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Terrestrial radiation only includes sources that remain external to the body.

The major radionuclides of concern are potassium, uranium, and thorium and their decay products.

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In addition to this internal exposure, humans also receive external exposure from radioactive materials that remain outside the body and from cosmic radiation from space.Because of this, the present activity on Earth from uranium-238 is only half as much as it originally was because of its 4.5-billion-year half-life.Potassium-40 (with a half-life of 1.25 billion years) is at about eight percent of its original activity.Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. 1979, 1986 © Harper Collins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source (rā'dē-ō-mět'rĭk) A method for determining the age of an object based on the concentration of a particular radioactive isotope contained within it.For inorganic materials, such as rocks containing the radioactive isotope rubidium, the amount of the isotope in the object is compared to the amount of the isotope's decay products (in this case strontium).

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