Radiation : Causes And Effects

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The topic of my research paper is radiation caused illness and I chose this topic because of the radiation leak in Fukushima, Japan due to the massive earthquake and tsunami. Nearly 20,000 people were killed by the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Although there were no deaths connected with the radiation leak, there is much concern over its long-term effects. I was eager to find out how the radiation leak would affect the citizens in that area over a period of time. Radiation injury is interesting to me because I am half Japanese and have relatives living in these areas. The fear of what will happen to my relatives and the people who have been exposed to radiation greatly sparked my interest and curiosity in this topic.
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Radiation comes from numerous sources such as UV rays from the sun, infrared waves from a heat lamp, microwaves, radios, cell phones, and even from visible light. Although these forms of radiation are nearly harmless, ionizing radiation can be dangerous and comes from sources such as gamma rays from radioactive materials and nuclear explosions from nuclear power plant accidents or atomic bombs. Radiation illness can also come from certain medical treatments such as radiotherapy and x-rays since they are strong forms of ionizing radiation. An interesting fact is that medical x-rays are the largest source of human-made radiation exposure today (US EPA 2012)1.
The next part discusses the symptoms of radiation and details such as the affected body parts and the effects on different populations of people. For this category, there were only certain situations where exposure levels of ionizing radiation was high enough to be considered radiation illness since most radiation exposure is harmless. Most of the data comes from survivors of the 1945 atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Another event that scientists study to discover new information about radiation illness is the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl Power Plant in Ukraine. Over thirty people who were at the site of the reactor when it exploded died immediately or shortly after the accident (NCI 2011)4. Since that accident, scientists have found a great increase of thyroid

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