How dangerous is radiation?
Here are the facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- It can damage the DNA in cells.
- High doses of radiation can cause Cutaneous Radiation Injuries (CRI)
- High doses of radiation can also cause cancer.
However, the CDC also stated that the gravity of radiation effect depends on the dose. It is why in small amounts, people can use radiation in beneficial ways in medicine, academics, archaeology, space exploration, electricity generation, and other industries.
Regarding factors that affect radiation dose:
- A dose received all at once that’s similar to a dose that’s received over a long period of time is more harmful.
- A dose to the whole body is more harmful than a dose applied to a part of the body.
- Children and young adults have more sensitivity to the effects of radiation.
When exposed to radiation, its primary target, just like toxins and contaminants, is our genetic material or DNA. It causes direct damage by breaking bonds in our DNA, or indirectly by breaking the water molecules that surround our DNA. Once broken, these water molecules create free radicals – unstable oxygen molecules that can damage organs and cells.
Once a cell is damaged, there are three things that can occur:
- The cell will repair itself and function normally again.
- Damage cannot be repaired or gets repaired incorrectly.
- The cell dies.
In a viral post on Reddit, employees of a certain company were alarmed when they learned that radioactive materials were being stored next to the office’s water supply. The matter was brought up to the attention of their boss via email, but the reply to them was simply to “find a better company.”
An image of the email was posted on Reddit’s r/antiwork by the friend of one of the concerned employees, and many Reddit users reacted with anxiety as well.
One of the commenters wrote, “Please tell him to report them to the Nuclear Regularly Commission: https://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/regulatory/allegations/safety-concern.html.”
“He has an obligation to report it. If he doesn’t, people can and probably will be endangered, plus anyone with knowledge that lets it slide can be held accountable when someone does finally report it. What city is this in?” asked another individual.
“LOL it would be hilarious if this was in or near the Washington DC area, because there would be a MASSIVE federal freakout over mismanaged radiological hazards in proximity to the nation’s capital. Every time there’s a SOTU address or an inauguration ceremony, the government sends out helicopters to scan the neighborhoods for potential nuclear threats,” said another Redditor.
Meanwhile, this person also shared this info: “Companies (at least in Canada) can immediately lose their license to use the testers if proper protocols and procedures (including storage) aren’t followed. At my company, the employee also breaking a rule would probably be fired immediately.”Whizzco