Biological hazards of nuclear radiations
When γ-ray or any high energy nuclear particle passes through human
beings, it disrupts the entire normal functioning of the biological system and
the effect may be either pathological or genetic.
The biological effects of nuclear radiation can
be divided into three groups
Short term recoverable effects
long term irrecoverable effects and
The extent to which the human organism is
damaged depends upon (i) the dose and the rate at which the radiation is given
and (ii) the part of the body exposed to it.
Smaller doses of radiation exposure produce
short term effects such as skin disorder and loss of hair.
If the exposure is 100 R*, it may cause
diseases like leukemia (death of red blood corpuscle in the blood) or cancer.
When the body is exposed to about 600 R, ultimately it causes death. Safe limit
of receiving the radiations is about 250 milli roentgen per week.
The genetic damage is still worse. The
radiations cause injury to genes in the reproductive cells. This gives rise to
mutations which pass on from generation to generation.
The following precautions are to be taken for
those, who are working in radiation laboratories.
materials are kept
in thick walled lead container.
Lead aprons and lead gloves are used while
working in hazardous area.
All radioactive samples are handled by a remote
A small micro−film
badge is always worn by the person and it is checked periodically for the
safety limit of radiation.