 

Some radiation is stopped by the
atmosphere. Look up the elevation
of the place where you live and 
enter it here. (Every 100 feet
above sea level adds 12 millirems)    feet

Building materials are radioactive.
If your house is brick or concrete,
add 70. If it's wood, add 30:        30 70
                                        millirems
Ground radiation (U.S. average) 26 millirems Water, food, air (U.S average) 28 millirems Fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests (before 1963): 4 millirems How many persons do you spend 8 hours a day with?(Each person will add 0.1 millirem to total) people How many dental X-rays have you had this year? (Each adds 14 millirems) X-rays How many miles have you flown in a jet airplane during the year? Each 1,500 miles adds 1 millirem) miles Do you live within 5 miles of a nuclear or coal-fired power plant? It will add .3 millirem. No Yes

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