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Radiation Exposure Effects- Things to Know!!!

According to an article published in the ABC News, the effect of radiation exposure mainly depends upon three factors: the intensity of the exposure, the duration of the exposure and the access to the treatment. These factors determine if the exposure will prove harmless or lethal. A radioactive fallout has caesium 137, long-term element and iodine, short-term element.

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Intensity of Radiation Exposure
Small and controlled doses of radiation exposure for medical use does not cause any ill-effects, according to the experts. One dose of 1,000 mSv or millisieverts, a unit to measure the intensity of exposure, might cause short-term radiation sickness like nausea and vomiting. About 50% people who are exposed to a dose of 5,000 mSv across the whole body might die. According to World Nuclear Association (WNA), exposing the body to a single dose of 10,000 mSv would lead to death in a few weeks’ time. In case of a nuclear accident, the exposure can be several thousand millisieverts near the core.

Health Concerns
The most important health danger of radiation exposure is cancer especially lung, colon, thyroid cancers and leukemia. According to Patrick Gourmelon, a researcher at the French Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), the risk of developing cancer due to radiation is proportional to the dose. Even the small doses of radiation can increase the chances of developing cancers. Extreme exposure might also disturb the functions of the bone marrow, leading to death. Cells which are present in the digestive tract are also affected. The long term exposure to radiation might damage the DNA, resulting in potential birth defects.

The treatment options
Potassium iodine pills when taken beforehand might prevent the radioactive iodine in the atmosphere from settling in thyroid which might lead to cancer. This is a good preventative measure for infants and children. The drug is taken an hour before the incident.

In the case of an exposure, the first thing to do is to dispose off all the contaminated clothes. One should wash the hair and the body properly.

Read more information on nuclear radiation causes cancer

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