Your chances of exposure are higher if you are near sources that make it.
Health problems may not happen in everyone. Having a
does expose you to some radiation. The dose and risk for health problems is low. Other tests, like
CT scans, expose you to higher doses. Health risks from CT scans, while still small, are higher than from
The higher the exposure, the more likely there will be problems.
Cancer may take years to grow after exposure. Common types are:
Brenner DJ. Should we be concerned about the rapid increase in CT usage? Rev Environ Health. 2010;25(1):63-68.
Colang JE, Killion JB, Vano E. Patient dose from CT: a literature review. Radiol Technol. 2007;79(1):17-26.
Frequently asked questions on potassium iodide (KI). US Food & Drug Administration website. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/EmergencyPreparedness/BioterrorismandDrugPreparedness/ucm072265.htm#KI%20do. Updated October 14, 2016. Accessed July 23, 2018.
Gross whole-body contamination. Radiation Emergency Medical Management website. Available at: https://www.remm.nlm.gov/ext_contamination.htm#wholebody. Updated March 15, 2018. Accessed July 23, 2018.
How to perform a survey for radiation contamination. Radiation Emergency Medical Management website. Available at: https://www.remm.nlm.gov/howtosurvey.htm. Updated August 25, 2017. Accessed July 23, 2018.
Radiation and potassium iodide (KI). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://emergency.cdc.gov/radiation/japan/ki.asp. Updated October 17, 2014. Accessed July 23, 2018.
Radiation emergency medical management: choose appropriate algorithm—evaluate for contamination and/or exposure. Radiation Emergency Medical Management website. Available at: https://www.remm.nlm.gov/newptinteract.htm#skip. Updated March 15, 2018. Accessed July 23, 2018.
Sun and other types of radiation. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/radiation-exposure.html. Accessed July 23, 2018.
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.