What is the risk of radiation

The dangers of radioactive radiation

Alpha and beta particles, but also gamma radiation, cause damage in the human body.

All three carry energy with them and can therefore ionize. If this radiation penetrates the matter, so-called ion pairs are generated in it. The radiation is therefore also called ionizing radiation. During ionization, individual electrons are "knocked out" of the atomic shell. The atoms are then no longer neutral, the charge of the excess proton becomes noticeable. They are called positive ions.These ions and the electrons released lead to chemical changes in our body cells and damage the chromosomes. This can lead to cancer, but also to damage to the genetic make-up. Since radioactive radiation does not initially cause pain and diseases often only become noticeable for a long time afterwards, one should never consciously expose oneself to radioactive radiation. As a direct result of radioactivity, the affected cells suffer severe dysfunction. They can no longer divide or even die. The severity of the immediate effects depends on the Radiation dose from. Acute (after minutes or hours) or subacute (after days or months) immediate effects start from 50 rem with nausea and vomiting; bleeding and mucosal ulcers occur between 100 and 300 rem; at 500 rem, half of the irradiated people die; from 1000 Rem there is no chance of survival. In the event of a late effect, the function of the affected cell is not disturbed, but the genetic information in the cell nucleus is changed. As a result of this change, a daughter or grandchild cell can degenerate into a cancer cell after years. Delayed effects are primarily understood to mean cancer, leukemia and hereditary genetic diseases. Every radiation hit can later lead to cancer. Therefore, the dose does not determine the severity of a possible later illness, but only the frequency with which it occurs in the population or the risk for the individual. The development of cancer depends primarily on the cell's repair systems, which are used to repair most of the primary radiation damage. If cancer cells develop from unrepaired damage after years and these are not recognized and killed by the immune system, then cancer develops. In the low dose range, rays have proportionally more delayed effects than in the high dose. For this reason, the dangers of low-dose radiation exposure must never be downplayed. Pregnant women must be protected from radiation because the developing child is particularly sensitive to radiation. In addition to malformations in newborns, cancer and leukemia can develop in later childhood.