# Question Video: Describing the Effect of Multiple Doses of Nuclear Radiation Science

A technician in a nuclear waste storage facility receives a very small radiation dose every day that they work. Which of the following statements correctly describes the effect this has on their health? [A] The more days the technician works, the more harm they suffer from nuclear radiation. [B] The dose that the technician receives is never large enough to harm them, and so their health is unaffected.

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### Video Transcript

A technician in a nuclear waste storage facility receives a very small radiation dose every day that they work. Which of the following statements correctly describes the effect this has on their health? (A) The more days the technician works, the more harm they suffer from nuclear radiation. (B) The dose that the technician receives is never large enough to harm them, and so their health is unaffected.

We have here a scenario where a nuclear technician receives a very small dose of radiation every day that this person goes to work. Because this daily dose is so small, receiving it on any given day is unlikely to lead to a negative health effect. But the thing is, the technician is exposed to this very small dose day after day after day. Damage caused to the body by nuclear radiation is cumulative. This means that every time a person is exposed to nuclear radiation, it adds to the likelihood that they will be harmed.

By way of analogy, consider a person who gets a sunburn. Getting burned by the sun once is painful but likely won’t have any negative long-term health effects. However, if a person gets a sunburn day after day, after week, after month, after year, those small bits of daily damage to the skin will add up. In the long term, the likelihood of this person developing skin cancer increases.

A similar principle applies for our nuclear technician. The more days the technician works, the more cumulative harm they suffer from nuclear radiation. A solution, of course, is for the technician to stop going to work. But that’s something they can work out with their supervisor.

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