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Flashcards in Radioactivity Safety Deck (11):

Why are beta and gamma sources more dangerous than alpha sources outside the body?

They are more dangerous because beta and gamma can get inside to the delicate organs where as Alfie is much less dangerous because it can't penetrate the skin


Why are alpha sources more dangerous than beta and gamma inside the body?

Inside the body alpha sources do all the damage in a very localised area.
Beta and gamma sources or less dangerous inside the body as they can pass straight out without doing much damage


What natural substance can help protect us from exposure to radiation?



Why is lead used to help protect us from exposure to radiation? How do medical professionals use this?

Lead absorbs all three types of radiation. Medical professionals who work with radiation every day wear lead aprons and stay behind late screens


Describe two precautions that should be taken when handling radioactive sources in the lab

•Never look directly at the source
• always handle a source with tongs
• never allow the source to touch the skin
• never have the source out of its lead lined box for longer than necessary


Give one way in which people who work with radiation can be protected from it

Wear lead aprons
Work behind lead/concrete barriers


Explain why the dose of radiation given in radiotherapy is directed only at the tumour

So that the dose to the rest of the body is minimised to reduce damage to healthy cells


Briefly explain how a low dose of nuclear radiation can cause cancer

The radiation can collide with molecules in the bodies cells causing ionisation and damaging the cells. This can result in mutant cells dividing uncontrollably which is cancer


Describe what can happen to the body if it receives a very high dose of nuclear radiation

It can kill cells which causes radiation sickness if a large part of the body is affected


When working with a sample of radioactive gas suggest two ways in which a worker could protect themselves against radiation exposure

• keep exposure time short
• don't allow skin contact with sample
• hold container at arm's-length
• wear protective lead clothing
• put it in a lead container


The extent of the harmful effects of radiation depends on what two things?

1) how much exposure you have to the radiation
2) The energy and penetration of the radiation