Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chernobyl Health Article

Chernobyl’s Disaster Effects on Biological Systems

Cells: Portions of 300 rems or more cause temporary hair loss, but also more significant internal harm, including damage to nerve cells and the cells that line the digestive tract. Severe loss of white blood cells, which defend the body from infections, are also an effect of radioactivity on human cells. The victims that experience the Chernobyl radiation poisoning have a more likely chance of getting diseases.

Tissues: RAD is a unit of radiation that can be absorbed by tissue. "Rad" stands for "Radiation absorbed dose". After Chernobyl it was superseded by gray. 100 rad equivalent to 1 gray. 1000 rad of high-energy radiation, delivered at one time, is fatal to humans.

Organs: Due to the cells being damaged, normal organ functioning is decreased. This leaves them weakened and vulnerable to infections, and since the cells are also attacked, there is no system to protect the organs.

Populations: Populations were critically effected by Chernobyl because many died of cancer, birth defects, stillborns, radiation poisoning, and many more. Also, many people have growths on (mainly) their face and ingrown body parts.

Ecosystems: The radioactive materials released by the accident had many immediate harmful effects on plants and animals living within 20 to 30 km of the Chernobyl power plant at the time of the accident. However, there are no reports of any such radiation-induced effects in plants and animals outside this area, referred to as the Exclusion Zone. Each plant and animal responded differently to the accident depending on the dose of radiation received and sensitivity to radiation.

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