Radioactive Pollution Facts and Prevention Tips

We live in a world filled with ubiquitous sources of radiation, such as cell phones, TVs, radios, microwave ovens, wireless communication in general, etc. Thus, any additional radiation that we may be exposed to can matter. Even the banal X-Rays for medical purposes (body check-ups or dentistry) can make a difference in sensitive individuals. Basically, the higher the radiation exposure, the higher the cancer risks in an individual. This is why it is wise to minimize any strictly-necessary exposure to radiation such as X-rays for medical purposes (unless they are really needed) or the daily exposure to ultraviolet (UV) sunlight. You should consult and rely on dependable trusted medical providers, because many times they will recommend redundant unnecessary X-Rays with an alleged “preventive role”.

Tips to Minimize Exposure to Radiation

Protective sunscreens are useful to minimize exposure to UV light. However, the best protection is to minimize the time we are exposed to the sun even when we wear protection. While some exposure to the sun may be beneficial for the body, too much exposure may cause burns and even skin cancer. The use of beach umbrellas may be a good idea, in addition to the use of sunscreens.

UV light can penetrate through windows and thus reach us in car, homes, offices, etc. This is why it is a good idea to always wear protective sunscreen and avoid staying in direct sun for too long.

The risk of radiation in your home should be evaluated:

The risk of radiation in your workplace should be evaluated. If you work or used to work with radioactive materials, you should be regularly checked for any possible radiation health effects and radiation levels.

The coal ash (from coal power plants) may be more radioactive than nuclear waste and thus may pose serious health risks; this is due to the presence of radioactive materials such as thorium and uranium in natural coal. Even though these radioactive materials are present in trace amounts in coal, they are concentrated (about 10 times) when coal is burnt.

Mining sites may be sources of radiation pollution, thus you should ask for more information on mining activities if you live close to a mining site, keeping in mind that radiation pollution may be a risk in such areas;

Radioactive materials may accumulate in sediments (dredges) as the concentration decreases in waters. These sediments can be carried away from the original source.

The size of the watershed is important when evaluating radiation pollution risks (the higher the size, the higher the risk).

While a lot of radiation is produced in the Universe (cosmic radiation), the only cosmic radiation that is reaching us (the surface of the Earth) is the visible light, radio waves, and some ultraviolet wavelengths.

Altitude plays an important role in controlling the amount of cosmic radiation to which we are exposed. Thus, people living at high elevations (such as people from Denver) are exposed to more cosmic radiation than people living on the coast or plain areas.

Radioactive materials can be solids, liquids or gases, and thus the radiation pollution may spread and affect all three media. Spreading through the air, however, is the fastest way that of propagation of radiation pollution, which may threaten human health.