Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home
  • Feature #1 - Feature #1 Frequently Asked Questions about Cell Phones and Your Health
  • Feature #2 - Feature #2 Airport Security Scanning and Human Health
  • Feature #3 - Feature #3 Radiation Emergencies

There are many sources of radiation exposure, including natural as well as manmade. For example, people are exposed to varying amounts of radiation from sunlight, rocks and soil, food, water, air, airline travel, some medical procedures, computers, and nuclear weapons test fallout.

Understanding Radiation

Radiation, which exists all around us is characterized in two forms—ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.

Ionizing and Non-Ionizing Radiation

ionizing icon Non-ionizing radiation has less energy than ionizing radiation. Its uses include lasers, microwaves, infrared lamps and radio waves.

The most energetic form of radiation is ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is used to generate electric power, treat cancer, take x-rays and disinfect medical instruments.



Radiation Emergencies
What to do during and after a radiation emergency
Related Links
Radiation resources and references
Radiation and Dose Reconstruction
Dose Reconstruction and Cold War Activities
International Projects
Marshall Islands, Soviet Union Studies
Radiation Dictionary
Helpful radiation terms to know
Additional Resources
Fact sheets on radiation related topics
 

Radon in the Home
Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    (800-232-4636)
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
    Contact CDC-INFO
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
s.pageName=document.title s.channel="NCEH_Asthma"