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Damage to Living Cells from External Radiation.

What is External Radiation?

Radiation that has come from radioactive sources outside of
the body is called external radiation. All three types of radioactivity
are harmful and safety precautions must always be taken.

What is the Most Harmful Type of External Radiation?

Of the three types of radioactivity,
alpha particles are the least harmful form of external radiation.
Alpha particles can not penetrate through the skin and so
will not cause damage to the cells of internal organs of the body.
This does not mean that alpha particles are safe. Alpha particles
can cause cancer of the skin and in some cases this can be fatal.

Both beta particles and gamma rays will penetrate through all of
the tissues in a body and can cause damage to the cells of any
internal organs. Beta particles are more ionising than gamma rays
and will cause more damage for the same exposure and intensity.

People who work with radioactivity
must follow special
safety precautions and wear a film badge.

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