When the radiation dose is less it may result in cancer or additional long-term problems. All of us are exposed to very low doses of radiations in normal circumstances particularly from the natural and artificial sources, such as cosmic rays, medical X-rays and nuclear power plants. However, the impact of these radiations is a subject of contemporary debate. According to a report released by the U.S. National Research Council (BEIR VII report) the overall cancer risk associated with background sources of radiation was relatively low. There are also arguments that suggest that low-level doses of ionizing radiation are favorable, as they are responsible for stimulating the immune system and self-repair mechanisms of cells and this theory is called “radiation hormesis”. The radioactive materials that are used in producing the ionization radiation, release α particles from the nuclei of helium, β particles that are rapidly moving electrons or positrons, or gamma rays. It is possible to easily protect us from α and β particles with the help of a sheet of paper or aluminum foil respectively. If α and β particles are released inside the body, the possibility of damage or radiation poisoning is high. However, gamma rays are comparatively less ionizing but require thicker shielding for protection. The Health Risks Associated with Ionizing Radiation.
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