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I estimate my radiation dose for my day as ...

Displaying poll results.
Zero bananas equivalent
  2295 votes / 8%
Between 0 and 3 bananas equivalent
  8548 votes / 31%
Between 3 and 6 bananas equivalent
  2997 votes / 10%
Between 6 and 12 bananas equivalent
  1465 votes / 5%
A whole bunch!
  3853 votes / 14%
You are ignoring my preferred way to measure radiation.
  8241 votes / 30%
27399 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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I estimate my radiation dose for my day as ...

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  • by Macman408 (1308925) on Friday March 25, 2011 @01:22AM (#35608306) just not possible. One banana is about 0.01 mrem. According to the NRC's annual radiation dose calculator [], I get about 301.016 mrem per year. On a daily basis, that means 0.8247 mrem, or about 82.5 bananas per day. That makes for quite a large bunch (at least, by grocery store standards - Wikipedia says they grow in 3-20 tiers per cluster, with up to 20 fruits per tier).

    • Agreed - about 100 bananas for an average person, about 400-500 bananas for anyone who took a plane flight today.
      At time of writing - the poll is showing most people have chosen 0-3 bananas...
      (sigh) I weep for our children.
      • by OzPeter (195038)

        (sigh) I weep for our children.

        well be thankful that the people who are grossly underestimating how much radiation they are getting probably won't capable of having any children!

      • by jlar (584848)

        "(sigh) I weep for our children."

        Yes, Somebody Think of The Children. We need a moratorium on banana sales for the sake of the children.

      • by jekewa (751500)

        I answered honestly, based on my exposure to eating bananas, which is accurately 0-3 per day.. Some days none, most days one, some days more than one, very rarely 3 or more. <grin/>

      • by rcpitt (711863)
        Damn - so you're telling me that my third arm is because my parents fed me so much mashed bananas when I was young? Wow - and I thought it was from working in the high energy physics lab.
    • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <> on Friday March 25, 2011 @09:10AM (#35610246) Journal

      Came here to post the same thing. I used the handy XKCD radiation chart [] to conservatively estimate that I'm receiving at least 100 banana's worth per day.

    • by rubycodez (864176)
      surprised they don't teach the old school "banana is half a nanoCurie" anymore
    • Since GameboyRMH already posted the xkcd reference I'll just say that what you see in a grocery store is a "hand" of bananas. Several "hands" come from a bunch.
    • Well, now I don't trust the banana eating analogies. :(

    • Brazil nuts [] offer a much higher unit of measurement for today's discriminating radiation consumer, now with Radium!
    • by Mr.Intel (165870)
      Yeah, but have the NRC sampled the radiation flux in my mom's basement? I suspect no sunlight means less dose. Which slashdotian wants to calculate and subtract the rad flux from sun exposure, then account for my mom's cement walls and heavily iron-laden soil to give an approximate BED for me?
  • by skine (1524819) on Friday March 25, 2011 @01:51AM (#35608402)

    Somehow, we've found a poll with worse numbering than the one that assumed most people were born within 20 miles of their current home. []

    At least it was possible for someone to live within 20 miles of home. Here, though, the only option that's possible to select is the last. That is, unless a "bunch" is defined as "all of the bananas found in a typical large grocery store."

    • by colmore (56499)

      Truly this will go down in history as THE worst poll. Until the next one.

      Not only does it make no sense and show about 3 minutes of thought, but it's also hilariously, almost autistically, insensitive. I can only figure that they were trying to spark some kind of discussion about radiation measurement systems, like this was an episode of xkcd or something. This is easily the laziest news publication that anyone takes even halfway seriously.

      They have a tremendous and valuable readership and a brand name,

      • by colmore (56499)


        How can I delete my account?
        You can't. The system needs to keep track of the users, so accounts are permanent. Don't sweat leaving unused accounts hanging around. It doesn't hurt anything.

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      Here, though, the only option that's possible to select is the last. That is, unless a "bunch" is defined as "all of the bananas found in a typical large grocery store."

      Wrong. The question isn't "How much radiation do you get in a day", the question is "How much radiation do you estimate you get in a day". I estimate my radiation dose to be between 3 and 6 bananas. My estimate is way off, but at least I'm not some loser who wikipedias radiation doses before answering a Slashdot poll.

