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9 Everyday Sources of Radiation

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Should we be worried?

By Ashlee Davis

Trace amounts of radiation stemming from the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan have been detected across the U.S., worrying many Americans.

Fortunately, most fears are unfounded. "Based on the very low levels that are being talked about now, there’s no reason to be concerned," says G. Donald Frey, PhD, professor of radiology at the Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston.

The radiation from Japan is equivalent to an increase of 0.1 millirem (mrem) per year in background radiation, Arizona officials estimate; that's just a fraction of the 620 mrem the average American gets each year. To put the risk in perspective, here are nine sources of everyday exposure.

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