The first time most people heard of radiation was probably when we dropped atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. The destruction and death they caused made radiation scary.

But radiation has been around for as long as there’s been an earth. Millions of years.

Each of us is bombarded every second of every day by radiation from space. From the ground. Cosmic rays. If you like to tan by the pool, that’s radiation, from the sun. If you stay in the shade, you’re still getting radiation from the ground. In central Texas, where we live, it’s about 23 millirems a year. In Denver, it’s about 90 millirems.

In case you’re wondering, a millirem is one-thousandth of a rem, a Roentgen Equivalent Man. Rems measure radiation exposure. Like using inches to measure distance.

Ready for more?

Texas A&M Engineering Works: Radiation