  • by sackvillian (1476885) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:02AM (#35608434)

    The 'TSA': the level of radiation received from an airport body scanner. As in, you have the 'freedom' to opt to receive a TSA rub-down or a TSA of radiation on each and every flight.

    The only potential problem with this unit is that nobody has any idea of its size.

    • opt to receive a TSA rub-down

      I prefer the colloquialism: Freedom Grope

  • Living in Tokyo I've had some motivation to check on this recently, and calculated then that my background radiation exposure corresponds to eating about 2 bananas every three hours... I'm not sure how much I might be getting from food and water, but let's say the total is around 30. That's somewhere around 4 whole bunches, but I don't see an option for that you insensitive clod!
  • Radon (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cgomezr (1074699) on Friday March 25, 2011 @05:14AM (#35609096)

    I live in an area with lots of underground granite that emits radon. The background radiation here is estimated to be around 12 mSv/year. That's around 32 uSv/day, i.e., 320 bananas. More like a crate than a bunch, I'd say.

  • by dermond (33903) on Friday March 25, 2011 @05:34AM (#35609174) [] from the article:

    Bananas are radioactive—But they aren't a good way to explain radiation exposure. When you eat a banana, your body's level of Potassium-40 doesn't increase. You just get rid of some excess Potassium-40. The net dose of a banana is zero.


    Many common artificial radioisotopes are categorically more dangerous than the type of radioisotope naturally in bananas, even if the equivalent dose (Sv) is reported as the same. Nuclear power accidents tends to release radioiodine, which is known to be especially dangerous to children because it concentrates in the thyroid gland. Other radioisotopes may accumulate in the lung. The dose from potassium in bananas is less harmful because it is distributed more evenly throughout the body, and does not accumulate.

    i might loose some carma points for pointing this out on a /., though.

  • "I live in a stone, brick, or concrete building, you insensitive clod!"

    According to the radiation dose chart, that gets you 70 uSv, equivalent to about 2 bananas. []

  • I estimate my daily dose of background radiation to the equivalent of well over 100 bananas.

  • I've been eating, on average, 3 bananas per day for most of my adult life. They are an excellent source of potassium, fructose, and fiber.

    After a 100 mile bike ride, electrolytes are usually in short supply, so a banana replaces lost potassium quickly. Also, fructose repletes lost glycogen in the liver more quickly than glucose. The fiber ensures I crap regularly.

    I find it really stupid that one of the most healthy foods on the planet is being demonized because a minuscule amount of the potassium in them is

  • Here's the chart that you can derive your Daily Radiation Dosage (and put it into Banana form) []
  • 1 Million Bananas (and a hat).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This poll wrongly lumps all "radiation" together into the trivial effect that a banana has. The is a gross overgeneralization, and a severe distortion of the facts -- this is nearly as bad as people who claim that microwaves, radio waves and ultraviolet radiation are all also radiation, and therefor, since we use ultraviolet radiation to get vitamin D, a little radiation might actually be good for us.

    This is very wrong. Not only are some kinds of radiation more hazardous than others (eg, alpha vs neutron ra

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday March 25, 2011 @10:21AM (#35611168) Homepage

    Day-oh Day-oh
    Daylight come and me wanna go home (x2)

    Work all night with uranium
    Daylight come and me wanna go home
    Set the fuel rods 'til morning sun
    Daylight come and me wanna go home

    Come, Mr. Manager, count up the megawatts
    Daylight come and me wanna go home (x2)

    It's 6 rem, 7 rem, 8 rem boom!
    daylight come and me wanna go home (x2)

    • by rubycodez (864176)
      haha! suggested change: at a nuke plant, it's the "rad safety officer tallies up the millirem"
    • by blair1q (305137)

      I plead hastiness and fall on the mercy of the moderators of the redundancy mods.

  • I average between 40 and 45 mSv per year. Considering that a banana is 0.1 microSv, that's a hell of a lot of banana equivalents.

