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Source, Effects, Solutions

Cueto, Ian Roi R.
Najito, Czarina Marie D.
Introduction to
Radiation is an energy in the
form of electro-magnetic waves
or particulate matter, traveling in
the air.
Forces: There are many interactions
among nuclei. It turns out that there
are forces other than the
electromagnetic force and the
Nuclear gravitational force which govern the
Interactions interactions among nuclei.
Einstein in 1905m showed 2 more
laws: energy/mass, and binding
Atoms are composed of
smaller particles referred to
Radioactivity: as:
Elements & Protons
Atoms Neutrons
Electrons (-) orbiting nucleus of protons (+) and
neutrons. Same number of electrons as protons; net
charge = 0.
Atomic number (number of protons) determines
Basic Model of Mass number (protons + neutrons)
a Neutral
If a nucleus is unstable for any
reason, it will emit and absorb
particles. There are many types
Radioactivity of radiation and they are all
pertinent to everyday life and
health as well as nuclear physical
Ionizing radiation is produced by unstable
atoms. Unstable atoms differ from stable
atoms because they have an excess of energy
or mass or both.
Unstable atoms are said to be radioactive. In
order to reach stability, these atoms give off,
Ionization or emit, the excess energy or mass. These
emissions are called radiation.
Types or
Products of
The electro-magnetic waves vary in their
length and frequency along a very wide

Radiation is classified into:
Ionizing radiation
Higher energy electromagnetic waves
(gamma) or heavy particles (beta and
Types of High enough energy to pull electron
Radiation from orbit.
Non-ionizing radiation
Lower energy electromagnetic waves.
Not enough energy to pull electron from
orbit, but can excite the electron.
It is a type of radiation that is able to disrupt
atoms and molecules on which they pass
through, giving rise to ions and free radicals
A radiation is said to be ionizing when it has enough energy to eject one or
more electrons from the atoms or molecules in the irradiated medium.
This is the case of a and b radiations, as well as of electromagnetic
radiations such as gamma radiations, X-rays and some ultra-violet rays.
Visible or infrared light are not, nor are microwaves or radio waves.
Alpha particles
Beta particles
Primary Types
of Ionizing Gamma rays (or photons)
Radiation X-Rays (or photons)
Alpha Particles: 2 neutrons and 2 protons
They travel short distances, have large mass
Only a hazard when inhaled
Alpha Particles (or Alpha Radiation): Helium nucleus (2 neutrons and 2
protons); +2 charge; heavy (4 AMU). Typical Energy = 4-8 MeV;
Limited range (<10cm in air; 60m in tissue); High LET (QF=20)
causing heavy damage (4K-9K ion pairs/m in tissue). Easily shielded
(e.g., paper, skin) so an internal radiation hazard. Eventually lose too
much energy to ionize; become He.
Alpha Particle
Beta Particles: Electrons or positrons having small
mass and variable energy. Electrons form when a
neutron transforms into a proton and an electron
Beta Particles: High speed electron ejected from nucleus; -1 charge,
light 0.00055 AMU; Typical Energy = several KeV to 5 MeV; Range
approx. 12'/MeV in air, a few mm in tissue; Low LET (QF=1) causing
light damage (6-8 ion pairs/m in tissue). Primarily an internal hazard,
but high beta can be an external hazard to skin. In addition, the high
speed electrons may lose energy in the form of X-rays when they
Beta Particle quickly decelerate upon striking a heavy material. This is called
Bremsstralung (or Breaking) Radiation. Aluminum and other light
(<14) materials are used for shielding.
Gamma Rays (or photons): Result
when the nucleus releases energy,
usually after an alpha, beta or
positron transition
Gamma Rays
X-Rays: Occur whenever an
inner shell orbital electron is
removed and rearrangement of
the atomic electrons results with
the release of the elements
characteristic X-Ray energy
X-rays are photons
(Electromagnetic radiations)
emitted from electron orbits.
X- and Gamma rays are photons emitted
Gamma Rays from the nucleus, often as part of
radioactive decay. Gamma rays
typically have higher energy (Mev's)
than X-rays (KeV's), but both are
Neutrons: Have the same
Neutrons mass as protons but are
They are electromagnetic waves
incapable of producing ions while passing
through matter, due to their lower
All earth surface system components emit radiation---the
sun and the earth are the components we are most
interested in
Non-ionizing The sun emits radiation composed of high energy infrared
Radiation radiation, visible light, and ultraviolet radiation collectively
known as shortwave radiation (SW)
The earth emits radiation composed of lower energy
infrared radiation collectively known as long-wave
radiation (LW)
Path of
solar radiation
Albedo: a measure of how well a
surface reflects insolation

