Radiation safety
Radiation safety

Radiation safety is now become an important issue in the world after the nuclear disaster in Japan. This earthquake after effects left Radiation safety question in our mind. So far radiation in 13 states have not crossed its limits in United States, but we all should know about radiation safety so that if any unforeseen happens than we may able to be protect us and our love ones.

What is radiation?

Radiation is extremely dangerous energy which travels like your cell phone signals. There are two types of radiation one of which is Non-ionizing radiation, this is essential for our life such as sun light from which our body gets vitamin D, but excessive exposures from non-ionizing radiation damages our tissues.

The second type of radiation is Ionizing radiation, this radiation is also helpful to us as we can see the use of this radiation in our hospital in shape of X-Ray machines. Same as above, excessive exposures to this radiation is also damaging. The radiation is calculated in millisieverts per year.

Radiation spectrum
Radiation spectrum

What are the immediate effects of radiation on your health?

The immediate effects of radiation on your health is depend on the amount of radiation exposure to your body, the following table shows the health conditions on the different levels of radiation exposure,

Health Effect Time to Onset
(without treatment)
5-10 changes in blood chemistry
50 nausea Hours
55 fatigue Hours
70 vomiting Hours
75 hair loss 2-3 weeks
90 diarrhea 2-3 weeks
100 hemorrhage 2-3 weeks
400 possible death within 2 months
1,000 destruction of intestinal lining 1-2 weeks
internal bleeding
and death
2,000 damage to central nervous system
loss of consciousness; Minutes
and death hours to days

What are the health effects of radiation?

Radiation and radioactive particles cause great damage to your body’s internal chemistry, it destroys the chemical bonds which make molecules for your tissues. As natural process of internal repairs of tissues, due to high exposure of radiation your body may unable to repair the damage and even cells starts malfunctioning and by producing a new type of tissues which are not written in your DNA.

The damage by radiation is depends upon the level of exposure and the time of the body remains exposed in the radiation. The most exposed body organs for radiation attack are the white blood cell producing cells in the bone marrow and cells inside intestine and stomach.

The biggest damage caused by radiation is the Cancer. Our body’s cells have ability to do suicide when they complete their age. Radiation affects this ability and cells do not die as they have to, and keep dividing and dividing in unauthorized way. Body has tissue repair facility but in case of radiation exposure this may also become ineffective or destroyed. These disrupting functions will results in cancer.

These effects of radiations may also shift in next generations leading to deformities such as poorly formed eyes, irregular brain size, irregular head size, irregular body structure   and slow growth.

How radiation exposed person treated?

The first step for treating radiation is to remove all the wearing of the contaminated person including clothes shoes watch socks and urgently re-locate the person away from the contaminated area. (You must wear gloves)

Than wash all the skin with lots of soap and water so that all the radiations on the skin will be neutralized.

Provide patient urgently with the erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), for white blood cell production so that bone marrow damage can be prevented.

Provide nifedipine, lisinopril or other specific drugs which reduced the internal damage of organs caused by radiation.

Take the patient to the hospital as soon as possible so that further medical assistance can be delivered to him.

Is food from Japan is contaminated?

Yes, food from Japan is contaminated which are produced around 100 Km radiation zone. This also includes the sea food because the pacific sea also dilutes radioactive particles from Japan.

Raised  radiation level in the sample of milk and spinach are analyzed in the radioactive zone. Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano, says, “The level of radioactivity found in the spinach would, if consumed for a year, equal the radiation received in a single CAT scan. For the milk, the figure would be much less”. FDA is in contact with Japan for the current situation of food contamination