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Radon is a decay product of uranium, which is relatively common in the Earth’s crust but more concentrated in ore-bearing rocks scattered around the world.
Radon seeps out of these ores into the atmosphere or into ground water; it can also infiltrate into buildings.
An airline crew typically gets an extra dose on the order of 2.2 m Sv (220 mrem) per year.
Terrestrial radiation only includes sources that remain external to the body.
Gaseous ionization detectors use the ionizing effect of radiation upon gas-filled sensors.
If a particle has enough energy to ionize a gas atom or molecule, the resulting electrons and ions cause a current flow, which can be measured.
The major radionuclides of concern are potassium, uranium, and thorium and their decay products.
Some of these decay products, like radium and radon, are intensely radioactive but occur in low concentrations.
When these detectors’ sensitive structures are based on single diodes, they are called semiconductor diode detectors.
The immediate dose from cosmic radiation is largely from muons, neutrons, and electrons, and this dose varies in different parts of the world based on the geomagnetic field and altitude.