Risk factors. Although the symptoms of radiation sickness aren’t noticeable until a person receives a high dose of it, it is possible for a person to develop the condition if they are subjected to small doses of it on a regular basis. So those who work in areas where medical tests that use radiation are done, such as hospitals and medical clinics, should always leave the room whenever the equipment is in use. It is also important to keep cellphones in an area that is away from the body and limit the amount of time that is spent watching television and using other electronic devices. Some research has shown that smoking can contribute to radiation sickness too because of a chemical that they contain that breaks down into polonium 210.