P6 radiation-everywhere

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P6 radiation-everywhere

  1. 1. Lesson 2: Radiation everywhereWhat you need to know: 1. Sources of radiation can be found all around us. 2. You are exposed to radiation, called your radiation dose. Radiation can be found all around you. It occurs naturally from objects such as rocks, buildings, food and drink and this is called background radiation. In your exam you may be asked to explain what background radiation is. Certain rocks can naturally contain a radioactive element called Radon. Radon is radioactive, which means that it produces ionizing radiation that could be harmful to living cells. Ionizing radiation can affect living cells in different ways: 1. The cell is unaffected. 2. The cell is slightly damaged but fixes itself. 3. The cell’s DNA can be damaged, leading to cancer. 4. The cell dies In your exam you may be asked how ionizing radiation can affect living cells. A radiation dose is how much radiation a human is exposed to every year. A radiation dose is measured in millisieverts (mSv) and the average UK dose is approx 3 mSv. If you are exposed to a source of radiation which is outside your body, then this is called irradiation. If the source of radiation gets into your body, then this is called contamination. In your exam you may need to know the difference between irradiation and contamination. Recap: 1. Radiation is all around us and this is called background radiation. 2. Any object that emits ionizing radiation is called radioactive. 3. A radiation dose is the amount of radiation a human is exposed to every year. © Studydoctor 2009

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