How much radiation is harmful?


The unit for measuring radiation is sievert; this quantifies the amount of radiation that is absorbed by the human body. There are so many health dangers posed by high exposure to radiation. One sievert is equivalent to 1000 mSv. Naturally, we are exposed to 3-4 mSv in a year. When you go for a CT scan, your body gets exposed to radiation of 15mSv. While newborn babies subjected to CT scan, absorb radiations of 30mSv by their organs or tissues exposed for examination.

We cannot sense radiations around us. All radiations are not the same in terms of intensity and danger. Among all radiations, ionizing radiations are the most dangerous ones. Examples of these radiations are x-rays and Gamma rays. Why are ionizing radiations most hazardous? Because these radiations unionize your living tissues by splitting them into positive and negative charges. These radiations can even cause mutation in your DNA. Fortunately, our body is very efficient in tissue repair mechanisms; that is why it poses a minimum risk. Burns are the most common sign of exposure to ionizing radiation.We estimate radiation dose by combining different parameters, like duration, intensity, and sensitivity of a person.

A simple example is many of us do a lot of stuff and activities under the sun. The sun has radiations as well, but not every one of us is equally affected by these radiations. It depends upon the parameters as mentioned earlier. Similarly, every one of us reacts differently to various radiations.

There are a lot of sources from where we can get in contact with radiation. Some of them are visible and known. Every one of us has an idea that we are getting radiations from mobile phones, televisions, electronics, and the sun. While some sources are unknown for us as they do not emit radiations as such, but may contain radiations in an absorbed form, fruits and vegetables may contain absorbed radiation.

In a dental examination, radiations of 0.01 mSv are absorbed, while during chest X-ray radiations of 0.02 mSv are subjected to a person. If individuals absorb radiation of 1000 mSv, they will be at risk of developing cancer. In this case, the ratio will be 5 out of 100 individuals.

There is evidence associated with increased caused of fatal risk with repeated three CT scans of 90 mSv. If an individual is exposed to high doses of radiation on and off, it destroys the central nervous system. He or she will also suffer from associated dangers like the destruction of white and red blood cells and a compromised immune system. And we all know a compromised immune system will not be able to fight with infection.What happens when a person came in contact with higher levels of radiation? It immediately causes radiation sickness. In radiation sickness symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and bleeding occur. Radiation sickness usually does not shift towards death. A population exposed to radiation of 5 sieverts at a single time is at a higher risk, and there are chances that half of them will die within a month.

Not every part of our body or every organ is equally affected by exposure to harmful levels of radiation. Our intestine is most affected by exposure, and damage to cells is irreversible.

Remember, there should be a shield between you and radiation. Reduce the time of exposure and direct contact with the source. Use a face mask when you are in a location of high dose radiations.

Until Next Time,

Team Doctor ASKY!


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