RADIATION AND EFFECT

Radiation can be produced from a variety of sources. There are two broad types ionising and non-ionising radiation nonclassified in terms of their effects on matter NonNon-ionising radiation includes some ultra violet light, visible and infrared light, microwaves, radar and radio waves.

Ionising radiation is that which has enough energy to remove an electron from an atom, thereby producing an ion - an electrically charged atom or grouping of atoms. Cosmic rays, x-rays and the radiation xemitted by the decay of radioactive substances are examples of ionising radiation

Types of Radiation Are 1 . alpha radiation 2 . beta radiation 3 . gamma radiation, and x radiation 4 . Neutron radiation is also encountered in nuclear power plants and high-altitude highflight and emitted from some industrial radioactive sources

AlphaAlpha-emitting materials can be harmful to humans if the materials are inhaled. or absorbed through open wounds.Alpha Radiation Alpha radiation is a heavy. swallowed. very short-range particle shortand is actually an ejected helium nucleus. . Special training in the use of these instruments is essential for making accurate measurements. A variety of instruments has been designed to measure alpha radiation. Some characteristics of alpha radiation are: Most alpha radiation is not able to penetrate human skin.

radon. but is not an external hazard. a l . Alpha radiation travels only a short distance (a few inches) in air. Alpha radiation is not able to penetrate clothing. or other material. dust. uranium.A thin-window Geiger-Mueller (GM) probe can detect thinGeigerthe presence of alpha radiation. paper. Examples of some alpha emitters: radium. Instruments cannot detect alpha radiation through even a thin layer of water. thorium. because alpha radiation is not penetrating.

Beta radiation can penetrate human skin to the "germinal layer." where new skin cells are produced. If high levels of beta-emitting contaminants are allowed betato remain on the skin for a prolonged period of time. . short-range particle and is shortactually an ejected electron. they may cause skin injury.Beta Radiation Beta radiation is a light. Some characteristics of beta radiation are: Beta radiation may travel several feet in air and is moderately penetrating. BetaBeta-emitting contaminants may be harmful if deposited internally.

and sulfur-35 carbonsulfurElectrons at 2MeV have a maximum range of about 1cm in water . Examples of some pure beta emitters strontiumstrontium-90. Clothing provides some protection against beta radiation. carbon-14. tritium..

radiation. They readily penetrate most materials and are sometimes called "penetrating" radiation. . Some characteristics of these radiations are: Gamma radiation or x rays are able to travel many feet in air and many inches in human tissue.Gamma and X Radiation Gamma radiation and x rays are highly penetrating electromagnetic radiation.

X rays. Sealed radioactive sources and machines that emit gamma radiation and x rays respectively constitute mainly an external hazard to humans. too. are penetrating radiation. . rays. humans.X rays are like gamma rays.

Gamma rays and x rays are the most energetic of these Dense materials are needed for shielding from gamma radiation Clothing provides little shielding from penetrating radiation.Gamma radiation and x rays are electromagnetic radiation like visible light. but will prevent contamination of the skin by gammagammaemitting radioactive materials . and ultraviolet light. radiowaves. These electromagnetic radiations differ only in the amount of energy they have.

and are commonly used in the treatment of cancer The naturally emitted rays do not differ from high energy X ±ray thus the rays from cobalt-60 are the same as the cobalthardest X-ray generated at about 1.Nowadays X-rays generated at several million volts can be produced.2Mev XGamma radiation is easily detected by survey meters with a sodium iodide detector probe. .

Examples of some gamma emitters: iodine-131. cesiumiodinecesium137. cobaltradiumand technetium-99m. cobalt-60. radium-226. technetium- .

External exposure can come from beta. A radioactive substance can also enter the body through cuts in the skin Alpha and beta radiation contribute to internal exposure. or from breathing contaminated air. gamma and X-ray radiation that penetrates the body .Internal and External Exposure to Radiation Internal exposure comes from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Both internal and external radiation can directly harm cells .

depending on the energy delivered per distance travelled.UNITS OF DOSE Different type of radiation have biological effect. particls has high (LET). LET than or . or the linear energy transfer (LET).

SI unit  BEQUEREL (Bq) The unit of ionising activity in the tissue or material: 1Bq=one nuclear transformation/second (3.7o×104Bq=1microcurie)  GRAY(Gy) The unit of ionising energy actually absorbed (absorbed dose)1Gy=1J/kg dose)1Gy=1J/kg (1Gy=100rads) .7o× (3.

