Radiation Killing Us

June 5, 2011
What actually causes radiation how will it effect us long term from the certain objects or items we use every day? Radiation has multiple definitions but the main thing is that it is energy traveling through space. Radiation is measured in a form of units not familiar to most. They are called rems, which is roentgen equivalent in man. The causes of radiation are surprising it comes from something as simple as a microwave and gets more complicated such as the bombing of Hiroshima, but the affects on the; loss of hair, brain, thyroid, DNA and RNA and the reproductive system are dangerous. We all should know the basics of radiation, some of us may need to know more.

First off is the most important in the history of radiation, Hiroshima. This is one of the more complicated causes, there is a ton of history behind it, but in the end it was a massive amount of radiation in on area damaging things and people. Basically the Bombing of Hiroshima was when the us dropped and Atomic bomb on Hiroshima thus ending WWII. The bomb emitted masses of radiation that affected Hiroshima for years. “Since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, during World War II, most cases of radiation sickness have happened after nuclear industrial accidents, such as the 1986 nuclear reactor accident at a power station in Chernobyl, Ukraine.” (Radiation sickness: Causes - MayoClinic.com.) With some prior knowledge and some you may look up you will understand the bombing of Hiroshima and you will understand the significance of it in the history of radiation.

Now the causes even surprised me! Things like microwaves, Gamma rays, X-rays, Ultraviolet (UV) rays, Visible light, Infrared rays, Radiofrequency (radio) waves, and Extremely low-frequency (ELF) radiation. Things that we may use every day emit rems of radiation. The thought of using a microwave now is different. Those who listen to the radio, are they being exposed to too much radiation if the listen to the music to long because they are being exposed the the radio waves? “Radiation exists across a spectrum from very high-energy (high-frequency) radiation to very low-energy (low-frequency) radiation.” (Radiation Exposure and Cancer) High-frequency radiation is very dangerous, they say that any radiation is dangerous. How dangerous is low-frequency radiation? Should we really keep on using these items?
Now the effects are surprising at all, they actually make a lot of sense. The first one is, the loss of hair. “The losing of hair quickly and in clumps occurs with radiation exposure at 200 rems or higher.” (Effects of Radiation on the Human Body | Effects of Nuclear Weapons | atomicarchive.com.) The second affect is, to the brain. The “Brain wont be damaged directly unless under 5,000 rems or higher.” (Effects of Radiation on the Human Body) Losing hair is not so scary, but it affecting your brain is. Having radiation destroy your brain cells is down right frightening.

Some more affects are, directed at the third affect, the thyroid. “The thyroid gland is susceptible to radioactive iodine. In sufficient amounts, radioactive iodine can destroy all or part of the thyroid.” (Effects of Radiation on the Human Body) The forth affect is directed towards the, heart. Without the heart we could not possibly live. “Intense exposure to radioactive material at 1,000 to 5,000 rems would do immediate damage to small blood vessels and probably cause heart failure and death directly.” (Effects of Radiation on the Human Body) Pretty soon after reading this paper you may develop a new phobia to radiation. These affects just keep on getting more and more devastating.
The last two affects are number five and six. Five is, RNA and DNA. “ The radiation will begin to destroy the cells in the body that divide rapidly. These including blood, GI tract, reproductive and hair cells, and harms their DNA and RNA of surviving cells.” (Effects of Radiation on the Human Body) The sixth is, the reproductive system. Scary thought to some, not so much for the others. "Because reproductive tract cells divide rapidly, these areas of the body can be damaged at rem levels as low as 200. Long-term, some radiation sickness victims will become sterile.” (Effects of Radiation on the Human Body) Again scary thought for those who still wish to start a family.

With all of the things stated from the causes and the affects of radiation such as damage to the hair, brain, thyroid, heart, and the reproductive system, we should express concern around large rems of radiation. But the smaller amounts of radiation that microwaves and radio waves emit are safe. So please express concern for large amounts of radiation but don’t be worried about the smaller amounts.

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