Unit 3: Ionising Radiation Pollution - Effects

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  • Effects of Ionising Radiation
    • Free radicals produced in living tissue which cause damage
    • Damage to cell nucleus
      • Affects both existing cell and all future cells produced by mitosis
      • Rapidly dividing cells more affected e.g. skin/gut
      • Damage to egg/sperm may affect future children (GONADIC EFFECT)
    • Damage to other parts of the cell
      • Cell unable to function properly and die
      • Low levels may cause no long-term effects - intact nucleus coordinates repairs
      • Short-time period dose = more damage as more free-radical interactions and cells have less time to repair
      • Large doses = rapid death
    • Somatic effects - damage to general body cells
    • Chronic effects - slow appearing effects
    • Acute effects - quick appearing effects
    • Contamination - when something comes into direct contact with radiation source and picks up material. Affected even after its moved away


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