Of the five main types of radiation, three types of radiation are of special concern related to our health. The three of main concern are Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation. This section will consider what radiation is, what it does, the health implications and the glutathione protection connection. Health care radiation exposure is briefly covered here.
Radiation is everywhere. It has been around since the creation of the earth. It can be found in rocks, soil, water, plants and sometimes in the sky.
Radiation has a broad spectrum of meaning. It can be electromagnetic waves or subatomic particles or both. Some forms of radiation produce emissions of ionizing energy. These are neutrons, photons, and high energy charged particles like gamma rays.
There are different sources of radiation. Natural sources include cosmic radiation from space, terrestrial radiation emitted from radioactive elements in the ground. There is also man-make radiation released by the detonation of an atomic bombs.
Radiation emitting materials mined from the earth are used in health care, power generation, consumer products and industry.Because of of its wide spread use, there is increased potential for unwanted human exposure.
Sometimes unwanted exposure comes from technological advancements. Now that aircraft can travel higher in the atmosphere, there are radiation exposure risks that do not affect those of us with our feet on the ground. Then there is always the risk of radioactive fall out from the occasional super power flexing their atomic strong arms.
Some people are exposed to radiation event though they do not work with or near radioactive materials. One job with high radiation exposure is firefighting. The concern is with the three types of radiation of the five that are most dangerous.
The effects of radiation on living cells vary, depending on the type of radiation, the intensity of the exposure, and the cell.
We are exposed to radiation daily. Our bodies are equipped to deal with what we are normally exposed to. This
protectioncomes primarily from the intracellular glutathione our bodies produce. It is the master antioxidant or the endogenous antioxidants our body produces.
For an exposure to cause health problems it will depend on type, how much exposure and length of time of exposure.
Low levels usually have no effect on the human or animal cells.
As the dose of radiation increases, cells can become sterile or disturb the cells ability to reproduce normally, resulting in mutations. For those who do not subscribe to the evolution theory, science has long admitted that mutations never produce positive effects. To the contrary, they are always detrimental.
This damage can happen in several ways.
Radiation can interfere with the DNA resulting in mutations. One interference causes the electrons to rotate in the wrong direction (this is over simplifying it). Sometimes the damage results from ionization. This is a process where the radio active particle passes through the cells. As the particle moves along, it removes one or more of the electrons converting the atom it passes into an ion. Here again glutathione sacrifices its self to save the cell. This only works if your glutathione stores are adequate.
At high levels, cell death occurs. The damage, literally cooking the cells from the inside out, is so extensive that there is little the body can do to stop or repair the damage in time to preserve life.
Cells that undergo rapid multiplication are at greater risk, even for lower doses of radiation.
So pregnant women need to be careful around sources of radiation. It can damage the developing fetus.
People who work with radioactive isotopes are a greater risk. In scientific writing, an isotope ( a radioactive element) will have the name of the element followed by a hyphen and the mass number. So radioactive carbon would be Carbon-12 or Carbon-13. Radioactive Helium would be Helium-3. Uranium would be uranium-238 and so on.
Unlike a one time exposure to X-radiation particles, isotopes accumulate in the body.
Health care workers in particular need to be very careful. The glutathione protection should be of particular interest to these workers. Numerous studies point to the protection from GSH.
Nuclear Radiation Effects: Beta Radiation considers what it is, where it comes from, and How you can protect yourself.
Have a question? Share a thought. The information on the three types of radiation is extensive. In time we will provide more. Any further questions related to the three types of radiation that you would like to see covered, please contact us and make your wishes known.
There will be more on the three types of radiation in the future.
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