The mission of the AERB is to ensure the use of ionising radiation and nuclear energy in India does not cause undue risk to the health of people and the environment.

Background Natural Radiation

Background radiation, i.e., ionizing radiation present in the environment may be from natural origin or artificial/man-made sources. Natural background radiation sources are cosmic rays and terrestrial sources, natural radioactive material such as radon from ground, building walls and floors, and traces of naturally occurring radioactive material in food and drinks. Artificial or man-made origin includes radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons test and major nuclear accidents, medical diagnostic and therapeutic use of ionizing radiation, X-ray machines, particle accelerators, consumer products and transport of radioactive materials.

Worldwide average of effective dose from background natural radiation is about 2.4 mSv/year (2400 Sv/year). In Kerala coast this is about 12.5 mSv/year. In northern Iran, this value is about 260 mSv/year [5,6].


1 Gy = Deposition of 1 J/ kg of matter or tissue.

1 Sv = Biological effect of deposition of 1J/kg of human tissue, i.e. effective dose.

The background natural radiation in India is shown in the Figure 1 below [10]:

Figure 1: Natural Background Radiation in India



Courtesy=Public perceptions about atomic energy myths vs. Realities &ndash DAE

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