How much radiation exposure do I get from air travel?

There have been many studies on radiation doses from air travel.  Health Canada has a webpage with information on the topic of cosmic radiation and air travel. In addition, the Health Physics Society in the US has a public information page dealing specifically with this question.

Another excellent resource is the bilingual on-line calculator that allows you to calculate the cosmic radiation dose you might expect to receive during a flight, based on departure point, destination, and flight date and time (). To toggle between languages, click on the French or UK flag in the lower right corner. The web site is published by the Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire (IRSN), the French institute of expertise in radiation protection and nuclear safety. It provides information on cosmic radiations, doses and health effects.

From this data, a typical cross Canada flight from Toronto to Vancouver would result in a personal dose of about 0.03 mSv, which is ten time less than the annual exposure to cosmic radiation for any Canadian, an less than 2% of the Canadian average annual dose from natural sources of background radiation.

Air crews who fly all the time typically receive total professional annual doses on the order of a few mSv in addition to their exposure to natural radiation background.  This level of exposure is well below the annual dose limit applicable for Nuclear Energy Works in Canada, which is 50 mSv in any one year and 20 mSv/y, when averaged over a 5 year period.


About the Author:

  Related Posts
  • No related posts found.