How does radioactive decay affect living things?

1 Answer
Sep 9, 2017

This is a very general question, but I'll try.


In essence, radioactive decay products will damage living tissue. The alpha, beta particles (or whatever) cause ionisation in the cells that can (if it affects the DNA in the nucleus) cause cancer.

The likelihood of this is related to both exposure time and intensity, but also the specific type of radiation that is emitted.