1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Radioactivity and Health

  1. Nov 18, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Hello All,

    This question is from my chemistry and health section so it's not really too "chemistry-ish" but rather more mathematical I think. Thanks in advance!

    Q:// Smoking 1.4 cigarettes per day carries a one in a million chance of death compared with driving 50 km by car. How far would you have to drive in your car to have the same risk of death as smoking one package of cigarettes (20 cigarettes)?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    The risk of dying from smoking 20 cigarettes/day increases ~14 folds from smoking just 1.4 cigarettes a day (20/1.4=14.28) which means that the distance driven in the car must also increase 14 fold since they both have a 1 in a million death risk…so 50 km x 14 = 700 km....would this be correct?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Probability and statistics. 700's gotta be the answer they want. The problem stinks. Smoking has cumulative effects on health, and comparing that "risk" to risk of sudden death by mechanical trauma is worse than "apples to oranges."
  4. Nov 18, 2014 #3
    Thank you!
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Threads for Radioactivity Health
Radioactive decay of CaCO3