Radiation Poisoning

What Effect to the Human Body?

Radiation poisoning, also known as radiation sickness is the damage to the tissue or organs of the body as a result of exposure to ionizing radiation. Following this will be the symptoms of the radiation sickness.

Sources of Radiation

Usually it comes from exposure to large amounts of radiation in a short period of time. It can also come from long term exposure to low levels of radiation such as experienced by firefighters or airline and air-force personnel who fly at high altitudes.

One of the problems associated with the sickness is disruption of cellular division. This can be good as it makes radiation a viable treatment for cancer. Cancer is one of the fastest types of cells that grow in the body. Disrupt it and the body will do the rest. Of course, one of the side effects of radiation treatment of cancer is other forms of cancer.

The cells next to the cancerous ones usually survive the radiation exposure. This has been studied and it turns out the cellular level defense for radiation attack work much like the marines in modern warfare. What are the marines defending our cells? It is the bodies natural master defender, glutathione.

The Simple Explanation

If you remember what an atom looked like in school, you will remember that there was a nucleus and those electrons flying around like satellites. The interesting thing, the majority of the atom is empty space. Yet packed together and they make molecules. Molecules make up us.

An ionizing radioactive particle is kinda like a steel ball in a pinball machine. Every thing it hits it bounces off of. More importantly, like the pinball machine, what ever it hits gets excited and starts bouncing around. Usually it means the thing it hits either dies or gets its electrons going the wrong direction. This makes the cell mutate and sometimes is the source of some cancers.

In the late 1940’s and early 50’s increased research in the effects of radiation on humans. The result showed that humans are very susceptible to the destructive effects of radiation. The chances of survival are variable depending on dose and length of exposure.

Exposures to radiation at levels of 400 to 1000 rads can be lethal. People as far as 13 miles (21 kilometers) away from the spot where the bomb was dropped in Hiroshima Japan were exposed to 1200 rads of radiation. Their death was slow and painful.

The Complex

There is a direct damage or burns from radiation exposure, there is molecular or cellular damage.

This damage results in the production of free radicals. This is the primary cell injury mechanism resulting from ionizing radiation. the most frequently formed free radical is the hydroxyl group. It attacks neighboring molecules responsible for homeostasis. When the genetic material is damaged, the cell dies. This is unless the body has a superior intercellular anti-oxidant protecting it.

The theory is that by boosting the bodies glutathione a level of protection could be attained. Glutathione (GSH) attacks and destroys the free radicals and eliminates them and stops the damage they produce.

Other Factors

The damage of radiation on the human organism is very complex. It is not totally dependent on dose or duration of exposure.

Other factors playing a part in the type and extent of damage include...

  • total dose
  • rate of dose
  • presence of oxygen
  • sex
  • nutritional status
  • type of cells in the body

Those cells that reproduce rapidly or are in high metabolic rate tend to suffer more. They tend to experience damage at lower levels of exposure.

These cells include sex organs where both sperm or ovum are produced. The hair producing follicles are easily damaged by radiation. Blood forming organs and tissue are also included in those parts that are more easily damaged by radiation poisoning.

What are the symptoms of radiation poisoning?

Job Related Radiation Exposure

Aircraft Radiation Exposure Risks Do you know the risk of radiation exposure for flight crews? How much exposures. Which flights increase the risk?

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Need To Know



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Glutathione has a high affinity for water. Simply put, if we are dehydrated our bodies may not make as much as they could. Or, what we do make may be less effective.

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