Visible light
Non-ionizing Video Display Terminals
Sources Power lines
Radiofrequency Diathermy
(Physical Therapy)
Sources of
Nuclear explosions and detonations of
nuclear weapons probably the highest
amounts of human-induced radiation pollution
have been generated in the mid twenty century
through various experimental or combat
nuclear detonations (that ended the Second
Other Sources World War).
of Radiation Defense weapon production may also
release radioactivity from the handled
radioactive materials (usually of high health
risks). However, unless accident occurs, the
current standards will not allow the release of
any significant amount of radiation.
Nuclear waste handling and disposal
may generate low to medium radiation
over long period of times. The
Other Sources radioactivity may contaminate and
of Radiation propagate through air, water, and soil as
(cont) well. Thus, their effects may not be easily
distinguishable and are hard to predict.
Additional, some nuclear waste location
may not be identified.
Mining of radioactive ores (such as uranium ores)
involve the crushing and processing of radioactive ores
and generate radioactive by-products. Mining of other
ores may also generate radioactive wastes (such as
mining of phosphate ores).
Nuclear accidents an already classic example of such
Other Sources accident is the nuclear explosion at a former Soviet
of Radiation nuclear power plant from Chernobyl that occurred in
the mid 1986. Its effects are still seen today. Another
(cont) example is the 1979 explosion at Three Mile Island
nuclear-power generating plant near Harrisburg, PA.
The general problems at nuclear weapons reactors are
other examples of this type of sources of radiation
pollution. Even accidents from handling medical
nuclear materials/wastes could have radiation health
effects on workers.
A. Quantifying
Quantification Radioactive Decay
of Radiation
B. Quantifying Exposure
and Dose
Measurement of Activity in
disintegrations per second (dps);
Quantifying 1 Becquerel (Bq) = 1 dps;
Radioactive 1 Curie (Ci) = 3.7 x 1010 dps;
Decay Activity of substances are expressed
as activity per weight or volume
(e.g., Bq/gm or Ci/l).
Half Life
Exposure: Roentgen 1 Roentgen (R) = amount of X or
gamma radiation that produces ionization resulting in 1
electrostatic unit of charge in 1 cm3 of dry
air. Instruments often measure exposure rate in mR/hr.
Quantifying Absorbed Dose: rad (Roentgen absorbed dose) =
absorption of 100 ergs of energy from any radiation in 1
Exposure and gram of any material; 1 Gray (Gy) = 100 rads = 1
Dose Joule/kg; Exposure to 1 Roentgen approximates 0.9 rad
in air.
Biologically Equivalent Dose: Rem (Roentgen
equivalent man) = dose in rads x QF, where QF = quality
factor. 1 Sievert (Sv) = 100 rems.
Risks from radiation
Myths created by the film industry
Spider Man, The Hulk, Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles
Introduction Radioactive Material Glows
The statistical probability that
personal injury will result from
some action
Risk smoking, speeding, extreme sports,
ionizing radiation exposure
Risk from a radiation dose is typically based on
calculations of the real effect of the radiation dose
that is absorbed.
These calculations are based on:
The type of radiation.
Each type of radiation is different and affects tissues
Risk (cont) The energy that it leaves in the body.
More energy means a higher probability of an effect.
Where in the body the energy remains.
Radiation exposure to a nonsensitive area of the body
(i.e., wrist) really has no actual effect. Radiation exposure
to a sensitive area of the body (i.e., blood-forming
organs) can have an effect if the amount of energy left is
high enough.
Effects of Radiation
Safer than normal risk associated
Is Radiation with many activities encountered
Safe? daily
Acute dose vs. Chronic Dose
- whole body irradiation vs.
partial body irradiation
Factors of
0-25 No observable effect.

25-50 Minor temporary blood changes.

