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Radiation Protection

About radiation

Radiation is energy given off by atoms and is all around us. We are exposed to radiation every day from natural sources like soil, rocks, and the sun. We are also exposed to radiation from man-made sources like medical X-rays and smoke detectors. We're even exposed to low levels of radiation on cross-country flights, from watching television, and even from some construction materials. You cannot see, smell or taste radiation. Some types of radioactive materials are more dangerous than others. So it's important to carefully manage radiation and radioactive substances to protect health and the environment.

About radiation protection

The Office of Radiation Protection in Washington works to protect the health and safety of people in Washington from unnecessary exposure to radiation. Radiation exposure can come from many sources including X-rays, radioactive materials, nuclear power plants, and radioactive waste sites like Hanford.

Environmental Sciences 

Monitors and assesses radiation in the air, water, soils, and foods.  

Radioactive Air Emissions 

Enforces compliance with the federal and state Clean Air Acts for radionuclides at nuclear facilities statewide.

Radioactive Materials

Licenses and inspects radioactive materials used in industry, research and in the healing arts. 

Radiological Emergency Preparedness

Coordinates actions to protect the public from radiation exposure and response to a major accident involving radiation.

Waste Management

Licenses and regulates the commercial low-level radioactive waste disposal site, uranium millsite, and radioactive waste processors.


Regulates machine-generated sources of radiation: dental, veterinary, radiographic, fluoroscopic, therapeutic, computed tomography (CT), mammography and non-medical units used for industrial applications.