A Small Dose of ΠRadiation

An Introduction To The Health Effects of Radiation

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Ancient Awareness

The control of fire for warmth and cooking.

A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Historical Awareness
‡ 1895 - Wilhem Conrad Roentgen discovered X-rays and in 1901 he received the first Nobel Prize for physics. 1903 - Marie Curie and Pierre Curie, along with Henri Becquerel were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for their contributions to understanding radioactivity, including the properties of uranium. 1942 - Enrico Fermi and others started the first sustained nuclear chain reaction in a laboratory beneath the University of Chicago football stadium. 1945 ± Nuclear bombs dropped on Japan.

‡

‡

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A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Case Study - Sunburn
Solar radiation wavelength
Visible light ± 400 to 760 nm Ultraviolet radiation (UV) - >400 nm (sunburn) Infrared radiation - <760 nm (heat)

UV radiation
Stimulates melanin (dark pigment) that absorbs UV protecting cells

Health Effects
2 to 3 million non-malignant skin cancers 130,000 malignant melanomas Sunburn ± acute cell injury causing inflammatory response (erythema) Accelerates aging process
A Small Dose of Toxicology A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Radium Girls
"Not to worry," their bosses told them. "If you swallow any radium, it'll make your cheeks rosy.³ The women at Radium Dial sometimes painted their teeth and faces and then turned off the lights for a laugh. From: 'Radium Girls' By Martha Irvine, Associated Press, Buffalo News, 1998

A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Case Study - Radium
1898 ± Discovered by Marie Curie 1900-1930 ± Radium Therapy - used to treat arthritis, stomach ailments and cancer Accepted by American Medical Association WWI ± Use of radium on watch dials 1920s ± U.S. Radium corporation employed young women to paint watch dials Late 1920s ± Radium girls sue, win and receive compensation

A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Historical Events
Opium War of 1839-42
Great Britain has a monopoly on the sale of opium which it forces on China. Eventually getting control of Hong Kong. Consider our societies current ³wars on drugs´.

A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Life & Radiation
‡ All life is dependent on small doses of electromagnetic radiation. ‡ For example, photosynthesis and vision use the suns radiation.

A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Radiation
Nonionizing
Ultraviolet, visible, infrared, microwaves, radio & TV, power transmission

Ionizing
Radiation capable for producing ions when interacting with matter ± x-rays, alpha, beta, gamma, cosmic rays
A Small Dose of Toxicology A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Electromagnetic Spectrum
Ionizing Radiation
X Rays Gamma Rays Cosmic Rays

Visible
Infrared Ultraviolet
Near Far

Nonionizing Radiation
Radar FM TV Short wave Broadcast Power Transmission

10-14

10-12

10-10

10-8

10-6

10-4

10-2

1

102

104

106

108

Wavelength in Meters
1010 108 106 104 102 1 10-2 10-4 10-6 10-8 10-10 10-12 10-14

High

Energy - Electron Volts

Low

A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Nonionizing Radiation 
Sources
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Ultraviolet light Visible light Infrared radiation Microwaves Radio & TV Power transmission

A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Nonionizing Examples
‡ Ultraviolet ± Black light ± induce fluorescence in some materials ‡ Vision ± very small portion that animals use to process visual information ‡ Heat ± infrared ± a little beyond the red spectrum ‡ Radio waves ± beyond infrared ‡ Micro waves ‡ Electrical power transmission ± 60 cycles per second with a wave length of 1 to 2 million meters.
A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Ultraviolet - Sources
‡ Sun light ‡ Most harmful UV is absorbed by the atmosphere ± depends on altitude ‡ Fluorescent lamps ‡ Electric arc welding Can damage the eye (cornea) ‡ Germicidal lamps ‡ Eye damage from sun light ‡ Skin cancer
A Small Dose of Toxicology A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Ultraviolet - Effects
‡ High ultraviolet ± kills bacterial and other infectious agents ‡ High dose causes - sun burn ± increased risk of skin cancer ‡ Pigmentation that results in suntan ‡ Suntan lotions contain chemicals that absorb UV radiation ‡ Reaction in the skin to produce Vitamin D that prevents rickets ‡ Strongly absorbed by air ± thus the danger of hole in the atmosphere
A Small Dose of Toxicology A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Visible Energy
‡ Energy between 400 and 750 nm ‡ High energy ± bright light produces of number of adaptive responses ‡ Standards are set for the intensity of light in the work place (measured in candles or lumens)

A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Infrared Radiation
‡ Energy between 750 nm to 0.3 cm ‡ The energy of heat ± Heat is the transfer of energy ‡ Can damage ± cornea, iris, retina and lens of the eye (glass workers ± ³glass blower¶s cataract´)

A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Microwaves & Radio Waves
‡ Energy between 0.1 cm to 1 kilometer ‡ Varity of industrial and home uses for heating and information transfer (radio, TV, mobile phones) ‡ Produced by molecular vibration in solid bodies or crystals ‡ Health effects ± heating, cataracts ‡ Long-term effects being studied
A Small Dose of Toxicology A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Electrical Power
‡ Standard in homes and businesses ‡ Highest level of exposure from electricpower generation and distribution system (high voltage power lines) ‡ Medical system ± Magnetic imaging ‡ Acute health effects ± shock ‡ Long-term health effects appear to be few but may some data do suggest adverse effects
A Small Dose of Toxicology A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Ionizing Radiation
Ionization Defined Radiation capable for producing ions when interacting with matter ± in other words enough energy to remove an electron from an atom. Sources ± x-rays, radioactive material produce alpha, beta, and gamma radiation, cosmic rays from the sun and space.
A Small Dose of Toxicology A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Ionizing Radiation
Paper Wood Concrete

