The life of reading comics and watching Hollywood blockbusters may make you believe that radiation is a rare and dangerous thing that turns people into superheroes and transformed monsters. But in reality, radiation is around us, even in our own bodies.
But to be precise, what is radiation, and how much of it is in our body?
Radiation involves many processes, all of which look different from us. Basically, it’s when an object like the sun emits energy through particles and waves. But when many of us refer to “radiation,” we refer to particularly high-energy waves, such as: Gamma raysHigh-energy particles emitted by radioactive atoms such as, and uranium atom. High-energy waves and particles are dangerous to living organisms and can damage cells exposed to them.
In addition, all the elements above Periodic table It has the same elemental morphology, including isotopes or different numbers of neutrons in the nucleus. Some isotopes are stable, while others are unstable. That is, it is radioactive and emits high-energy waves and particles. According to the US Department of Energy..In addition, some factors include: uranium, Exists only in an unstable form.
Many isotopes and radioactive elements occur naturally in plants and environments that enter water. Therefore, each time a person eats food or drinks water, he or she may absorb a small amount of radioisotope.The largest source of radiation in our body is very small carbon 14 and potassium 40, said Mike Short, an associate professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT. These isotopes make up the majority of our body’s radiation, but we only ingest about 0.39 milligrams of potassium-40 and 1.8 nanograms of carbon-14 per day. According to Short, the amount of radioactivity caused by isotopes inside the human body is equivalent to 1% of the radiation that people receive on a flight from Boston to Tokyo.
“Most of these radioisotopes invade our bodies through the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe,” Short told Live Science. Some foods have high levels of radioisotopes. banana, Contains a small amount of potassium-40, Brazil nuts, It contains radium.. Of course, the amount of these foods consumed by the average person does not significantly increase radiation-related health risks. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency..
Other environmental factors can make the human body much more radioactive. “For example, people living in unventilated basements that are high in granite and high in radium absorb far more radon and its associated daughter isotopes,” or are produced when radioatoms collapse. The product to be. (((radon Is a radioactive, odorless gas that naturally occurs in the environment. )
1984, Stanley WatrasA radiation worker in Pennsylvania, has unexpectedly issued an alarm to detect radiation exposure in people. Safety officials were confused that Watras did not physically carry the radiation source, but it was later discovered that his body had absorbed large amounts of radon gas from the basement. This was said to significantly increase the risk of lung cancer.
According to Short, the radioactive isotopes that humans take in are made by a variety of processes. For example, potassium-40 is “Primordial nuclide, “Means that it has existed in its present form for some time. Of earth Book of Genesis. Primordial nuclides take a very long time to decompose or decay, so today they are essentially the same as when they were created in a star or star. big Bang..
“All potassium naturally contains 0.011% potassium-40, so it’s around us and inevitable,” Short said. “We have evolved in a radioactive environment. Solar system.. ”
Carbon-14 hydrogen The isotope, known as tritium, is a “daughter” product in which heavier elements decay. When heavy nuclei such as uranium atoms decay due to instability, the components they invade are often other isotopes.
Notably, stable isotopes Strong force, The fundamental force that binds protons and neutrons. However, as the nucleus grows, the strong force can be overcome by the force that separates the proton and the neutron, such as the electrostatic repulsive force between the protons. When nuclei collapse into smaller nuclei, they emit high-energy particles or high-energy energy waves. This is the source of radiation.
Some isotopes that people absorb may be in the environment due to human activity. “In the atmospheric tests of nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s, a small amount of nuclear tests were conducted. strontium 90, and Fukushima When Chernobyl Several releases cesium 137 and cesium-134, “said Short. “Most of the latter have already collapsed.”
Originally published in Live Science.
How radioactive is the human body?
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