What is Radiation Sickness ???
Radiation is the energy released from atoms. They consist of unstable gamma waves, which are the strongest form of energy waves. The atom is broken down into protons and neutrons which turns the particle into a nonfundamental one.
external image spectrum.png

(This is a diagram of the different kinds of waves. As you can see the gamma waves produce the most energy & therefore are the most dangerous while radio and microwave waves do not give off enough energy to be harmful)
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There are 2 types of radiation:
  • Nonionizing
    • Cause: light, microwaves, radio waves
    • Doesn’t cause tissue damage

  • Ionizing
    • Immediate chemical effects on body (tissue)
      • Cause: xrays, gammawaves, particle bombardment
        • Used in medical testing, weapons, etc.

You will obtain radiation sickness if you are exposed to an excess amount of ionizing radiation. Radiation sickness is rare, but you can contract it.


There are two levels of radiation exposure:

o Single large exposure (acute) OR
o Many small exposures over time (chronic)
Severe radiation sickness is usually caused because of acute exposure. Chronic exposure of radiation is used to heal cancer.

A few causes of radiation sickness:
One can aquire radiation sickness through:
1. medical treatment that requires radiation
- chemotherapy
2. accidental exposure to a high dosage of radiation
- nuclear power plant accidents

Exposure
Radiation sickness is measured in roentgens.

  • Total body exposure of 100 roentgens = sickness.
  • Total body exposure of 400 roentgens = sickness and death (1/2 individuals)
    • No medical treatment --> die in 30 days.
  • 100,000 roentgens = immediate unconsciousness and death within an hour
High exposure of radiaiton damages and destorys certain cells which causes sickness & potentially death.


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