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Author Topic: Cosmic Inflight Radiation Recorded on video during flight to Majorca  (Read 20017 times)

Offline Bored chemist

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Is it a Santa Clause?
 

lyner

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Or a sanity clause (Groucho Marx?)
 

Offline lurker

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It's interesting to note that this sort of story always compares radiation doses to chest Xrays. You might wonder why.
Here are some data on the radiation doses from various procedures.
newbielink:http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/safety/index.cfm?pg=sfty_xray&bhcp=1 [nonactive]
As you can see, chest xrays are about the lowest dose on the list. They correspond to the normal background radiation that you would pick up in about 10 days anyway.
The highest exposure listed in AKF's post above (Newark - Hong Kong) is less than that, it's roughly equivalent to 6 days exposure to normal background.

Possibly, though the FDA appears to believe a chest x ray is .02 mSv rather than .1 mSv:
newbielink:http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/CT/risks.html [nonactive]

 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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NASA first investigated the issue in the 1960s and 1970s when it was studying the feasibility of high-altitude supersonic commercial aviation transport, Mertens said. At the time radiation exposure during flight was deemed a negligible health concern for commercial aircraft at cruising altitudes given what was known about radiation and the number and types of flights common at that time.

Concerns have grown for three primary reasons. Pilots log twice as many flight hours now as then, while flight attendants typically log more hours than pilots. Epidemiological studies have shown this type of exposure to be more damaging than previously thought. And, the number of polar flights is increasing, Mertens said.

Airlines prefer polar routes for instance, for certain U.S.-to-northern Europe or U.S.-to-Asia routes because it's a shorter route with reduced head winds, creating fuel savings of tens of thousands of dollars per flight.

Preliminary research indicates that passengers and crews are being exposed to more radiation than previously thought, especially during significant solar events. Mertens analyzed data from a strong solar storm around Halloween 2003 and found that passengers on polar flights for example from Chicago to Beijing were exposed to radiation higher than the limit recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection. In addition, not including new features in the model such as magnetic storm effects on Earth's magnetic field underestimated the exposure during that storm by a factor of four.
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/AGU-NAIRAS.html
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Assuming that factor of 4 applies to all flights (which it doesn't) would mean that, rather than having to fly halfway round the world every week to double your exposure compared to normal background, you would only have to make the flight every month. Of course, it would be difficult to shcedule all your flights during major solar storms.
Still hardly worth panicing about for most of us.
 

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