Textbook Notes - Chap 12

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Environmental Science
Jovan Stefanovic

Chapter 12 Radiation and HealthSmoking and driving are much more dangerous then exposures to low levels of radiationTypes of radiationThe 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 lengthsThe 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 carcinogensNonionizing radiation is not energetic enough to disrupt electrons and hence is not thought to be genotoxic The radiofrequency range of the nonionizingradation spectrum can heat tissues Melatonin hypothesis postulates a reduction in the pineal glands 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 RadiationWhat we know about radiation health effects comes principally from three sources 1 longterm follow up of the survivors of the atomic bombings in
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