Radioactivity in the environment comes from natural and man-made sources (Figure 11.22.1). Although natural radioactivity is the most likely to be encountered in the environment due to its widespread dispersal, man-made radioactivity poses the greatest environmental risk. Natural radioactivity harnessed by man and not properly disposed of is also a potential threat to the environment. There are five basic sources of radioactivity in the environment: the nuclear fuel cycle, mining activities, medical and laboratory facilities, nuclear weapons testing and seepage from natural deposits.
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