    That being said, I am a physician that works in a cardiac cath lab. Even with adequate (including eye) shielding, I expect to get early cataracts due to my exposure. I'm not complaining. I get paid enough to deal with it. :)

    And if you're worried about the techs and nurses that work with me: None of them are *ever* closer to the active radiation source than me during a case, u

    • Ops. I was looking at my yearly dose. Daily is probably 1/365th of that, or ~110 microSv.

    • Is that 40 mSv absorbed dose, or is that measured outside your shielding?

      It sounds like a lot, given that radiation workers have a dose limit of 50mSv per year, and 100mSv over a year is positively correlated with cancer... :/
  • by thomasdz (178114) on Friday March 25, 2011 @01:03PM (#35613012)

    I measure my radiation in units of mutant superheroes.

    Japan is currently at 3 Fantastic Four, 8 Hulk

  • Handy Chart (Score:4, Informative)

    by RichMan (8097) on Friday March 25, 2011 @01:28PM (#35613368)

    Courtesy of XKCD here is a handy chart of exposure levels:

    1 banana = 2x sleeping next to someone who would have known ?

  • I'm in a chemistry lab frequently, and deal with a guy whose primary research interest is ornanometallic complexes involving actinides, especially those of uranium (depleted, but still).

    So probably "many" bananas.

    • by dbIII (701233)
      If you don't have to wear a dosimeter than probably next to no extra bananas. It's called depleted for a reason. If it was active then somebody would take radiation safety seriously or the lab could face expensive consequences.
      Then again, you jumped at shadows as the person with "coal is full of radioactive carbon OMFG" (carbon14 half life 5730 years - coal age hundreds of millions of years). You didn't apologise for a blatant lie about fly ash toxicity either but that's a different topic.
      • by jo_ham (604554)

        Yes, hence my "many" bananas comment, and the general issue with simplifying radiation exposure down to simple units like this (and yes, on the Banana Equivalent Dose scale, living 50 mile from a coal plant is 3 bananas per year, while living 50 miles from a nuclear plant is 1 banana per year - because coal is radioactive, like I have been saying all along - albeit *slightly*, partially due to C14, and partially due to other elements in it like uranium, thorium, etc that are also present in minute quantitie

        • by dbIII (701233)

          albeit *slightly*, partially due to C14

          How the fuck do you expect that to happen in amounts worth mentioning after hundreds of millions of years? Don't tell me you think the earth is only 6000 years old or some weird shit about radioactive decay changing over time.

          There's still no "lie" about fly ash - it is a toxic, nasty substance, albeit one that can be reprocessed into useful materials

          Yes - "processing" as in getting a lot of it together, squashing it into a brick and applying a bit of heat to get it t

          • by jo_ham (604554)

            How do I expect it to happen? Oh who knows! But put a piece of coal in front of a counter and you can observe that it is radioactive! Oooh! Bill O'Riley style "You Can't Explain That!!" shock horror.

            It has a 6000 year half life, and tends to build up in plants due to its formation (neutron capture by nitrogen > oxidation into CO2 > uptake by plants), so either it's there in trace amounts via contamination (eg, due to water taking organic matter into the rocks that contain the coal), or via other mecha

      • by AJWM (19027)

        "coal is full of radioactive carbon OMFG" (carbon14 half life 5730 years - coal age hundreds of millions of years).

        You're correct about the carbon-14. However, coal is full of radioactive thorium. In fact, if you extracted the thorium and put it in a (suitably designed) nuclear reactor, you'd get more energy out of it than you would by burning the coal it came in.

  • Which cultivar are these amounts based on? []
    A metric banana or an imperial banana? :)
  • Time to split!
    Of course danger depends on the type of radiation instead of the amount but if all you've got to measure stuff is fogged film or geiger counters what can you do? A volkswagen full of bananas of x-ray radiation would be ignorable while a neutron source emitting at the same rate as a few bananas would have a non-trivial chance of giving you cancer after a while.
  • I'm on the Ann Coulter plan.

  • by BatGnat (1568391) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @03:23PM (#35631774)
    Six foot, Seven foot, Eight foot.....Bunch!

"I think trash is the most important manifestation of culture we have in my lifetime." - Johnny Legend


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