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Radioactive Sickness Essay

911 words - 4 pages

Causative Agent:
A total body exposure of one hundred roentgens of radiation will cause radiation sickness. Although certain medical devices will give you exposure to radiation, the grays of radiation are miniscule and will not cause radiation sickness. There are a few sources that can lead to a high enough exposure of roentgens of radiation. One of these sources involves accidents or attacks involving nuclear facilities. The other has to do with accidents or being the target of radioactive or nuclear weapons and devices, this includes the use of a conventional explosive device that disperses radioactive material, known as a dirty bomb.
Historical Information:
Back in 1902 when Marie & Pierre Curie were isolating radium, a radioactive element, people did not understand at all the effects of radiation on the body. In years 1941 to 1945 more and more studies were conducted using radioactive material in bombs, but very little was done to investigate the effects this radiation. Only after the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan were investigations into the effects of radioactive material on human beings seriously thought about. Japanese Actress Midori Naka, who was in Hiroshima at the time of bombing, was the first incident of radiation poisoning to be extensively studied. Her death on August 24, 1945 was the first to have the official cause be radiation poisoning, at this point it was called the atomic bomb disease.
Transmission/ how it is acquired:
In discussing radiation sickness we must first define what radiation is. Radiation is defined as energy released from atoms. This released energy is either a wave or a tiny particle of matter known as x-rays or gamma rays. Exposure to x-rays or gamma rays is measured in units of roentgens, but the absorbed dose of radiation is measured in a unit called a gray (Gy). Radiation sickness is caused by contact to a high measured quantity of this ionizing radiation. Radiation in the body is measured by total body exposure; that being the total combine radiation source of outside and inside the body. Radiation sickness occurs when ionized radiation damages or destroys cells in your body. The areas of the body most susceptible to radiation are cells in the lining of your intestinal tract which include your stomach, and the hematopoietic cells in bone marrow. There are two main types of radiation sickness acute and chronic.
Symptoms/ Diagnosis:
The symptoms of acute radiation sickness vary based on the exposure. A mild exposure is one to two grays, the symptoms of this included nausea and vomiting within six hours. A moderate exposure of two to six grays, the symptom of a mild exposure will be increased to within two hours with the added symptoms of diarrhea, headache, and fever. All of the symptoms of mild exposure will happen with twenty-four hours. Severe exposure of six to eight grays will increase the onset of moderate exposure...

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