b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEbers being set up in the regions air-People and Radioactivity ports to monitor radiation. In addition,the U.S. Weather Bureau, which set upa permanent weather station at the Site,I f a lump of radioactive material sits on a dish on a table, a person nearby would was studying every breeze that blew,want to measure, first, just how radioactive is the material? and second, if the launching balloons and setting up per-person walks or stays too near it, what dose of radioactivity might be received? manent instrumentation. Some of thefirst gauges went up on the Navys oldCuries measure the rate at which atoms in the lump are decaying. Rems wooden water tower, for example, andmeasure the dose that a person might receive from exposure to it. Much depends measured air movements at 75-foot andon whether the person eats, drinks, breathes the material or simply walks past it.150-foot elevations. 18People in the United States receive an average yearly dose of radiation of 360 The State of Idaho also had early con-thousandths of a rem, or millirem. About 82 percent of it is from natural sources cerns about safety, and these had to dolike radon, cosmic rays, rocks, soil, and food. Radiation has been part of the nat- with construction workers. The Idahoural environment for millions of years. Many foods contain radioactive isotopes. legislature had created a Department ofThe amount is so small that it is measured in trillionths of a curie, or picocuries.Labor early in 1949 with a tiny staff ofBeer 390 pCi/liter Whiskey 1,200 pCi/liter three: a commissioner, a safety advisor,Tap water 20 pCi/liter Brazil nuts 4 pCi/gram and an office secretary. 19Milk 1,400 pCi/liter Bananas 3 pCi/gramSalad oil 4,900 pCi/liter Flour .14 pCi/gram When W.L. Robison, the first commis-sioner, realized the impending size ofWe receive doses from other sources: the construction program, he and hisCigarettes, 2 packs/day 8,000 mrem/year polonium-210 safety advisor made their own trekLiving in Salt Lake City 46 mrem/year cosmic radiation from Boise to the Rogers Hotel for aLiving at sea level26 mrem/year cosmic radiation briefing. After being identified by aDental bite-wing X-ray 2-4 mrem formidable array of guards, RobisonChest X-ray 6 mrem wrote later to Governor Robins, weU.S. Capitol Building 20 mrem/working year granite were ushered into Mr. HostettersBase of Statue of Liberty 325 mrem/year granite office. Using a large map showingThe Vatican 800 mrem/year graniteSource: DOE/EM-0065P and other proposed buildings, G.M. Hostetter,chief of the IDO Safety Division,explained how the work wouldprogress. He showed Robison wherethe first-aid station was located, andhow it soon would be enlarged, a full-time nurse and doctor hired, and twoemergency ambulances purchased.Until the road to Idaho Falls was fin-ished, emergencies would go to thehospital in Blackfoot. One of the bigdangers was lead poisoning. All wallsare to be lined with heavy sheet lead,said Robison of one project. WorkersPenetrating power of various types of radiation.6 0'