Answer to Question #11800 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Environmental and Background Radiation

The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:


Could you point me in the direction of reliable information on worldwide background radiation levels? I have a colleague who is helping to set up a radiology program in Kosovo, and he is looking for information. If you could point me to a reliable source I would greatly appreciate it.


The best source of information I have found about radiation levels around the world is the United Nations Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) Report 2000 ( In this report, Table 31 on page 140 tabulates worldwide average annual effective doses from natural radiation sources. This report also provides much detailed discussion about background radiation levels in the texts of Annex B, Exposures From Natural Radiation Sources, and in Annex C, Exposures to the Public From Man-made Sources of Radiation.

UNSCEAR has published several additional reports since UNSCEAR 2000 that your colleague may also find of interest. These reports can be downloaded from

Linnea Wahl, CHP

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