About the Book

Welcome to our site. You will find answers to many of the questions you may have about radiation, including a link to calculate your annual dose, under the I Want to Know More About Radiation tab.

If you have a question or comment for us, please find our contact information under the Authors tab.

And if you do not have the book, what follows is the flap copy from the jacket.

Earth, born in a nuclear explosion, is a radioactive planet; without radiation, life would not exist. And while radiation can be dangerous, it is also deeply misunderstood and often mistakenly feared. Now Robert Peter Gale, M.D,—the doctor to whom concerned governments turned in the wake of the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters—in collaboration with medical writer Eric Lax draws on an exceptional depth of knowledge to correct myths and establish facts.

Exploring what have become trigger words for anxiety—nuclear energy and nuclear weapons, uranium, plutonium, iodine-131, mammogram, X-ray, CT scan, threats to the food chain—the authors demystify the science and dangers of radiation, and examine its myriad benefits, from safely sterilizing our food to the relatively low-risk fuel alternative of nuclear energy. This is the book for all readers who have asked themselves questions such as: What kinds of radiation, and what degree of exposure, cause cancer? What aftereffects have nuclear accidents and bombs had? Does radiation increase the likelihood of birth defects? And how does radiation work?

Hugely illuminating, Radiation is the definitive road map to our post-Chernobyl, post-Fukushima world.

Praise for Radiation

“Gale and Lax aim to fill in the gaps in public understanding of all things nuclear, and they are adept at doing so. Throughout the book they present a host of interesting facts and figures in humorous and accessible prose, and their explanation of the biological effect of internal radiation is excellent.


These days we can measure radiation incredibly accurately, but are not good at putting health risks from radiation into perspective with all of the other risks that threaten our health. This book does a good job at explaining radiation and what it does, both good and bad. Radiation is integral to our planet and its use will shape our future here. In Radiation, Gale and Lax help us understand how and why.”

Read the full review »

–New Scientist

“An invaluable guide for negotiating an increasingly radioactive world.”

–Publisher’s Weekly

“‘Virtually everything is radioactive, including us.’ The opening line of this stellar book underscores the omnipresence of radiation, yet, as physician Gale and science writer Lax point out, most people know little about the topic… Gale and Lax objectively present the danger and value of radioactivity. In content and writing, Radiation absolutely glows.”