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External vs. Internal Exposure

Let’s look at route of exposure. When we hear the words “radiation exposure,” we generally think of radiation beaming out from a source or device and striking the outside of our body. However, radiation can also come from radioactive material that leaves its energy in internal organs if ingested, injected, or inhaled. As a result, it is important to consider not only the type of radiation emitted from a source, but also the way it is absorbed. There are three main ways to be exposed to and absorb a dose from radiation: external exposure, internal exposure, and skin contamination.