Popular beliefs around radiation risk are incorrect – the scientific data tell a different story.
Radiation is all around us all the time without causing harm.
We live in an environment of natural low level background radiation from breathing naturally produced radon, ingestion of food and water that naturally contain radioisotopes, from cosmic rays from space, and proximity to rocks such as granite. Additionally we are exposed to low level medical x-rays and CT scans. All of these have no statistically significant detrimental effect. Any genetic damage from low-level radiation is quickly repaired by substances in the cell, which have evolved over millennia of humans living in a radioactive environment.
We should be informed by the facts, not fear.
Irrational fear of radiation has resulted in millions of deaths by preventing the deployment of nuclear power plants.
“A whole generation was raised on movies and literature and other art depicting nuclear radiation as the ultimate bogeyman of modern technology”
How did we become so afraid?
“The most common answer to this question is that the nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima frightened people.
And yet the accidents proved the relative safety, not relative danger, of nuclear energy.”
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Radiation is safe within limits. Nuclear power is a green environmental solution. It generates no CO2. The fuel is cheap and inexhaustible.
“Nuclear power releases less radiation into the environment than any other major energy source.”
Now is an opportune time to assess whether…actions taken because of our fear of radiation actually cause a greater detriment to health than the direct effect of radiation exposure.
But ionizing radiation is not the only culprit causing DNA damage. In fact, it is a tiny fraction of that caused by the major culprit, that being naturally produced physiologic ionized oxygen molecules (commonly known as free radicals of oxygen) within our bodies which actually account for at least 10000 DNA breaks per cell per day.
“Sources of background radiation. Eighty-five per cent of an individual’s annual dose of radiation comes from natural sources (radon, a gas that is emitted from the rocks that form the crust of the planet; food/drinking water; cosmic radiation”