Radiation in the Environment


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The world has witnessed a remarkable development of technological devices, including consumer products that are beneficial to users. People have become increasingly dependent on these tools for various purposes in life, especially for entertainment and education. Those equipment produce energy (ionizing and non-ionizing) that have serious effects on human life. Although the gadgets have various benefits, they pose a great danger to individuals’ health, especially when they emit excessive and uncontrolled radiations.

The Risks and Benefits of Consumer Products that Produce Radiation

Radiation occurs naturally in the environment and life has evolved amid significant levels of ionizing and non-ionizing energy. Those emissions have various applications, including in X-rays and cell phones (Thompson, 2001). According to Zakariya and Kahn (2014), radiation has both negative and positive sides, beneficial, but potentially dangerous when applied in uncontrolled conditions since they transfer energy into the body tissues, potentially affecting its molecular structure and cellular functions. The authors indicate that the adverse health impact includes different types of cancer and genetic coding of cells (hereditary defects). The effects can be deterministic (acute) or stochastic (cancer and hereditary) and depend on the amount of radiation that enters the body and the extent of the damage such as on single or multiple cells (Zakariya & Kahn, 2014). Exposure to embryo or fetus can cause defects such as leukemia, severe mental retardation, and congenital malformations, but the impact depends on the type and level of the rays (Zakariya & Kahn, 2014). The detrimental effects of radiation are so vast that people should understand and be cautious about.

The Risks and Benefits Associated with Radioisotopes

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Radioisotopes have been used for scientific and medical applications, but in uncontrolled conditions, since they have a health risk to those exposed to them. As early as the 1930s, physicians and scientists had established effective ways of using the radioactive elements, in X-rays for the diagnosis and treatment of different diseases, including cancer and as molecular tracers. Radioisotopes are still being used for identification/tracing and treatment of various conditions as well as in medical sterilization to prevent infections (Creager, 2013). However, precautions must be taken because the procedure can damage healthy tissues, making them cancerous.

Uses of Radioisotopes

Regardless of the potential risks, radioisotopes are used for industrial and medical purposes. They are responsible for nuclear power production, which reduces dependence on other more harmful sources of energy that encourage global warming. Radioisotopes are used as smoke alarms, in the irradiation of food and raw wool to destroy harmful microorganisms, and when building ventilation tests to increase safety. The medical uses of those chemical elements are even greater, including the treatment and management of various diseases such as cancer (Creager, 2013). The radioactive isotopes have led to major groundbreaking discoveries in handling some diseases that did not have any cure.


Ionizing and nonionizing radiations are common while people are constantly exposed to them. Although they are beneficial to human life, they are also a risk to health if they are not used cautiously. The radiations cannot be avoided, which creates a need for experts to realize the dangers to protect people from the negative effects such as the development of cancerous cells. Therefore, as people continue interacting with those chemical elements, it is imperative to identify the means to continue enjoying the benefits and at the same time protect life.


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