Radiation facts and health effects

Here are 20 Interesting Facts on Radiation. All the American flags placed on the moon are now white due to radiation from the sun.

Radiation facts and health effects

People are exposed to natural sources of ionizing radiation, such as in soil, water, and vegetation, as well as in human-made sources, such as x-rays and medical devices. Ionizing radiation has many beneficial applications, including uses in medicine, industry, agriculture and research.

As the use of ionizing radiation increases, so does the potential for health hazards if not properly used or contained.

Acute health effects such as skin burns or acute radiation syndrome can occur when doses of radiation exceed certain levels. Low doses of ionizing radiation can increase the risk of longer term effects such as cancer.

What is ionizing radiation?

Radiation facts and health effects

Ionizing radiation is a type of energy released by atoms that travels in the form of electromagnetic waves gamma or X-rays or particles neutrons, beta or alpha.

The spontaneous disintegration of atoms is called radioactivity, and the excess energy emitted is a form of ionizing radiation. Unstable elements which disintegrate and emit ionizing radiation are called radionuclides. All radionuclides are uniquely identified by the type of radiation they emit, the energy of the radiation, and their half-life.

The activity — used as a measure of the amount of a radionuclide present — is expressed in a unit called the becquerel Bq: The half-life is the time required for the activity of a radionuclide to decrease by decay to half of its initial value.

The half-life of a radioactive element is the time that it takes for one half of its atoms to disintegrate. This can range from a mere fraction of a second to millions of years e. Radiation sources People are exposed to natural radiation sources as well as human-made sources on a daily basis.

Natural radiation comes from many sources including more than 60 naturally-occurring radioactive materials found in soil, water and air.

Radon, a naturally-occurring gas, emanates from rock and soil and is the main source of natural radiation. Every day, people inhale and ingest radionuclides from air, food and water.

Radiation Protection

People are also exposed to natural radiation from cosmic rays, particularly at high altitude. Background radiation levels vary geographically due to geological differences.

Exposure in certain areas can be more than times higher than the global average. Human exposure to radiation also comes from human-made sources ranging from nuclear power generation to medical uses of radiation for diagnosis or treatment.

Today, the most common human-made sources of ionizing radiation are medical devices, including X-ray machines.Cell Phones and Cancer Risk. On This Page. However, although many studies have examined the potential health effects of non-ionizing radiation from radar, microwave ovens, cell phones, and other sources, there is currently no consistent evidence that non-ionizing radiation increases cancer risk.

The health effects of exposure both to radiation and to chemical cancer-inducing agents or toxins must be considered in relation to time.

There is cause for concern not only about the effects on people presently living, but also about the cumulative effects of actions today over many generations.


The real effect of cell phone radiation. The health effect of cell phone radiation varies from person to person and is directly related to the amount of exposure the person has had, but many of the more common health effects of mobile phone EMR include nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, hearing loss, migraine headaches, neurosis of the brain, and .

Radiation facts and health effects

In fact, your TV even picks up some of the radiation left over form the Big Bang! There is no escaping it. These are 25 intense facts about radiation and its crazy effects!

Exposure to very high levels of radiation, such as being close to an atomic blast, can cause acute health effects such as skin burns and acute radiation syndrome (“radiation sickness"). It can also result in long-term health effects .

Consequently, radiation may have one of three biological effects, with distinct outcomes for living cells: (1) injured or damaged cells repair themselves, resulting in no residual damage; (2) cells die, much like millions of body cells do every day, being replaced through normal biological processes; or (3) cells incorrectly repair themselves, .

Cell Phones and Cancer Risk Fact Sheet - National Cancer Institute