The different effects and consequences of exposure to radiation

NOAA Image Map of Radiation Fallout from Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
NOAA Image Map of Radiation Fallout from Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

WASHINGTON – Many believe that the topic of radiation isn’t debated enough worldwide outside of official conference rooms and politically driven settings. While there is the common knowledge that radiations are bad, not everyone is able to tell you why it’s bad and how. Educating ourselves to the dangers of radiation is an important step towards knowing how to protect ourselves and keep away from such perils. Before you hop over on to get your own personal radiation detector, you should check the remainder of this article where we look over the effects of radiations on the human body. Here are some of the worst things that could happen due to radiation.

Losing your hair

Losing your hair is one of the first signs of radiation sickness and is also one of the most expectable consequences of being exposed to radiations. This effect appears at exposure to radiation that exceeds 200 rems. The effect has been made familiar to mainstream culture due to the involvement of radiations in cancer treatment, thus leading to the association of unnaturally or unwillingly bald people with cancer immediately.

Brain damage

The brain can be easily affected by radiations, although the brain cells won’t suffer directly from radiations that are below 5000 rems. The reason for this is the fact that brain cells don’t reproduce. That being said, there are issues like killing nerve cells and even blood vessels. As serious and as bad as seizures sound, they take a back seat in terms of gravity to instant death.

Heart complications

If you’re “lucky” enough to not die instantly when having your heart exposed to radiations between 1000 and 5000 rems, there are very high chances that you will suffer of heart failure due to the deterioration of blood vessels.

Issues with the reproductive and gastrointestinal tracts

The previously mentioned organs had the protection of strong cells that made it so radiations would have to be of at least 1000 and growing to damage them. Unfortunately, reproductive tract cells are a completely different story, only requiring small amounts  radiation. These incredibly easily dividable cells don’t require more than 200 rems to get damaged and even compromised by radiations. The consequences of irradiating the reproductive tract is permanent sterility.

The gastrointestinal tract is in a similar boat as it too suffers from easily dividable cells that collapse under the force of 200 rems or more. Additionally, the DNA and RNA of the cells that manage to survive will be damaged.

These are just some of the problems that will occur as consequences of prolonged radiation of various intensities. The bottom line is that radiations have a wide range of effects where permanent damage to one or more organs or body parts is considered the best case scenario, the opposite being instant death.