Radiation Essay

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Radiation is a frightening concept. It has lead to many an untimely death in the past 70 years, ranging from victims of atomic bombs in Japan to physiologists experimenting without taking proper safety precautions. The most dangerous form of radiation can be devastating to the body, weakening or eliminating the immune system and tearing the very DNA in one’s cells apart. This form is referred to as ionizing radiation, and even the least harmful potencies - such as x-rays and UV light - can increase the risk of cancer and other health problems. It has enough energy to knock electrons out of atoms in a process called ionization.
To have a better idea of how much radiation a human can take, one must first understand how radiation is measured. The standard unit for measuring doses of these energy waves is called sieverts. However, a dose of one-half to a single sievert will often cause radiation sickness, so lower, more tolerable amounts are measured in millisieverts (one thousand of which make a single sievert) and microsieverts (one million of which make a single sievert). To put these measurements into perspective, a standard chest x-ray exposes a person to about 20 microsieverts of radiation - a dose that is entirely tolerable. The EPA’s yearly limit on the amount of radiation that a member of the public can be exposed to in the course of a year is a single millisievert - the equivalent of 50 standard chest x-rays.
The symptoms of radiation poisoning - or Acute Radiation Syndrome - vary depending on the dosage of radiation that a person has received. If someone is exposed to 400 mSv of radiation in a short amount of time, it is very likely that they will begin to experience these symptoms. The person may find themselves afflict...

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...ny human. Upon leaving the building, Slotin vomited. This was a common reaction. His colleagues rushed him to the hospital, but it was far too late. Irreversible damage had already been done.
Over the course of the next nine days, Slotin suffered severe diarrhea, reduced urine output, swollen hands, massive blisters, and paralysis, among other things. Even with advanced treatments that we have today, like bone marrow transplants, Slotin would not have survived. The damage done to each of his cells on a molecular scale was far too great. Slotin died on May 30, 1946.
This unfortunate mishap demonstrates the dangers of radiation and the effects of exposure to high-energy particles and waves on the body. A single burst of radioactive energy can displace electrons within our very cells and make them incapable of working properly, leading to sickness and eventually death.

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