Energy Low Medium

Alpha Beta

Gamma

High

A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Radioactive Material
‡ ‡ Either natural or created in nuclear reactor or accelerator Radioactive material is unstable and emits energy in order to return to a more stable state (particles or gamma-rays) Half-life ± time for radioactive material to decay by one-half

‡

A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Alpha Particles
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Two neutrons and two protons Charge of +2 Emitted from nucleus of radioactive atoms Transfer energy in very short distances (10 cm in air) Shielded by paper or layer of skin Primary hazard from internal exposure Alpha emitters can accumulate in tissue (bone, kidney, liver, lung, spleen) causing local damage
A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

A Small Dose of Toxicology

Beta Particles
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Small electrically charged particles similar to electrons Charge of -1 Ejected from nuclei of radioactive atoms Emitted with various kinetic energies Shielded by wood, body penetration 0.2 to 1.3 cm depending on energy Can cause skin burns or be an internal hazard of ingested
A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

A Small Dose of Toxicology

Gamma-rays
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Electromagnetic photons or radiation (identical to x-rays except for source) Emitted from nucleus of radioactive atoms ± spontaneous emission Emitted with kinetic energy related to radioactive source Highly penetrating ± extensive shielding required Serious external radiation hazard
A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

A Small Dose of Toxicology

X-rays
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Overlap with gamma-rays Electromagnetic photons or radiation Produced from orbiting electrons or free electrons ± usually machine produced Produced when electrons strike a target material inside and x-ray tube Emitted with various energies & wavelengths Highly penetrating ± extensive shielding required External radiation hazard Discovered in 1895 by Roentgen
A Small Dose of Toxicology A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Ionizing Radiation Health Effects
We evolved with a certain level of naturally occurring ionizing radiation from cosmic radiation, radioactive materials in the earth. We have mechanisms to repair damage.

A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Radiation Units
Exposure ± X (coul/kg)
(Related to energy)

Absorbed Dose ± Gray (Gy)
(amount of energy absorbed)

Equivalent Dose ± Sievert (Sv)
(makes different sources of radiation equivalent)
A Small Dose of Toxicology A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Standards
US National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP) International Council on Radiation Protection (ICRP)
Occupational Exposure Guidelines 100 mSv over 5 years (average 20 mSv/year) with a maximum of 50 mSv in any one year General public ± back ground about 3 mSv/year ± Guideline 1 mSv/year
A Small Dose of Toxicology A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Dose Response Tissue
Examples of tissue Sensitivity
Very High High Medium Low
White blood cells (bone marrow) Intestinal epithelium Reproductive cells Optic lens epithelium Esophageal epithelium Mucous membranes Brain ± Glial cells Lung, kidney, liver, thyroid, pancreatic epithelium Mature red blood cells Muscle cells Mature bone and cartilage
A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

A Small Dose of Toxicology

Dose Response Issues
Dose (Sv) 1-2 2-10 10-15 >50
A Small Dose of Toxicology

Effects / organ Time to Death death (%) Bone marrow Bone marrow Diarrhea, fever Neurological Months Weeks 2 weeks 1- 4 hrs 0-10 0-90 90100 100
A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Half-life
‡ Rate of decay of radioisotope ‡ How long it takes to lose half their strength ‡ Can range from very short to billions of years ‡ Carbon ± 5730 years, which makes it valuable for dating
A Small Dose of Toxicology A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Reducing Exposure 
Time
Reduce the spent near the source of radiation. 

Distance
Increase the distance from the source of radiation. 

Shielding
Place shielding material between you and the source of radiation.

A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Regulatory Status
‡ Occupational exposure quidlines are 100 mSv in 5 years (average, 20 mSv per year) with a limit of 50 mSv in any single year. ‡ General public the standard is 1 mSv per year.
(Natural background radiation is approximately 3 mSv/year.)

Recommended exposure limits are set by the US National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP) and world wide by International Council on Radiation Protection (ICRP).
A Small Dose of Toxicology A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

A Small Dose of ΠRadiation

A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Additional Information
‡ National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements ± http://www.ncrp.com/ ‡ US EPA (Information about ionizing radiation and contamination) ± http://www.epa.gov/radiation/ ‡ University of Michigan - Radiation & Health Physics ± http://www.umich.edu/~radinfo/
A Small Dose of Toxicology A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Calculate Your Annual Dose

US EPA
‡ What Is Your Annual Radiation Dose? ± Calculate your dose ‡ http://www.epa.gov/radiation/stud ents/calculate.html

A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

Authorship Information
This presentation is supplement to ³A Small Dose of Toxicology´
For Additional Information Contact Steven G. Gilbert, PhD, DABT E-mail: smdose@asmalldoseof.org Web: www.asmalldoseof.org

A Small Dose of Toxicology

A Small Dose of Radiation ± 3/15/04

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