Archive | January 2015

Why radiation is not as bad as we think…

Now that we went over these forms of radiation and we know that radiation is helpful and used in your everyday life. Now we know there’s radiation but we never really went over what is radiation if simply put radiation is the release of energy in the form of  moving waves or streams of particles this energy can be low-level like the ones I went over or high level like x-ray or cosmic rays from outer space these are known as non-ionizing which are the non-hurtful radiation and ionizing which is damaging but if we really want understand radiation we need to look at an unstable atom. For an atom to be unstable it needs to few neutrons or to many neutrons when this happens it becomes unstable or radioactive an unstable atom is called a radioisotope. Radioisotopes want to become stable again so they release energy until they get back to a balanced state but this process is known as radioactive decay and there is three main types alpha, beta and gamma. Alpha particles are heavy and travel small distances, beta particles are lighter and travel further and there’s gamma which I’m pretty sure almost every Marvel fan knows this is what turned Bruce Banner into the Hulk sadly that wont ever happen but back to gamma, gamma is an actually a wave and is the lightest of them all so it travels the furthest of them all.

This paragraph is about background radiation and dosages. Ionizing radiation is measured in sieverts so I’ll be telling you how much radiation is too much and what has radiation in it. Geiger counters measure in sieverts and that’s the unit I’ll be using to explain dosages there’s also another unit and its called rem and this is what America uses as there unit to measure radiation but that’s not my preferable unit. If your exposed to more than two sieverts all at once, your chances at living aren’t that great and maybe two sieverts seems like not that much but that’s a lot. I’m pretty sure almost everyone has eaten a banana, they’re rich in potassium and some of that potassium is naturally radioactive. They have 0.1 microsieverts that’s one ten millionth of a sievert so because we eat bananas we actually become radioactive. Actually you are exposed to more radiation if you sleep next to someone then if you sleep alone. I wouldn’t worry about that because that dose is insignificant compared to the natural background radiation of earth I mean ionzing-radiation coming out of the soil and the rocks and the air, even from space. The average ionzing-radiation globally is around 0.2 microsieverts and its lower and higher in different places like Chernobyl and Fukushima where there was nuclear accidents. Your yearly dose of background radiation is about 2,000 microsieverts and if you were to get one chest ct scan you’ll receive 7,000 microsieverts that’s three years worth of background radiation. US radiation workers are limited to 50,000 microsieverts but that’s less than other occupation, astronauts an astronaut on the space station for six months will receive about 80,000 microsieverts worth of radiation, But not even they are exposed to the highest level of ionizing-radiation, The answer is a smokers lungs. A smokers lungs on average will receive 160,000 microsieverts worth of ionizing-radiation every year that’s do to the radioactive polonium and radioactive led in the tobacco there smoking, so not only are the exposed to toxins they will receive very high levels of ionizing-radiation. So if you thought smoking was bad, now here’s a whole other reason not
to smoke.