Dangers from Nuclear Radiation

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Dangers from Nuclear Radiation

1. Beta and gamma radiation can penetrate the skin and soft tissues to reach the delicate organs inside the body. This makes beta and gamma sources more hazardous than alpha when outside the body.

2. Alpha radiation can't penetrate the skin, but it's a different story when it gets inside your body (by swallowing, or breathing it in, say) - alpha sources do all their damage in a very localised area

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Dangers from Nuclear Radiation

3. Beta and gamma sources however are less dangerous inside the body - their radiation mostly passes straight out without doing much

4. If radiation enters your body it will collide with molecules in your cells

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Dangers from Nuclear Radiation

5. These collisions cause ionisation which damages or destroys the molecules

6. Lower doses tend to cause minor damage without killing the cell. This can give rise to mutant cells which divide uncontrollably - this is cancer

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Dangers from Nuclear Radiation

7. Higher doses tend to kill cells completely causing radiation sickness if a large part of your body is affected at the same time

8. The extent of the harmful effects depends on how much exposure you have to the radiation and its energy and penetration 

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