What is background radiation?

Radiation which comes from natural sources in the environment is known as “background radiation”.  This includes things like radiation emitted from naturally occurring radioactive materials, such as natural Uranium in the ground and its decay products such as radon, or the Carbon-14 and Potassium-40 in every persons body.  It also includes cosmic rays from the sun.

The chart here provides more details on the sources of background radiation.


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