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What Is Radiation | Radiation Basics

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Key Points

• People are exposed to natural and human-made sources of radiation every day.
• More than 60 naturally occurring radioactive materials, such as radon gas, are found in soil, water and air. Terrestrial and
cosmic radiation on average represent about 80% of a person’s annual dose of background radiation.
• Human-made radiation sources include medical devices like X-ray machines, and nuclear power plants. Canadians receive
more than 100 times more radiation naturally through the food we eat than from Canada’s nuclear power plants.
• Scientists have developed many beneficial uses of radiation to help global challenges including food safety, disease diagnosis
and treatment, and safety testing.
• Exposure risk is determined by 3 factors—distance from the source, the amount of exposure, and the level of shielding.
• The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, an independent agency, regulates nuclear energy and materials to protect the
health and safety and security of Canadians and the environment.

Click here to download the What Is Radiation | Radiation Basics Nuclear Fact Sheet in PDF format.

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