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Radiation Exposure

Summary

Radiation is energy that travels in the form of waves or high-speed particles. It occurs naturally in sunlight. Man-made radiation is used in X-rays, nuclear weapons, nuclear power plants and cancer treatment.

If you are exposed to small amounts of radiation over a long time, it raises your risk of cancer. It can also cause mutations in your genes, which you could pass on to any children you have after the exposure. A lot of radiation over a short period, such as from a radiation emergency, can cause burns or radiation sickness. Symptoms of radiation sickness include nausea, weakness, hair loss, skin burns and reduced organ function. If the exposure is large enough, it can cause premature aging or even death. You may be able to take medicine to reduce the radioactive material in your body.

Environmental Protection Agency

Start Here

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • (Food and Drug Administration) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • (Environmental Protection Agency) - PDF

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (Environmental Protection Agency)

Treatments and Therapies

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • (Food and Drug Administration)
  • (Food and Drug Administration)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in

Related Issues

  • (Health Physics Society) - PDF
  • (American Cancer Society)
  • (Food and Drug Administration) Also in
  • (American Thyroid Association) - PDF Also in
  • (American Cancer Society)

Specifics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (Health Physics Society) - PDF
  • (Food and Drug Administration)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • (Health Physics Society) - PDF
  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • (American Heart Association)
  • (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • (Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • (Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation)

Find an Expert

  • Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in

Children

  • (Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging) - PDF
  • (Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging) - PDF

Teenagers

  • (Environmental Protection Agency)

Women

  • (Food and Drug Administration)

Patient Handouts

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