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Protecting Yourself from Radiation

Radiation is part of our life. Background radiationHelpBackground radiationRadiation that is always in the environment. The majority of background radiation occurs naturally and a small fraction comes from man-made elements., coming primarily from natural minerals, is around us all the time. Fortunately, there are very few situations where an average person is exposed to uncontrolled sources of radiation above background. Nevertheless, it is wise to be prepared and know what to do if such a situation arises.

One of the best ways to be prepared is to understand the radiation protection principles of time, distance and shielding. During a radiological emergency (a large release of radioactive material into the environment), we can use these principles to help protect ourselves and our families.

Time, distance, and shielding actions minimize your exposure to radiation in much the same way as they would to protect you against overexposure to the sun:

EPA's use of time, distance and shielding in radiation protection