Sievert (Sv) (Sv) The unit of absorbed dose taking account of LET. This allows different types of radiation from different sources to be compared Sv=Gy × 1 for particles and Gy × 20 for particles (1Sv =100 rem) (1Sv .

and ions and free radicals are formed The Changes vary with each type of radiation . Some molecules are excited. This leads to a variety of physicochemical event.Changes induced in matter by the passage of ionising radiation Energy is absorbed.

although electrically neural are highly unstable and reactive .Ion formation H2O H2O++ e H2O + e H2OThese charged ions are unstable and decompose immediately + H2O+ H+ + OH. H2O H. and H. . + OHThe radical OH.

further powerfully oxidising species are formed H2O + O2 HO . H2O2 + O2 . + HO2. + HO2.+ H2O H2 + OH. + OHOH In the presence of oxygen. + O2 HO2. HO2.H2O. H.

can break one or both chains of DNA double helix .Effects of Ionizing Radiation? Inactivate enzyme DNA is liquefied.

one of four things can happen body. It may damage the cell. It may kill the cell . It may damage the cell in such a way that the damage is passed on when new cells are formed. but the cell may be able to repair the damage before it produces new cells.How Radiation Can Harm a Cell When a radioactive particle or wave hits a cell in the body.. It may pass through the cell without doing damage.

so that giant-cell forms are giantproduced 5CHROMOSOME break occur 6Finally cell death .100Gy or more .1 Immediate death of the cell occurs with very heavy dosage i.e. This effect occurs regardless of the stage mitosis (interphase death) (interphase 2DNA synthesis is inhibited 3mitosis is delayed (usually G2 phase prolong) 4DNA synthesis may occur unrelated to mitosis.

Health Effects of Radiation Divided into two categories Threshold effects NonNon-threshold effects .

when levels of radiation exposure are tens.Threshold effects Appear after a certain level of radiation exposure is reached and enough cells have been damaged to make the effect apparent. . and usually when the exposure is over a very short time. or thousands of times higher than background. hundreds. such as a few minutes.

and recommended limits are constantly being received Annual limit for absorbed radiation to be received by various populations have been defined by the International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP) .NonNon-threshold effects can occur at lower levels of radiation exposure Permissible dose The risk from low-dose radiation is highly lowuncertain.

forming organs or lens of the eye .5mSv. for members of the public should be less the 5mSv for occupationally expose workers less than 50mSv or 30mSv specifically to gonads.ICRP The whole body level of exposure for pregnant women should be less than 0. bloodblood.

possible bone growth retardation in children Serious radiation sickness. diarrhea.Threshold Effects Dose (in rem 5 to 20 25 to 100 > 50 100 100to 200 Effects Possible latent effects (cancer). reduction in infection resistance. nausea Permanent sterility in females Bone marrow and intestine destruction Acute illness and early death (usually within days 200to 300 >300 300to 400 400to1000 . possible chromosomal abberations Blood changes Temporary sterility in males Double the normal incidents of genetic defects Vomiting.

The degree to which patients experience nausea following treatment is very variable. The patient should be encouraged to maintain fluid intake. in some instances. .Acute Radiation Side Effects acute reaction occurring during radiation and in the immediate weeks and months following treatment General Side Effect Symptoms Radiation Nausea. throughout the treatment. nausea is likely to be worst from two to several hours after treatment. Nausea. If it occurs. whereas others will be troubled by nausea or vomiting during the early part of the treatment and. Some people will experience hardly any at all.

Small.Salty foods or ice cold drinks help control nausea 2.The following dietary steps may prove helpful: 1. frequent meals eaten slowly If insufficient. . In most patients nausea improves as the treatment progresses. anti-nausea medication may antibe prescribed. strong-smelling or strongoverly sweet foods 3.Avoid greasy foods.

Hair Loss Hair loss will only occur within the radiation field. Scalp hair will only be affected if the head receives radiation .

This will not prevent most people from working or undertaking normal duties but. reduction in activities during treatment and immediately afterwards will be advised .Fatigue / Malaise Some degree of tiredness and lack of energy is often experienced. in some.

and the number of platelets will be reduced . and to a lesser extent. This results from radiation exposure of bone marrow.Low Blood Count Reduction in certain elements of the blood is often seen following radiation therapy. direct damage to lymphocytes in the blood stream and lymph nodes. The white cell count will be reduced. particularly the lymphocyte count.

an interruption in treatment for a few days is usually sufficient to allow recovery.These drops are seldom enough to cause clinical problems. but if they are. but may occur from blood loss due to bleeding Changes in the peripheral blood count are much more marked in patients who have also received chemotherapy . Reduction in red cells does not occur to any degree in radiation treatment.

