Plutonium

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Modified on 2009/10/14 21:36 by admin
Plutonium is a silvery white metal that exists as a solid under normal conditions. It is produced when uranium absorbs an atomic particle. Trace amounts of plutonium occur naturally, but large amounts have been produced in nuclear reactors. Trace levels of plutonium can be found in the environment, from past nuclear bomb tests, in several forms called isotopes. The most common plutonium isotopes are plutonium-238 and plutonium-239.

Plutonium undergoes radioactive decay. In this decay process, energy is released and a new product is formed. The energy released is called radiation. When plutonium decays, it divides into two parts-a small part that is called "alpha" radiation and a large part called a daughter. The daughter is also radioactive, and it, too, continues to decay until a nonradioactive daughter is formed. During these decay processes, three types of radiation are released-alpha, beta, and gamma. Alpha particles can travel only a short distance and cannot travel through your skin. Beta particles can penetrate through your skin, but they cannot go all the way through your body. Gamma radiation can go all the way through your body.

Plutonium is a radioactive material that does not occur naturally to any extent, but is produced in nuclear reactors. It has been found to cause lung, liver, and bone cancer in animals. This chemical has been found in at least 5 of the 1,177 National Priorities List sites identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

See a doctor if you have been harmed by this substance. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be timelimits within which you must commence suit.

Attorneys associatedwith InjuryBoard.com will evaluate your case free of charge. In addition, you will not pay any legal fees unless your attorney recovers money for you. Please click on the free contact an attorney button to take advantage of this valuable service.

Source: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

See Also

  1. Toxic & Hazardous Substances
  2. Blood Disorders: Overview
  3. Bone, Joint & Muscle Disorders: Overview
  4. Cancer
  5. Immune Disorders
  6. Liver & Gallbladder Disorders
  7. Lung & Airway Disorders
  8. Lung Cancer: Overview
  9. Plutonium: Frequently Asked Questions
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