Sources of ionizing radiation
examines the sources of both natural and artificial radiation.
Ionizing radiation enters our lives in a variety of ways.
It arises from natural processes, such as the decay of uranium in the Earth, and from artificial procedures like the use of X rays in medicine.
So we can classify radiation as natural or artificial according to its origin. Natural sources include cosmic rays, gamma rays from the Earth, radon decay products in the air, and various radionuclides found naturally in food and drink.
Artificial sources include medical X rays, fallout from the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, discharges of radioactive waste from the nuclear industry, industrial gamma rays, and miscellaneous items such as consumer products.
Later chapters have more information on both classes of source.