Return to Index
(Ionizing Radiation Exposure)
- Ionizing radiation—a high-frequency radiation that is able to damage cells, has also been linked to cancer and other health problems
- Nonionizing radiation—low in frequency and is not known to cause cancer (except for UV rays)
|Ionizing Radiation||Nonionizing Radiation|
|Gamma rays||Visible light|
|UV rays (high-energy)||Microwaves|
|Sub-atomic particles||Radio waves|
|UV rays (low-energy)|
- Radiation therapy used to treat certain types of cancer
- Radioactive elements in the soil or public works systems (eg, water supply)
- Workplace environment (eg, uranium mines)
- Radiation from nuclear disasters
|External Radiation of a Cancerous Growth|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Hair loss
- Loss of organ functions
- Ask about your symptoms and medical history
- Do a physical exam
- Do blood, stool, and urine tests
- Measure the amount of radiation absorbed by your body using a radiation survey meter
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/
Radiation Emergency Medical Management United States Department of Health and Human Services http://www.remm.nlm.gov/
BC Centre for Disease Control http://www.bccdc.ca/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/
Brenner DJ. Should we be concerned about the rapid increase in CT usage? Rev Environ Health . 2010;25(1):63-68. Review.
Colang JE, Killion JB, Vano E. Patient dose from CT: a literature review. Radiol Technol . 2007;79(1):17-26. Review.
Frequently asked questions on potassium iodide (KI). United States Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/EmergencyPreparedness/BioterrorismandDrugPreparedness/ucm072265.htm#KI%20do . Updated March 18, 2011. Accessed March 28, 2011.
Gross whole-body contamination. United States Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.remm.nlm.gov/ext%5Fcontamination.htm#wholebody . Updated March 14, 2011. Accessed March 28, 2011.
Health effects. Radiation protection. United States Environmental Protection Agency website. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/radiation/understand/health%5Feffects.html . Updated March 24, 2011. Accessed March 28, 2011.
How to perform a survey for radiation contamination. United States Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.remm.nlm.gov/howtosurvey.htm . Updated March 14, 2011. Accessed March 28, 2011.
Potassium iodide (KI). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/radiation/ki.asp . Updated March 17, 2011. Accessed March 28, 2011.
Radiation emergency medical management: choose appropriate algorithm—evaluate for contamination and/or exposure. United States Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.remm.nlm.gov/newptinteract.htm#skip . Updated March 14, 2011. Accessed March 28, 2011.
Radiation exposure and cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/medicaltreatments/radiation-exposure-and-cancer . Updated March 29, 2010. Accessed March 30, 2011.
- Reviewer: Igor Puzanov, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013
- Update Date: 06/20/2013