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Lecture

Radiation and Health.docx

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Department
Renewable Resources
Course Code
REN R360
Professor
Melanie Muise

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Description
Radiation and Health:  Smoking and driving are much more dangerous then exposures to low levels of radiation.  Types of radiation:  The electromagnetic spectrum is divided into three segments with visible light in the middle.  The other two segments are referred to as ionizing and nonionizing, based on their biological activity and span a wide range of wave lengths.  The ionizing portion of the spectrum includes gamma rays and ultraviolet radiation.  Ionizing radiation is given off by decaying radioisotopes or radionuclide, typically as beta particles or gamma rays.  Ionizing radiation is genotoxic and can act as a carcinogens  Nonionizing radiation is not energetic enough to disrupt electrons and hence is not thought to be genotoxic.  The radio-frequency range of the nonionizing-radation spectrum can heat tissues.  Melatonin hypothesis postulates a reduction in the pineal gland’s nocturnal production of melatonin, which in turn could increase levels of estrogens and prolactin, reduce melatonin inhibitory effect on cell proliferation and increase susceptibility to DNA damage through a reduction in melatonin antioxidant action.  Health effects of ionizing Radiation:  What we know about radiation health effects comes principally from three sources: 1) long-term follow up of the survivors of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which involved an acute exposure to high radiation close at high dose rates. 2) Studies of patients receiving diagnostic and therapeutic radiation
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