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If a person is subjected to a certain amount of radiation whenever they fly, how is it safe for airline pilots to fly every day? I also heard that some people say airline pilots can be considered "radiation workers." What does this mean?
Question Date: 2008-01-21
Answer 1:

Actually, everyone is exposed to some radiation nearly constantly, even people that don't fly. However, it is important to point out that it is a very, very low amount which doesn't cause any significant damage or negative health effects. Because this radiation comes from outer space, it means that the higher up you go in altitude or in the atmosphere, the more radiation you will receive. This means that airline pilots do get exposed to more of this radiation, although it is still not enough to cause any serious harm. The amount of radiation they receive over their lifetimes is considered to be safe.

The term "radiation worker" refers to anyone who works with radiation or with materials that are radioactive. Because airline pilots do receive an increase in radiation compared to average people on Earth, they are sometimes classified as "radiation workers".

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