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but you're still talking 15-20+ years down the road
It most certainly does. After all that time I took to help you understand you just wave it away with a single sentence.
Even ingesting a small amount doesn't mean you're in terrible danger of cancer or other diseases.
What are some of the effects of ingesting alpha, beta, or gamma rays? Can you please be specific on the effect caused by alpha rays and the amount of counts need for damage to occur?
Lower doses would not cause any directly observable effects but could increase the person's likelihood of developing cancer by a small degree many years—20 years, 30 years, or even more—after the exposure.
The specific type of cancer depends on what tissue(s) is(are) irradiated as well as the dose. The slight additional cancer risk is related to the dose, the dose rate, and the type of cancer. Thus it is not possible to say how many counts or alpha particles are needed to produce an effect; what we can say is that each increment of dose increases the chance of developing a radiation-induced cancer, but that the risk overall is very small and very much less than the risk of developing the cancer from other sources. So that is the simple answer.
The more complex and scientific answer requires that we exactly define some terms to eliminate any chance of confusion. Alpha, beta, and gamma are radiations emitted by radioactive substances or, to use the scientific term, radionuclides. Technically, one does not ingest the radiations but rather the radioactive material that produces these radiations. An analogy from everyday life would be onions or garlic, foods which have powerful odors. The odors are analogous to the radiations emitted by a radioactive substance. The onions or garlic which give rise to the odors are analogous to the radionuclide or radioactive substance.
Radioactive elements taken into the body are known as internal emitters because the radiations associated with them are produced directly inside the body. Gamma rays produced from internal emitters by and large escape from the body and only deposit a very small fraction of their energy in the tissues of the body.
Beta particles, which are simply high-speed electrons, deposit all of their energy in a very small volume of tissue; they travel up to perhaps a centimeter or so (about a quarter of an inch) in soft tissue.
Alpha particles have a range or travel distance of about one cell diameter, and thus deposit all of their energy in a very small volume of tissue. The deposition of energy is called absorbed dose and is one of the factors that determines the biological effect.
The effective dose is a measure of the risk of producing cancer over the entire lifetime of the person. Only certain types of cancers are known to be radiation induced, and the probability or chance of developing a radiation-induced cancer over one's lifetime is very small, indeed very much smaller than the so-called natural incidence of these cancers in the general population.
In summary, response to radiation is determined by the following factors:
the magnitude of the absorbed dose
the rate at which the absorbed dose is delivered
the biological effectiveness of the radiation which is determined by its linear energy transfer
the specific tissue(s) irradiated
other factors specific to the individual
Once again, you can't simply say "if you ingest radiation you're going to get cancer."
Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by intrptr
The problem with the readings given in places like California is they talk about how much higher than background they are, but never talk about what background is.
This article is about ionizing radiation. For microwave background radiation from space, see cosmic background radiation and cosmic background. Thermal radiation emitted by Earth is not considered in this category because it is not ionizing.
Background radiation is the ubiquitous ionizing radiation that the general population is exposed to, including natural and artificial sources.
Both natural and artificial background radiation varies by location.
The energy released from a nuclear weapon detonated in the troposphere can be divided into four basic categories:
• Blast—40–50% of total energy
• Thermal radiation—30–50% of total energy
• Ionizing radiation—5% of total energy (more in a neutron bomb)
• Residual radiation—5–10% of total energy
In 1942 there was some initial speculation among the scientists developing the first nuclear weapons that there might be a possibility of igniting the Earth's atmosphere with a large enough nuclear explosion.
David McIntyre, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Washington, said his office was working Tuesday with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration "to project the jet stream and the path that any radiation might take."
The Department of Energy activated its atmospheric radioactivity monitoring center at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the Bay Area to create sophisticated computer models of how radioactive releases at Fukushima will spread into the atmosphere, according to a high-ranking energy department official. But he cautioned that "we've got to get good data to put into it for it to be
a reliable predictor and basis for people entrusted with public safety to make decisions."
Even without detailed data, some experts said the radiation in Japan posed little danger to the U.S.
Originally posted by intrptr
In the context of biology, poisons are substances that cause disturbances to organisms, usually by chemical reaction or other activity on the molecular scale, when a sufficient quantity is absorbed by an organism.
You brought a link abut poison which rightly deals with molecular biology. Radioactivity is on the atomic scale and is not a "chemical reaction". Again---Two different things. Judging by the way you disguised an off topic link and labeled it IRONY without any description, I still hold that you are practicing deception and I don't care what you think about it any more. So go ahead and make up some more stuff and ask me for an apology. Or don't. I'm done presenting information to people in denial or outright lying.
We already went through this. Your reasoning was thoroughly debunked.
Most of the radioactive particles are inhaled, and coughed up, else pass through your system.
...ingesting radioactive particles, alpha, or beta, doesn't mean you'll get cancer if it stays in your system for years.
Can't believe you're still getting stars for your poor reasoning.
reply to post by unityemissions
End of discussion with you.
You brought a link abut poison which rightly deals with molecular biology. Radioactivity is on the atomic scale and is not a "chemical reaction". Again---Two different things.
The other element in all this that's hardly being reported in the press is that when you eat radioactive food, the threat to your health increases exponentially. That's because internal radiation is far more deadly to your body than external radiation. It all comes down to the law of the inverse square of the distance between you and the radiation source.
A speck of radioactive dust that's one meter away from you, for example, is twice as dangerous as that same speck four meters away. But if you eat that radioactive speck (because it's part of a fish you're consuming, for example), then suddenly it's inside your body.
So now it might only be a millimeter away from your internal tissues, meaning you've decreased the distance between you and the radiation source by one thousand times. Because if the law of the inverse square of the distance, you have now magnified the radiation intensity by one million times (because one million is the square of one thousand).
So a speck of radiation that might have been a "low level" if it were floating around in the air around you can suddenly become fatal if you consume it. And that's what people are now facing with Japan's seafood.
Yet everybody is being told that it's all perfectly safe, no problem, no worried, don't even think about it.
Originally posted by balanc3
so can the inhalation or ingestion of different radionuclides cause a condition in the body where immune system resources are being used up to where an individual no longer has the abundance of resources to fight off the flu.?
I'm guessing the answer is yes.