Cosmic Ionizing Radiation while flying at high altitudes


My wife and I flew from Bellingham, WA to San Diego, CA today on Allegiant Airlines.  We took a reading at Bellingham International Airport and background radiation was 0.11uSv/hr.  We were shocked to watch the geiger counter climb to nearly 30 times that level within the first hour of our flight.  We reached a max of 3.00uSv/hr.  The average for the flight was about 2.5uSv/hr.  At that rate, we were exposed to approximately 6.25uSv total.  A chest x-ray is approximately 20uSv.  Had we remained on the ground, we would have only been exposed to 0.3uSv total, dramatically less than flying.

This isn’t anything new, there are countless documents about it including this briefing from the Centers for Disease Control.  They refer to the radiation as “cosmic ionizing radiation”….how fun!

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