Enviornment studies - ionising raidation

Discussing radiation, the effects, causes and methods to treat

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Exposure - in the area of the radiation

Contamination- directly contacted with radiation such as touching a material

Risk benifit analysis- used to ensure the benifts outweigh the risks

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  • Cosmic radiation - Sun releases large amounts of charged sub atomic particles
  • Gamma rays from lithosphere- Isotopes which penetrate through the ground
  • Internal radiation from the body- from upper atmospher via food and water decay inside body
  • Radon from the ground- rocks decay producing gas radionuclide radon. Pass through buildings
  • Medical exposure- X rays and MRI radiotheraphy
  • Occupational exposure- Nuclear industry, manufacturing, mining and medical radiographers, air craft crew
  • Weaponas fall out- testing of nuclear weapons contaminatng earths surface
  • Consumer products - Smoke detors and electrical devices
  • Industrial effluent disharges- Use radioactive nuclides release radioactive waste such as heavy metals.
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Risk benifit analysis and critical pathway analysi

Made difficult by:

  • We do not understand all risks associated with ionising radiation
  • Geographical separation- those who benift and those who take the risk could be in different places
  • Time separation- May cause long term health effects we are not aware of
  • Redcution of other risks- Without an X ray is less problematic that invasive surgery


Must be taken into account:

effluent discharges and half lives                      Effect of PH and oxygen levels

State - solid liquid or gas  and bioccumulations      Geology - permable rock

Wind speed and direction                                       River flow and currents

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Methods to reduce exposure

Close sources- put in a container ensuring workers do not come into any direct contact. Prevents them picking up a radioactive material.

Use of protective clothing and washing to remove all waste

Alpha emitters may be reduced to zero in a container as the box absorbs the radiation

Barriers should prevent the radiation from reaching workers

Distance from source can recuce exposure

Reducing the time workers are exposed to such radiation

Monitoring workers using badges which calculate how much radiation they have been exposed to, long term measures, air monitorts to detect atmospheric particles and contamination monitors to detect contamination.

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Monitoring methods

Critical pathway analysis- finding the different ways radioactive materials can get into the environment.

Enviornmental sampling- environment monitored to check whether radionuclides released in the effluent are becoming concentrated in which places and what threat that poses to humans.

Critical group analysis- a method of monitoring radiactive disharges by looking at those members of the public most at risk.

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Iesha Harvey-chapman


This was great. will be great to  read over on wednesday morning before the exam.

Thank you :)

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