# What are some examples of biological effects of radiation?

Nov 10, 2015

It can damage DNA, kill cells and cause cancer.

#### Explanation:

Alpha, beta and gamma radiation are known as "ionising radiation". This means that they can knock electrons off neutral molecules or atoms to create ionised particles (ions).

These ions can be very unstable and react differently with other molecules. If ionising radiation penetrates cells in the body, it can ionise molecules inside the cell, which can change the way molecules in the cell react. This can damage the DNA in the cell and even kill it. Large doses of radiation can lead to:

• Radiation burns (redness and soreness on skin)
• Eye cataracts
• Cancer
For example ""_38^90Sr ($\beta$ radiation) is chemically similar to $C a$. If it is taken in by cows it can get into the milk, which is ingested by humans. The isotope can be deposited into the bone, irradiating the bone marrow. This can kill the cells and stop the production of red and white blood cells.