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What is radiation?

In the modern world it happened that we are surrounded by many harmful and dangerous things and phenomena, most of which are the work of man himself. In this article we will talk about radiation, namely: what is radiation.

The concept of "radiation" comes from the Latin word "radiatio" - radiation. Radiation is ionizing radiation propagating in the form of a stream of quanta or elementary particles.

What does radiation do

Ionizing this radiation is called because radiation, penetrating through any tissue, ionizes their particles and molecules, which leads to the formation of free radicals, which lead to a massive death of tissue cells. The effect of radiation on the human body is destructive and is called radiation.

In small doses, radioactive radiation is not dangerous, unless dangerous doses to health are exceeded. If the irradiation rate is exceeded, the development of many diseases (up to cancer) can result. The consequences of minor exposures are difficult to track, since diseases can develop for many years and even decades.If the exposure was strong, then this leads to radiation sickness, and to human death, such types of exposure are possible only in case of man-made disasters.

Distinguish between internal and external exposure. Internal exposure may occur when eating irradiated foods, inhaling radioactive dust, or through the skin and mucous membranes.

Types of radiation

  • Alpha radiation is a stream of positively charged particles formed by two protons and neutrons.
  • Beta radiation is the radiation of electrons (particles with a charge -) and positrons (particles with a charge +).
  • Neutron radiation is a stream of uncharged particles - neutrons.
  • The emission of photons (gamma radiation, x-rays) is electromagnetic radiation with high penetrating power.

Radiation sources

  1. Natural: nuclear reactions, spontaneous radioactive decay of radionuclides, cosmic rays and thermonuclear reactions.
  2. Man-made, that is, man-made: nuclear reactors, particle accelerators, artificial radionuclides.

How is radiation measured

For an ordinary person, it is enough to know the dose and the dose rate of radiation.

The first indicator is characterized by:

  • Exposure dose, it is measured in X-rays (P) and shows the strength of ionization.
  • Absorbed dose, which is measured in Grays (Gy) and shows the scale of the lesion.
  • Equivalent dose (measured in Sievert (Sv)), which is equal to the product of the absorbed dose and the quality factor, which depends on the type of radiation.
  • Each organ of our body has its own coefficient of radiation risk, multiplying it by an equivalent dose, we get an effective dose, which shows the magnitude of the risk of the consequences of exposure. It is measured in Sievert.

The dose rate is measured in P / h, mSv / s, that is, it shows the strength of the radiation flux during a certain time of its exposure.

Measure the level of radiation, you can use special instruments - dosimeters.

Normal radiation background is considered to be 0.10-0.16 μSv per hour. A radiation level of up to 30 μSv / h is considered safe. If the radiation level exceeds this threshold, the residence time in the affected area is reduced in proportion to the dose (for example, at 60 μSv / h, the exposure time is no more than half an hour).

What radiation is removed

Depending on the source of internal exposure, you can use:

  • When emissions of radioactive iodine - take up to 0.25 mg of potassium iodide per day (adult).
  • For excretion of strontium and cesium, use a diet high in calcium (milk) and potassium.
  • To remove other radionuclides, you can use the juice of highly colored berries (for example, dark grapes).

Now you know the danger of radiation. Be alert to signs that indicate infection zones, and stay away from these zones.


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