50-100 Possible nausea and vomiting and

Acute Dose reduced WBC.
(Rad) Effect
150-300 Increased severity of above and diarrhea,
malaise, loss of appetite.
300-500 Increased severity of above and
hemorrhaging, depilation. Death may
> 500 Symptoms appear immediately, then
death has to occur.
General radiation doses to the entire body and
expected effects:
0-5 rem received in a short period or over a long period is safewe
dont expect observable health effects.
Chronic 5-10 rem received in a short time or over a long period is safewe
dont expect observable health effects. At this level, an effect is
Radiation either nonexistent or too small to observe.
Doses and 10-50 rem received in a short time or over a long periodwe dont
expect observable health effects, although above 10 rem the
Expected chances of getting cancer are slightly increased. We may also see
short-term blood cell decreases for doses of about 50 rem
Effects received in a matter of minutes.
50-100 rem received in a short time will likely cause some
observable health effects and received over a long period will
increase the chances of getting cancer. Above 50 rem we may see
some changes in blood cells, but the blood system quickly
General radiation doses to the entire body and
expected effects:
100-200 rem received in a short time will cause nausea and fatigue.
100-200 rem received over a long period will increase a persons
Chronic chances of getting cancer.
Radiation 200-300 rem received in a short time will cause nausea and vomiting
within 24-48 hours. Medical attention should be sought.
Doses and 300-500 rem received in a short time will cause nausea, vomiting, and
diarrhea within hours. Loss of hair and appetite occurs within a week.
Expected Medical attention must be sought for survival; half of the people
exposed to radiation at this high level will die if they receive no
Effects (cont.) medical attention.
500-1,200 rem in a short time will likely lead to death within a few
Greater than 10,000 rem in a short time will lead to death within a few
Effective Dose Radiation Source

annual dose living at nuclear power plant perimeter; bitewing,

<= 0.01 rem
panoramic, or full-mouth dental x rays; skull or chest x ray

single spine x ray; abdominal or pelvic x ray; hip x ray;

<=0.1 rem
Commonly mammogram

Encountered kidney series of x rays; most barium-related x rays; head CT;

<=0.5 rem any spine x-ray series; annual natural background radiation
Radiation dose; most nuclear medicine brain, liver, kidney, bone

Doses barium enema (x rays of the large intestine); chest, abdomen,

<=1.0 rem
or pelvic CT

cardiac catheterization (heart x rays); coronary angiogram

<=5.0 rem (heart x rays); other heart x-ray studies; most nuclear medicine
heart scans
Activity Typical Dose
Smoking 280 millirem/year

Radioactive materials use

<10 millirem/year
in a UM lab

Annual Dental x-ray 10 millirem per x-ray

Chest x-ray 8 millirem per x-ray
Drinking water 5 millirem/year
Cross country round trip by air 5 millirem per trip

Coal Burning power plant 0.165 millirem/year

OSHA Limits: Whole body limit = 1.25
rem/qtr or 5 rem (50 mSv) per year.
Hands and feet limit = 18.75 rem/qtr.
Skin of whole body limit = 7.5 rem/qtr.
Limits Total life accumulation = 5 x (N-18) rem
where N = age. Can have 3 rem/qtr if total
life accumulation not exceeded.
Note: New recommendations reduce the
5 rem to 2 rem.
Annual Dose Limits
External or
Adult (>18 yrs) Minor (< 18 yrs)
Whole body* 5000 mrem/yr 500 mrem/yr
Lens of eye 15000 mrem/yr 1500 mrem/yr
Limits for
Occupationally Extremities 50000 mrem/yr 5000 mrem/yr

Exposed Skin 50000 mrem/yr 5000 mrem/yr

Individuals Organ 50000 mrem/yr 5000 mrem/yr

*Effective dose equivalent
Maximum Permissible Dos Equivalent for Occupational Exposure
Combined whole body occupational
Prospective annual limit 5 rems in any 1 yr
Retrospective annual limit 10-15 rems in any 1 yr
(N-18) x5 rems. where N is age in
Long-term accumulation

Skin 15 rems in any 1 yr

Hands 75 rems in any 1 yr (25/qtr)
Forearms 30 rems in any 1 yr (10/qtr)
Other organs, tissues and organ
Fertile women (with respect to fetus) 0.5 rem in gestation period

