Fundamental Research Division
From exposure to toxic effects
Radioactivity has been naturally present on Earth since its formation. Artificial radionuclides were much more recently introduced by humans. Some radioactive elements present in the environment today are both natural and artificial in origin (e.g. carbon-14 and tritium).
Humans have always been exposed to natural ionizing radiation. The resulting dose is on average 2.4 mSv per year. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the use of radioactivity in various industries and in medicine has led to the environmental release of artificial radionuclides produced by human activities. The dose attributed to artificial sources is about 1.4 mSv per year.
Natural exposure is due to
Artificial exposure is due to
Artificial radionuclides present in the environment include cesium-137, strontium-90, plutonium isotopes, cobalt-60, iodine-131, carbon-14 and tritium.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.