effects of em radiation on people

how can electromagnetic radiation be harmful to people?

explores microwaves, infrared, ultraviolet an gamma/x-rays

cell mutation, cancer etc.

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  • Created by: hanz
  • Created on: 11-05-12 18:52

microwaves

have a similar frequency to the vibrations of many molecules, and so increase these vibrations - resulting in heating.

microwaves can heat human body cells this way

mobile phoes use microwaves, and their increasing use has caused concern, as the handset is often held close to the brain

there have been suggested links with brain tumours, but nothing has been proved

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infrared

the infrared range in frequencies can make the surface molecules of any substance vibrate - and like microwaves, this has a heating effect

but infrared has a higher frequency, so carries more energy than microwave radiation

if the human body is exposed to too much infrared radiation, it can cause some nasty skin burns

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ultraviolet

uv radiation has got more energy and a higher frequency than infrared radiation

it's ionising - it carries enough energy to knock electrons off atoms

sunburn happens when surface skin cells have been damaged by absorbing uv rays in sunlight

this can cause:

  • cell mutation or destruction
  • skin cancer
  • eye damage (the uv in sunlight)
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gamma / x-rays

are ionising

carry much more energy than uv rays

this means they can be much more damaging and can penetrate further into the body

like all ionising radiation, they can cause cell mutation or destruction, leading to tissue damage or cancer

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