Irish people exposed to higher radiation levels

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Irish people are exposed to higher levels of radiation than previously thought, with the latest figures from the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) showing nine per cent greater exposure than had been recorded.

The most comprehensive study ever undertaken by the RPII has found that Irish exposure to radiation is more than one third higher than the international average and that the cancer causing gas radon is the primary source of radiation exposure in Ireland.

Exposure to radiation from medial procedures, typically X-Rays is on the increase but radiation doses attributable to the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant are “low”, accounting for just 1 per cent of radiation exposure, according to the report Radiation Doses Received by the Irish Population.

The average dose of radiation that Irish people are being exposed to had been underestimated previously because an absence of national data meant some figures were taken from international averages, the RPII said. The latest study follows three years of analysis of radiation levels in Ireland.

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