Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Understanding Radiation Dosage Levels (XKCD.com)

While XKCD is best known for its very funny web comic, occasionally Randall Munroe, the author, uses his graphic skills for more serious purposes.  Recently, he created one of the most useful charts I have seen.  The chart compares radiation doses at various levels to each other and puts these dosages in terms of everyday experience.

While Munroe is quick to point out that "the author is not an expert, and that anyone potentially affected by Fukushima should always defer to the directives of regional health authorities", Munroe has consulted with experts and the chart is still worth sharing.

For more background on the chart and the sources used on the chart, click here; For a full size version of the chart, click here.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As someone who lives in Japan and was 45 km from the power plant (moved 150 km away now) the chart does not calm me any.

I mean I am no expert either but comparing X microsieverts of iodine-131 from a nuclear reactor to the same dosage from potassium-40 from a banana or cosmic rays from an airplane flight is like apples and oranges.