Population dose limits 0.17 rem average per yr

(Reprinted from NCRP Publication No. 43, Review of the Current
State of Radiation Protection Philosophy, 1975)
Hazardous Waste Sites:
Radiation above background (0.01-
Community 0.02 m rem/hr) signifies possible
Emergency presence which must be monitored.
Radiation Radiation above 2 m rem/hr
indicates potential hazard. Evacuate
site until controlled.
Generalizations: Biological effects are due to
the ionization process that destroys the
capacity for cell reproduction or division or
Health Effects causes cell mutation. A given total dose will
cause more damage if received in a shorter
time period. A fatal dose is (600 R)
breaks in
Ionizing one or both
Radiation at DNA strands
the Cellular or;
Level Causes Free
Indirect damage
Water molecule is ionized, breaks apart, and forms OH free
OH free radical contains an unpaired electron in the outer
Radiation shell and is highly reactive: Reacts with DNA.
75 percent of radiation-caused DNA damage is due to OH free
Damage to radical.
Chromosomes Direct damage
DNA molecule is struck by radiation, ionized, resulting in
Formation of a ring and fragments
followed by replication of

Interchange between two
chromosomes forms a chromosome
with two centromeres and
fragment, followed by replication.

The cell might:
Repair mild damage.
Have some mild damage that sits inactive until
another agent interacts with the same cell.
What Follows (If it is a reproductive cell like sperm or egg cells)
Chromosome have damage to the genetic code that doesnt
Damage? show up until future generations (your children,
their children, etc.).
Have some damage, causing it to become a cancer.
Stop functioning.
Be killed.
Actively dividing cells are most
sensitive to radiation damage.
Cell Tissues that are more sensitive include skin, hair,
early blood cells, and lining of the intestine.
Tissues that are less sensitive include muscle,
bone, brain, and connective tissue.
Organs generally most susceptible to radiation
damage include:
Lymphocytes, bone marrow, gastro-intestinal,
gonads, and other fast-growing cells.
The central nervous system is relatively
Critical Organs resistant.
to Radiation Many nuclides concentrate in certain organs
rather than being uniformly distributed over
the body, and the organs may be particularly
sensitive to radiation damage, e.g., isotopes of
iodine concentrate in the thyroid gland. These
organs are considered "critical" for the specific
Somatic Effect (Prompt or Delayed)
Stochastic Effect (Cancer)
Ionizing - probability of effect occurring increases as
doses increases.
Radiation - No Threshold
Exposure Non-Stochastic Effect (Cataracts)
Effects - severity of the effect varies with dosage.
- Threshold dose
Acute Somatic Effects
Relatively immediate effects to a person acutely
Somatic exposed. Severity depends on dose. Death usually
results from damage to bone marrow or intestinal wall.
Effects Acute radio-dermatitis is common in radiotherapy;
chronic cases occur mostly in industry.
Delayed Somatic Effects:
Delayed effects to exposed person include:
Somatic Cancer, leukemia, cataracts, life shortening
Effects from organ failure, and abortion. Probability of
an effect is proportional to dose (no threshold).
Severity is independent of dose. Doubling dose
for cancer is approximately 10-100 rems.
Ionizing Teratogenic Effects (Offspring while in-utero)
Radiation mental retardation
Exposure malformations
Effects (Cont)
Radiation Effects on Embryo/Fetus
Embryo/fetus is rapidly developing so is more sensitive to a
possible radiation effect than an adult.
Effects vary with amount of radiation and stage of development of
the embryo/fetus.
Principal effects are loss of pregnancy, malformations, and mental
Teratogenic Without radiation exposure, risk of spontaneous abortion is 15
Effects Without radiation exposure, risk of genetic disease is 11 percent.
Without radiation exposure, risk of major malformation is 3 percent.
Without radiation exposure, risk of growth retardation is 3 percent.
Malformations are identical to those occurring naturally.
More than 10 rem is required to increase the rate of
1Brent RL. Utilization of developmental basic science principles in the evaluation of
reproductive risks from pre- and postconception environmental radiation exposure.
Teratology 59:182; 1999.
Genetic Effects (Future Generations)
Ionizing Diabetes
Radiation Asthma
Natural genetic
Effects (Cont)
mutation rate (U.S.) -
Genetic mutations occur from incorrect repair of
damaged chromosomes in egg or sperm cells.
Ovaries can repair mild radiation damage.
Genetic Genetic mutations may show up in future generations.
Effects Radiation-caused genetic mutations have been shown
in animal studies at very high radiation doses (>25 rem).
Radiation-caused genetic mutations have not been
seen in exposed human populations.
Genetic effects to off-spring of exposed
persons are irreversible and nearly always
harmful. Doubling dose for mutation rate
is approximately 50-80 rems.
Effects (Spontaneous mutation rate is approx.
10-100 mutations per million population
per generation.)
Radiofrequency Ranges (10 kHz to 300 GHz)
Effects only possible at ten times the
permissible exposure limit
Non-ionizing Heating of the body (thermal effect)
Radiation Cataracts
Some studies show effects of
teratoginicity and carcinogenicity.
Questions on Risks and
Exposure to Radiation
How much radiation does it take to
cause a persons risk for a health
effect to increase?
Questions What are the health effects that can
occur if there is enough exposure?
Is there a level of radiation that is
There are many thoughts on the answers to
these questions and suggested answers lie
along a continuum, especially when the
topic is low-level radiation.
Answers range:
From radiation is good for you (this is the
Answers hormesis hypothesis)
To low levels of radiation are safe (they do
not measurably increase your risk of disease)
To any amount of radiation exposure carries
some risk (this is the linear no-threshold
The following slides show
information that is linked
from earlier slides.
By definition, hormesis is a generally favorable biological response to low
exposures to toxins or stressors that would give an unfavorable response
at high exposures.
Some studies of worker populations, plants, animals, and cells have
shown favorable health outcomes at low exposures of radiation as
compared to adverse outcomes at high exposures. However, these
studies have not been accepted as proof of a hormetic effect from
There are some studies in which the authors report that cells exposed to a
Hormesis small amount of radiation (called a conditioning dose) can actually
produce what they refer to as an adaptive response that makes cells more
resistant to another dose of radiation.
Some potential issues:
Many of the results cannot be reproduced (meaning that other scientists
have tried to do the same testing and get the same results, but havent been
able to; this suggests that the initial results might have been just due to
Not every type of cell has this capacity for an adaptive response.
The adaptive response does not appear to last long (so the second radiation
dose would have to occur soon after the conditioning dose).
As early as the 1950s, when scientific groups were creating radiation
protection guidelines:
No one really knew what the effects of radiation at low doses were or if there
were any.
It was decided to assume that the radiation dose and the effect of the dose
were linear and proportional.
Linear This means for a given dose of radiation to a person, that person has
some possibility of a radiation effect; if the dose of radiation is doubled,
No-Threshold that person has twice the possibility and so on.
It was also decided that at any dose, no matter how small, there could be an
Hypothesis effect (no threshold).

