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Nuclear engineering FAQ

2011 Japan Nuclear Crisis

What is a microsievert or millirem? by trottiey
Posted: 15 Mar 11

Microsieverts and millirems are units of radiation dose that measure biological effect on human tissue.

microsieverts may be abbreviated to µSv
millirems may be abbreviated to mrem

The conversion is
100µSv = 10 mrem = 0.1 mSv = 0.01 rem
There is no easy conversion between counts per minute and microsieverts because they measure different things.

The worldwide average background dose for human beings subject to natural environments is 2400 µSv per year.

An effective dose of 10,000 µSv carries with it a 0.056% chance of developing cancer or other health effect.

For people who receive extremely high doses in short periods of time, (say, in excess of 500,000 µSv in a single day) there is an additional risk of acute radiation poisining.


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