Radiation is the discharge of energy as moving subatomic particles or electromagnetic waves. Natural radiation is produced by a variety of radioactive substances that are present in the soil, water, air, and the human body. People regularly consume and breathe in radiation through their food, water, and environment. Radiation exposure can be external or internal, such as inhalation, ingestion, or assimilation via a polluted wound, or it can be a combination of both external and internal.
How does radiation affect health?
Depending on how much radiation is exposed, excessive radiation can harm biological tissues and organs. The following elements affect the potential damage’s magnitude:
- the radiation’s kind
- the reactivity of the organs and tissues that are impacted
- the way and duration of exposure
- the relevant radioactive isotopes
- features of the exposed person including gender, age, and the exposed condition.
The radiation dose affects the likelihood of experiencing negative health impacts. The chance of negative consequences increases with the dose. The risk is significantly reduced if the dose of radiation is minimal or the delivery is prolonged since the body will heal any damaged cells and molecules.
Children at high risk
Radiation exposure increases the risk of harmful health outcomes in children. Youngsters have more rapidly dividing cells and growing tissues, and because they possess long and healthy lives ahead of them, malignancies have more time to develop. Children should take precautions as directed and seek medical assistance as soon as it is safe to do so following a radiation emergency, according to emergency personnel.
Immediate radiation health effects
Radiation can cause acute adverse effects like vomiting and nausea skin irritation, loss of hair, chemical burns, acute radiation syndrome, and even death at very high doses. It can also disrupt the working of tissues and organs. To lessen their exposure risk in the event of a radiation disaster, people should heed instructions from authorities and adhere to immediate protective measures.
First responders and employees of the impacted facility (such as those at a nuclear power plant) are more likely to be exposed to radiation doses that are high enough to have acute effects in the event of a radioactive or nuclear emergency. However, it is unlikely that the general public will be exposed to levels high enough to have the effects listed above.
Ways to shield yourself from the impacted area
Lock in, focus in and obey orders are the three main rules to follow. Always heed safety advice from your local or national authorities, and stay in contact to get the most recent information. Stay inside if you’ve been told to do so since the ceilings and walls can shield you from radioactive contamination outside. Stay indoors, close windows, switch off vents (heaters or air conditioners), and if at all practicable, remain in a room without windows and exterior doors.