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Most web articles related to negative health effects of radiation and radiation exposures from various sources (diagnostic scans, natural background radiation etc.) compare risk levels in terms of the total dose received rather than dose rate. Does it mean that someone is exposed to a slightly higher than average levels of natural background radiation for say 5 years have the same risk of developing radiation-induced chronic illness as compared to someone who underwent a medical X-ray scan (significantly higher dose rate than background radiation, but short-term exposure) once during 5 years but whose total radiation exposure during that period was the same as the first person? Does only the net dose and not the dose rate matter as long the the dose rate is below some threshold?

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