Module 2 Biological Effects
c) Ionizing radiation is used to treat cancer in these patients
because cancer cells are rapidly dividing and therefore
sensitive to ionizing radiation. Some of the side effects
of people undergoing radiation therapy are hair loss,
nausea, and tiredness.
d. Probability of a large acute dose
What is important to understand is that it takes a large
acute dose of radiation before any physical effect is seen.
These acute doses have occurred in Hiroshima/Nagasaki,
and in a few radiation accidents, including Chernobyl.
The possibility of a radiological worker receiving a large
acute dose of ionizing radiation on the job is extremely
low. Typically, radioactive materials are handled in
small quantities that do not produce a large amount of
radiation. Where there is a potential for larger
exposures, many safety features are required.
Chronic radiation doses
EO5 Define the terms "acute
A chronic radiation dose is typically a small amount of
dose" and "chronic dose."
radiation received over a long period of time. An
example of a chronic dose is the dose we receive from
natural background every day of our lives. The body's
EO6 State examples of
cell repair mechanisms are better able to repair a
chronic radiation dose.
chronic dose than an acute dose.
The body has time to repair damage because a smaller
percentage of the cells need repair at any given time.
The body also has time to replace dead or non-
functioning cells with new, healthy cells.
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