United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Dose

A general term, which may be used to refer to the amount of energy absorbed by an object or person per unit mass. Known as the “absorbed dose,” this reflects the amount of energy that ionizing radiation sources deposit in materials through which they pass, and is measured in units of radiation-absorbed dose (rad). The related international system unit is the gray (Gy), where 1 Gy is equivalent to 100 rad. By contrast, the biological dose or dose equivalent, given in rems or sieverts (Sv), is a measure of the biological damage to living tissue as a result of radiation exposure. For additional information, see Doses in Our Daily Lives and Measuring Radiation.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, November 20, 2014