This project is an ongoing survey of the background radiation counts as determined by geiger counters at locations throughout the world. The data will be posted at DATA FROM THE BACKGROUND RADIATION SURVEY PROJECT after it is received and verified.

If you wait a minute or two and you have the Quicktime 3 plug-in, you should be able to hear a half-minute sound loop of actual background radiation count clicks from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. The random clicks on the recording show 16 counts per minute.

Any persons (minors with adult supervision) with the know-how and equipment are invited to submit the background count for their locations. This includes teachers or students at schools of any level (K-12 and beyond). Then the data will be posted as it is received and the participants will be able to use the data in other studies of their own design. They may then submit their results to the Project Director to be posted on this website.

Participants need to have experience in using geiger counters and minors need to be supervised by a knowledgeable adult. No radioactive substances are needed for this survey as the background radiation is always there. More than one person may work on this project but the observation should be submitted by one main observer who should be an adult. They can be analog or digital and the counts may even be made by actually counting the number of clicks per minute. Try to convert the counts per minute to microroentgens/hour when submitting data. That value depends on your instrument calibration. The Project Director is using an RM-60 Micro-Roentgen Radiation Monitor interfaced with a laptop PC. This instrument is available from Aware Electronics Corp. of Wilmington, DE.

The monitor is placed in a FilmShield lead bag(available from Photo supply stores) to keep the radiation count down from possibly picking up strong radiation sources in the area. This also keeps down the possibilty of particles in the air causing any false readings. The background radiation count should be taken and averaged over a period of time. 60 minutes or more is what the Project Director usually takes.

This is an educational project and the results will be reliable only if the observers submit accurate data. Participants may then use the results in other projects. Some possibilities are correlating the background counts with disease statistics gathered from other sources or with the variables of location and time (observers may submit additional background counts if they are found to vary significantly with the date or time). Reports on these projects may be then submitted to the Project Director for possible posting at this website.
If it is more convenient for you to send the data by email that will be acceptable. But please be sure to include all of the information requested on the form. This can be in any text format.

Fill in the background count radiation count and other data for your location.


(Do not hit return after any entry)

Observer's Name:


Observer's E-Mail Address (for verification):





Location's latitude:


Location's longitude:


Altitude of Observation:


Average Background Radiation Count per minute:


Date of Observation:


Starting and Ending Times of Observation (GMT):


Number of Minutes Observed:


Type of Geiger Counter Used:


Describe how you made your observations and note any unusual circumstances and possible sources of error in your observations typical of your region? Have you compared your observations with published ones for your area? How confident are you in the accuracy of your observations (Give a %)

You can check out the current background radiation in Pittsburgh by going to the
Radiation Levels in Pittsburg site of Robert Thibadeau.

Find the current background radiation in Longmont, Colorado by going to the
Background Radiation in Longmont, CO site which makes use of an RM-60 from Aware Electronics.

Find the current background radiation in Boston, Mass. by going to the
Boston Live Radioactivity Monitoring website which makes use equipment from Aware Electronics.

Find out how to measure the 10% of the background radiation that comes from outer space by going to
Monitoring Muons on the Surface of the Earth website.

Visit the new Aware Electronics site at the Jacobi Hospital, Bronx, NY by going to the
Urban Radiation Net.

From here you can go to the Cybermeme Website

© 1998-2007, James A. Petrait, Project Director, Background Radiation Survey (permission is given to use posted data)

Send e-mail to James A. Petrait: