Radiation and Health


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One meeting registration gives you access to both scientific programs! The CRH has historically been among the most popular and respected venues for the communication of research results in many areas of radiation and health; it is especially noted for its focus on critical current topics in radiation epidemiology, clinical research, radiation biology, risk analysis, and biostatistics.

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The CRH organizing committee have put together an outstanding scientific program with presentations from a wide range of highly respected researchers from around the globe in sessions of great current interest. ESRI training will include dedicated mentors and culminate in a presentation. CRH attendees are required to complete an abbreviated Radiation Research Society membership application in order to register for the meeting at the member rate - which is deeply discounted in comparison to non-member pricing.

This type of radiation has sufficient energy to ionize atoms usually creating a positive charge by knocking out electrons , thereby giving them the chemical potential to react deleteriously with the atoms and molecules of living tissues. Ionizing radiation takes different forms: In gamma and x-ray radiation atoms release energetic light particles that are powerful enough to penetrate the body.

Alpha and beta particle radiation is lower energy and can often be blocked by just a sheet of paper. If radioactive material is ingested or inhaled into the body, however, it is actually the lower energy alpha and beta radiation that becomes the more dangerous. That's because a large portion of gamma and x-ray radiation will pass directly through the body without interacting with the tissue considering that at the atomic level, the body is mostly empty space , whereas alpha and beta radiation, unable to penetrate tissue, will expend all their energy by colliding with the atoms in the body and likely cause more damage.


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In the Fukushima situation, the radioactive isotopes detected, iodine and cesium , emit both gamma and beta radiation. These radioactive elements are by-products of the fission reaction that generates power in the nuclear plants.

The Japanese government has evacuated , people from within a kilometer radius of the Fukushima Daiichi complex. They are urging people within 30 kilometers of the plant to remain indoors, close all windows, and to change clothes and wash exposed skin after going outside. These measures are mainly aimed at reducing the potential for inhaling or ingesting beta-emitting radioactive material. Exposure time: A very high single dose of radiation acquired within minutes can be more harmful than the same dosage accumulated over time.

Frontiers in Public Health | Radiation and Health

According to the World Nuclear Association, a single one-sievert dose is likely to cause temporary radiation sickness and lower white blood cell count, but is not fatal. One five-sievert dose would likely kill half of those exposed within a month. At 10 sieverts, death occurs within a few weeks. The effects of long-term, low-dose radiation are much more difficult to gauge.


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  • DNA damage from ionizing radiation can cause mutations that lead to cancer, especially in tissues with high rates of cell division, such as the gastrointestinal tract, reproductive cells and bone marrow. But the increase in cancer risk is so small as to be difficult to determine without studying a very large exposed population of people. As an example, according to Langhorst, 10, people exposed to a 0.

    The normal prevalence of cancer, however, would predict 2, to 3, cancer cases in a population of 10,, so "how do you see eight excess cancers?

    How Radiation Threatens Health

    Chernobyl's lessons: According to Gonzalez, some of the emergency workers at Chernobyl received several sieverts of radiation, and many were working "basically naked" due to the heat, allowing contaminated powder to be absorbed through their skin. In comparison, the Japanese workers are most likely very well-equipped and protected at least from direct skin doses.


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    We receive low doses of radiation from our natural environment every day. We know that radiation at high doses can cause cancer, could harm fetuses, and can even lead to death. Factors that Affect Dose A dose received over a long period of time is less harmful than the same dose received all at once.

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