To understand the effects of nuclear_radiation: Gamma and X radiation, first review what Gamma and X radiation is. Then we will review the uses of these types of radiation.
Gamma radiation along with X radiation are the most dangerous and serious of the 5 types of radiation. They also have the greatest potential for beneficial use.
Gamma radiation and x rays are electromagnetic radiation like visible light, radio waves, and ultraviolet light. These electromagnetic radiations differ only in the amount of energy they have. Gamma rays and x rays are the most energetic of these.
Along with X rays, Gamma radiation is also highly penetrating. In most instances, X radiation or X rays are more powerful than Gamma Radiation.
Both Gamma radiation and X rays are able to travel several feet in air. On reaching human tissue, they can travel several inches in human tissue.
Sealed radioactive sources, containers and machines that emit gamma radiation and x rays pose the greatest risk to humans.
The difference in the two types of radiation is that X-rays are emitted by electrons outside the nucleus, while gamma rays are emitted by the nucleus.
In some instances, such as astronomy, Gamma Rays and X-rays are defined by energy because the source of their production is uncertain.
One common gamma-ray emitting isotope is Technetium-99. It is used in cancer radiotherapy and produces gamma radiation with energy similar to a diagnostic X-ray machine. This produces considerably lower energy than the X-rays used in cancer radiotherapy.
Gamma-ray imaging allows viewing inside a large semi trailer or ship container.
Gamma radiation is also used to kill living organisms. In a process called irradiation, medical equipment is sterilized, bacteria that causes decay is destroyed in foods. Fruits and vegetables are helped to maintain freshness and sprouting is prevented.
Since they can penetrate human tissue, gamma rays/X-rays are used in a number of medical procedures. CT scans, radiation therapy, and the Gamma Knife are a few of the applications. Gamma rays also play a role in medical diagnosis. Gamma-emitting radioisotopes (such as technetium-99) are administered to a patient and when looked at with a gamma camera, it is possible to use the image to diagnose a wide range of conditions (such as spread of cancer to the bones).
Gamma Knife Surgery involves multiple concentrated beams of gamma rays are directed at the cancerous growth. The several beams are aimed from various angles to focus on the growth. Each individual beam provides a minimal exposure. This results in less damage to surrounding tissues. The combination of all the beams is disruptive to the cancerous cells.
The molecular changes can also be used to alter the properties of semi-precious stones, and is often used to change white topaz into blue topaz.
As a form of ionizing radiation, gamma rays can cause serious damage when absorbed by living tissue, and they are therefore a health hazard.
Ionizing radiation can cause molecular changes. This increases the risk of cancer should the radiation affect the DNA. Incidentally, one of the functions of glutathione is to protect the DNA.
After exposure to gamma radiation and subsequent damage to the DNA double helix, a cell has the potential to repair itself. Glutathione is involved in this repair.
One theory of radiation poisoning holds that continuous low dose exposure cannot be fought off by the body. It is possible that small alterations or defects, even genetic ones can not be detected by the cell prior to replication. Thus the potential for mutation (Study by Rothkamm and Lobrich).
The radiation we receive from a chest X ray is only a fraction of the natural radiation we are exposed to daily.
Nuclear workers, have a 2 percent increased risk of dying from cancer (excluding leukemia). In comparison, the risk of dying from cancer for survivors of the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. was increased by 32 percent.
Shielding from gamma radiation requires dense materials like lead lined suits.
Clothing provides little shielding from its penetrating radiation.
These are just a few of the effects of nuclear_radiation: Gamma and X radiation. Want more info?
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Other Effects of Nuclear_Radiation Information
Nuclear Radiation Effects: Beta Radiation considers what it is, where it comes from, and How you can protect yourself.
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