A34 Equivalent dose H Sv

Biological effects caused by radiation are dependent not only upon the dose absorbed (Gy) but also, and above all, upon the kind of radiation. "Sparsely" ionizing radiations such as gamma-rays, X-rays or beta-rays are less effective in damaging then "densely" ionizing radiation such as alpha particles or fission fragments. In order to take into account this difference, a corrective weighting factor dependent on the kind of radiation and energy has been introduced. Weighting factors range from 1 (for photons or electrons) up to 20 (for alpha particles), and is dimensionless (see Figure A.1). Those specific for neutrons are given in Figure A.2. [IRCP, 1990].

Radiation and energy

Weighting factor, wr

Photons, all energy

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