Ionizing radiation is any one of several types of particles and rays given off by radioactive material, high-voltage equipment, nuclear
reactions, and stars. The types that are normally important to your health are alpha particles, beta particles, x rays, and gamma rays.
Alpha and beta particles are small, fast-moving bits of atoms that a radioactive atom gives off when it changes into another substance. X rays and gamma rays are types of electromagnetic radiation. These radiation particles and rays carry enough energy to knock out electrons from atoms and molecules (such as water, protein, and DNA) that they hit or pass near. This process is called ionization, which is why this radiation is called "ionizing radiation."
Ionizing radiation, like heat and light, is a form of energy. It includes particles and rays given off by radioactive material, stars, and high-voltage equipment. Most of it occurs naturally and some is produced by human activities. At very high doses, ionizing radiation can cause illness or death
. Any dose could possibly cause cancer
, after a several-year delay. It is not known how many of the 1,517 National Priorities List sites
identified by the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) give off ionizing radiation above background levels.
See a doctor if you have been harmed by this substance. In addition, it
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Source: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
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