Setting radiation protection standards required erring on the safe

(LNT) sidesetting a standard lower than it may have to be if the real level of
hazard were known. This was and still is the basis for the LNT.
LNT was intended for scientists to set radiation protection standards and
not for general use; because it was easy to use and explain, most people
quickly presented it as fact rather than saying we do not know the effects
of low doses of radiation or that low doses of radiation are safe.
Cancer and Radiation
What is cancer? -
uncontrolled growth and
spread of abnormal cells
Causes - Many
Cancer Facts Risk increases after age 40
Risk factors
Personal Habits, Environmental
factors, Occupational hazards
Prob. of developing cancer in U.S. (from
birth to age 74)
40% Male/Female
Death of cancer victims
Cancer Facts 50% of personnel who
(Cont) develop cancer will die
Overall death rate from cancer
The average natural lifetime incidence of cancer in
the United States is 42 percent42 out of 100
people will get cancer in their lifetime.
Diagnostic medical radiation exposures typically
Cancer Facts will not increase this risk appreciably.
(Cont) Radiation exposure does not create a unique cancer
risk situation, nor is the risk directly measurable or
distinguishable from the cancer risk caused by
other sources (environmental, chemical, biological,
Radiation-induced cancers do not appear until at least
10 years after exposure (for tumors) or 2 years after
exposure (for leukemia).
The time after exposure until possible cancer formation
Cancer Facts is called the latent period.
(Cont) The risk of cancer after exposure can extend beyond
this latent period for the rest of a persons life for
tumors or about 30 years for leukemia.
Breast cancer
frequently Thyroid cancer
linked to
radiation Leukemia
Relative-Risk Coefficient - The
fractional increase in the baseline
incidence or mortality rate for unit
dose (4 x 10-4 )
Radiation Risk If 10,000 indiv. received one rem
Estimate each over background during their
life, 4 additional deaths would occur
of the 2,000 that would naturally
We lack scientific data to determine a precise risk of
cancer in the future from radiation exposure today.

