Radiation exposure

Exposure denotes the totality of all environmental impacts (biological, chemical or physical) to which objects or living organisms, especially humans, are exposed. If the impact is radiation, it is called radiation exposure.

In the case of humans, a distinction is made between

  • whole-body exposure, where the whole body is exposed to radiation, and
  • partial-body exposure, where individual organs, tissues or body parts are exposed to radiation.

In the case of external radiation exposure, the radiation source is outside the body.

The term internal radiation exposure is used if radionuclides are incorporated through breathing (inhalation) through food or drinking water (ingestion) or through open wounds and hence represent a radiation source inside the body.