Risk of exposure to radiation in the Canton of Zurich

We are surrounded by natural and man-made sources of radiation. While this radiation is often beneficial and even necessary, exposure to certain types of radiation can be hazardous. We were commissioned by the Canton of Zurich to examine the degree to which the canton’s residents are exposed to dangerous forms of radiation.

Life on earth would be inconceivable without radiation. For instance, radiation from the sun travels to the earth in the form of light and heat. Radiation is also generated wherever electricity flows. Radiation enables the broadcasting of information via radio and television, and electric lights allow us to see at night, while also increasing our sense of security and comfort. Tiny amounts of radiation are emitted by rock and soil in the form of natural radon. Radiation is also used in medicine for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. However, while radiation is essential for life and offers many benefits, it is also potentially hazardous.

Working on behalf of the Government Council of the Canton of Zurich, the cantonal Office of Waste, Water, Energy and Air (WWEA) drafted a catalogue of the various types of radiation (both non-ionizing and ionizing) to which the canton’s residents may be exposed, identified the risks of such exposure and proposed a number of measures to lower the risks.

Working together with the WWEA, EBP developed an appropriate method for determining the specific relevance of the radiation types listed in the catalogue and assisted with various other project-related tasks.

The Communications Team at EBP drafted the layout for the final report.

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