We estimate the increase in the cancer incidence rate is

about 0.17 percent per rem of radiation dose1; this is
Cancer Risk based on effects seen at high doses.
However, it may be impossible to demonstrate that
additional cancers occur at low levels of radiation
exposure since the normal incidence rate of cancer is
plus or minus some natural variation.
1InternationalCommission on Radiological
Protection, Publication No. 103; 2007.
This means that, of a group of 100 people, it is
estimated that about 42 will get a cancer in their
lifetime. If we expose each to one rem of radiation, still
about 42 will get a cancer in their lifetime. If we expose
Cancer Risk each to five rem of radiation, we estimate that about
Estimates 43 will get a cancer in their lifetime.
(cont.) What we cannot tell, though, is whether the estimated
one additional cancer is just a natural variation or
whether it is due to the radiation exposure.
A medical procedure involving radiation should be
done only when there is a question to be answeredis
something broken, why the pounding headaches, could
there be cancer?
This is justification; i.e., there should be an appropriate
medical reason for the x ray to be performed.
Justification The issue of medical radiation exposure is not only a
matter of safety; its a matter of benefit compared with
For properly performed common medical radiation
procedures that are necessary in light of the patients
medical condition, safety alone is not the issue.

ICRP Publication 60; Ann ICRP 21(1-3); 1991

Cancers are indistinguishable
Ionizing radiation is not only
cause of cancer
Long latency period of cancer
Problems with Cannot perform human
Models experiment
Studies may suggest radiation as
the cause of cancer but cannot
Controls to Radiation
A. Basic Control Methods for External
Decrease Time
Increase Distance
Radiation Increase Shielding
Controls Time: Minimize time of exposure to minimize total dose. Rotate
employees to restrict individual dose.
Distance: Maximize distance to source to maximize attenuation in
air. The effect of distance can be estimated from equations.
Shielding: Minimize exposure by placing absorbing shield between
worker and source.
B. Monitoring
Personal Dosimeters: Normally they do not
prevent exposures (no alarm), just record it.
Radiation They can provide a record of accumulated
Controls exposure for an individual worker over
extended periods of time (hours, days or
(cont) weeks), and are small enough for measuring
localized exposures Common types: Film
badges; Thermoluminescence detectors (TLD);
and pocket dosimeters.
Direct Reading Survey Meters and Counters:
Useful in identifying source of exposures
recorded by personal dosimeters, and in
evaluating potential sources, such as surface
or sample contamination, source leakage,
inadequate decontamination procedures,
Monitoring background radiation.
(cont) Common types:
Alpha Proportional or Scintillation
Beta, gamma Geiger-Mueller or
Proportional counters
X-ray, Gamma Ionization chambers
Neutrons Proportional counters
Continuous Monitors: Continuous direct
reading ionization detectors (same
detectors as above) can provide read-out
and/or alarm to monitor hazardous
locations and alert workers to leakage,
Monitoring thereby preventing exposures.
(cont) Long-Term Samplers: Used to measure
average exposures over a longer time
period. For example, charcoal canisters
or electrets are set out for days to
months to measure radon in basements
(should be <4 pCi/L).
Monitoring of exposures: Personal, area, and screening
measurements; Medical/biologic monitoring.
Task-Specific Procedures and Controls: Initial, periodic,
and post-maintenance or other non-scheduled events.
Engineering (shielding) vs. PPE vs. administrative
Elements of controls. Including management and employee
commitment and authority to enforce procedures and
Radiation controls.
Emergency procedures: Response, "clean-up", post
Protection clean-up testing and spill control.
Program Training and Hazard Communications including signs,
warning lights, lockout/tagout, etc. Criteria for need,
design, and information given.
Material Handling: Receiving, inventory control,
storage, and disposal.
Law Enforcement for Radiation Pollution Control