Ionizing radiation is a form of energy that has the ability to remove electrons from atoms and molecules, and can cause damage to living tissues. It is found in X-rays, cosmic particles from outer space, and radioactive elements. Exposure to ionizing radiation can cause burns, radiation sickness, and cancer. It is used in a variety of fields, such as medicine, nuclear energy, research and industrial manufacturing, but must be handled with caution to avoid excessive exposure.
At low doses, ionizing radiation can be beneficial, such as in the use of X-rays for medical imaging. However, at high doses it can cause cellular damage that can lead to cancer. The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) provides guidance on protection against ionizing radiation and the effects of dose absorption on human health. Ionizing radiation is composed of subatomic particles or electromagnetic waves that have enough energy to ionize atoms or molecules by separating electrons from them.
Alpha particles are a form of particulate ionizing radiation composed of two neutrons and two protons. Photons are indirect ionizing radiation. The boundary between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation in the ultraviolet area is not clearly defined, since different molecules and atoms ionize at different energies. At high, acute doses, it will cause radiation burns and radiation sickness, and doses of lower levels for a long time can cause cancer.
Chronic exposure to radiation can also cause cancer (as a result of damage at the cellular or molecular level). Exposure to ionizing radiation can affect atoms in living things, posing a health risk by damaging the tissue and DNA of genes. Symptoms of radiation poisoning include nausea, weakness, hair loss, and decreased organ function. This radiation sickness can cause death if the dose is high enough.Since most ionized atoms are due to secondary beta particles, there is evidence that even a single nuclear path along a path of densely ionizing particles can trigger harmful effects that extend beyond the cell traversed and induce harmful effects in neighboring cells.Ionizing radiation is only harmful to an organism as a whole when its quantity is too high.
Intense exposures to ionizing radiation can cause damage to skin or tissue. Exposure, especially in fast-growing cells, can cause mutations that can be harmful. The biological effects of radiation vary depending on the amount of exposure a person has, the duration of the exposure to which they are exposed, and the type of radiation to which they are exposed.