Organ Specific Side Effect Symptoms Skin. crusts will form which protect the re-epithelialisation occurring reunderneath and will only come away and not reform when the skin is healed underneath. . The reaction may only progress part way through these steps and healing occurs through the same steps in reverse. Skin. If desquamation has occurred. erythema to dry desquamation moist desquamation.

dry carefully.The reaction develops two or three weeks after the initiation of treatment and may take four to six weeks to heal. dust and trauma Best of all. leaving the area open to the air Using non-stick dressings nonOpinions vary about moisture. heat. It is best managed by: Avoiding irritation from clothing. If the area is bathed. do not rub or inflame with soaps. and dust with corn starch . perfumes. deodorants.

depending on the amount of radiation.Steroid creams may help Hair loss may be temporary or permanent. Hair loss only occurs in skin exposed to radiation treatment Avoid direct sunlight on the treated area Have patience. the reaction will heal .

. esophagus. mucositis may develop. bladder or rectum.Mucous Membranes Wherever mucous membranes are included in a radiation field similar reactions will be experienced: Whether in the mouth. pharynx. trachea. bowel.

. when the fibrinous plaque is lost and the reaction healed. The mucous membrane remains moist and the surface covered by fibrin until the underlying mucosa is healed. the mucosa is reddened at first but then may be covered with a plaqueplaquelike fibrin similar to crusting of the skin.As with the skin.

* irritation *dysfunction caused by the mucosal reaction depend on the site of the reaction. or dysuria and frequency. or diarrhoea and abdominal cramps.The symptoms resulting from * inflammation. . cramps. hoarseness and tracheitis. There may be discomfort and dysphagia or cough.

and steroids may help. Low fibre diet for those with bowel reaction. have patience. the reaction will heal.The management varies from site to site. antibiotics where indicated. Maintain hydration by encouragement and intravenous fluids if necessary. but depends on the same principles as the care of skin reaction Avoid irritation by keeping food or stools soft and preventing trauma of any kind. Local analgesic mixtures. Best of all. .

urinary or bowel symptoms. saliva and mucous This leads to a degree of stickiness. dryness change in taste. depending on the site of radiation.Accessory Glands Eg. oral discomfort. . irritating cough and discomfort.

cough suppressants. soothing creams or lotions and patience . adequate urinary and bowel fluid.Management consists of providing replacement lubricants such as frequent small drinks.

the late changes that do occur warrant notice and care in all patients who have received radiation treatment . Nevertheless.Late Radiation Side Effects The late effects of radiation treatment develop gradually over several months or years The changes that result may be sufficiently slight as to cause no clinical symptoms. or so rare as to present minimal risk to the individual.

Late Radiation«. In those few individuals with serious late effects (generally less than 5% of (generally patients who have received high-dose highradiation) the results are often disastrous and treatment extremely difficult ..

less suppleness and less resistance to injury. leading to reduction in blood supply to some tissues. the walls of small blood vessels may be thickened and distorted. fibrosis and scarring often associated with atrophy of accessory tissues.Scarring increased connective tissue. This leads to some increased rigidity of tissues. This particularly leads to less ability to deal with injury or trauma such as that resulting from infection or surgery . In addition.

Carcinogenicity Radiation is one of the causes of cancer Very rarely leukemia may result some five to twenty years after radiation exposure. due to bone marrow cells being damaged during radiation therapy it may occur in child.thorium dioxide as a contrast medium in angiography. when doing x-Ray in pregnancy xSKINSKIN-radium workers or therapeutic Rx -Squamus cell CA BONEBONE-OSTEOSARCOMA may occur following local radiation for either a benign tomour or an inflammatory lesionlesion-TB Thyroid CA-Papillary type by radioactive iodine Rx for CAhyperthyroidism LiverLiver-Angiosarcoma . as may also leukemia .

Late genetic effects in the individual are much less important than the increased risk of inducing cancer or the late vascular changes produced by radiation treatment. Even if both parents have been exposed to radiation.Genetic Effects Exposure of the gonads to radiation increases the risk of abnormal mutations and genetic changes. . the risks of abnormal children being produced are so small as to be almost negligible. Most chromosome damage from radiation results in a failure of conception and not an abnormal child.

Total body radiation 1 Premature ageing.failed to demonstrate in ageinghuman 2 cataract.may occasionally follow a large dose cataractof neutron irradiation 3 Sterility ±in male complete recovery usual. but in females result is less predictable permanent sterility occurs only when the gonads have received a dose which would cause death if applied to the whole body .

Fetal abnormalities neural tube defects leukemia .

RARIOTHERPY Curative Rx of some primary CAs as well as in palliative metastasized and are beyond the scope of surgical excision 1 tissue of origin-seminoma.tumour of originlymphoreticular system .neural origin is highly sensitive .

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classified in terms of their effects on matter.ionising and nonnon-ionising radiation .RADIATION AND EFFECT There are two broad types . .

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