Radioactive wastes

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Information about Radioactive wastes

Published on October 18, 2020

Author: armdsantos


1. RADIOACTIVE WASTES Health and Environmental Effects ARVIN RAY M. DELOS SANTOS,RMT Master in Public Health

2. INTRODUCTION • Ionizing radiation is a type of energy released by atoms in the form of electromagnetic waves or particles. • People are exposed to natural sources of ionizing radiation, such as in soil, water, and vegetation, as well as in human-made sources such as x-rays and medical devices.

3. INTRODUCTION • Ionizing radiation has many beneficial applications, including uses in medical, industry, agriculture and research. • As the use of ionizing radiation increases, so does the potential for health hazards if not properly used or contained. • Acute health effects such as skin burns and acute radiation syndrome can occur when doses of radiation exceed certain levels.

4. INTRODUCTION • Low doses of ionizing radiation can increase the risk of longer term effects such as cancer. • Natural sources account for most of the radiation we all receive each year. • Radiation protection standards assume that any dose of radiation, no matter how small, involves a possible risk to human health and the environment.

5. OBJECTIVE • To define radiation and other terms associated to it. • To know understand the effects of radiation to health and environment. • To identify where radiation came from and pinpoint the types of radiation. • To categorize the exposure to ionizing radiation and exposure situations.

6. DEFINITION OF TERMS • RADIATION – it is energy in the process of being transmitted. It may take such forms as light, or tiny particles much too small to see. Visible light, the ultra-violet light we receive from the sun, and transmission signals for TV and radio communications are all forms of radiation that are common in our daily lives.

7. DEFINITION OF TERMS • IONIZING RADIATION – it is a type of energy released by atoms that travels in the form of electromagnetic waves (gamma or xray) or particles (neutrons, beta or alpha) • RADIOACTIVITY – the spontaneous disintegration of atoms • RADIONUCLIDES – unstable elements which disintegrate and emit ionizing radiation.

8. DEFINITION OF TERMS • GRAY – is the international unit used to measure absorbed dose. • SIEVERT – an international unit used to measure effective dose • RADON – is a naturally occurring radioactive gas resulting from the decay of uranium-238


10. RADIATION SOURCES • People are exposed to natural radiation sources as well as human-made sources on a daily basis. • Natural radiation comes from many sources including more than 60 naturally-occurring radioactive materials found in soil, water and air.

11. RADIATION SOURCES The most dangerous metal on earth Accidental exposure may result to severe toxicity EXAMPLES OF N.O.R.M.

12. RADIATION SOURCES • People are also exposed to natural radiation sources from cosmic rays (high altitudes). • 80% of the annual dose of background exposure of person receives is due to naturally occurring terrestrial and cosmic radiation sources.

13. RADIATION SOURCES • Human exposure to radiation also comes from human-made sources ranging from nuclear power plant generation to medical uses of radiation for diagnosis or treatment.

14. RADIATION SOURCES • The most common human-made sources of ionizing radiation are medical devices, including X-ray machines.

15. TYPES OF RADIATION ALPHA PARTICLES These are helium nuclei consisting of two protons & two electrons & are emitted from naturally occurring heavy metals such as uranium and radium. They are intensely ionizing but cannot penetrate the skin, it is dangerous only if emitted inside the body.

16. TYPES OF RADIATION BETA PARTICLES These are fast-moving electrons emitted by many radioactive elements. They are more penetrating than alpha particles, but easily shielded – the most energetic of them and can be stopped By a few millimeters of wood or aluminum.

17. TYPES OF RADIATION GAMMA PARTICLES These are high-energy electromagnetic waves much the same as X-rays. They are emitted in many radioactive decays and may be very penetrating, so require more substantial shielding.


19. RADON It is radioactive and it is real • It is a gas that is produced naturally by the breakdown of uranium in the ground and gets into your home undetected. • You can’t see it, smell it, or taste it. • Some level of radon can be found in most homes and high levels of radon increase your risk of developing lung cancer.

20. RADON It is radioactive and it is real • The risk from radon exposure is long term and depends on 3 things: 1. The level of radon 2. How long you are exposed 3. Your smoking habits

21. RADON It is radioactive and it is real Almost 90% of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking. Radon exposure in linked to approximately 16% of lung cancer deaths and is the second leading cause of lung cancer for smokers.

22. RADON It is radioactive and it is real

23. EXPOSURE TO IONIZING RADITIONS INTERNAL EXPOSURE This occurs when a radionuclide is inhaled, ingested or otherwise enters into the bloodstream. Internal exposure stops when the radionuclide is eliminated from the body, either spontaneously (excreta) or as a result of a treatment.

24. EXPOSURE TO IONIZING RADITIONS EXTERNAL EXPOSURE This occurs when airborne radioactive materials (dust, liquid or aerosols) is deposited on skin or clothes. This type of radioactive material can be removed from the body by simply washing.

25. EXPOSURE TO IONIZING RADITIONS • People can be exposed to ionizing radiation under different circumstances, at home or in public places (public exposure), at their workplaces (occupational exposures), or in a medical setting (as patients, caregivers, and volunteers).

26. EXPOSURE SITUATIONS PLANNED EXPOSURE SITUATION Result from the deliberate introduction and operation of radiation sources with specific purposes

27. EXPOSURE SITUATIONS EXISTING EXPOSURE SITUATION This is when exposures to radiation already exist, and a decision on control must be taken.

28. EXPOSURE SITUATIONS EMERGENCY EXPOSURE SITUATION It is a result from unexpected events requiring prompt response such as nuclear accidents or malicious acts An earthquake and tsunami knocked out the Fukushima nuclear power plant cooling systems in March 2011, causing meltdowns in three reactors.

29. ACUTE RADIATION SYNDROME (from Large Exposures) • A very high level of radiation exposure delivered over a short period of time can cause symptoms such as nausea and vomiting within hours and can sometimes result in death over the following days or weeks. • Also known as Radiation Sickness

30. ACUTE RADIATION SYNDROME (from Large Exposures) • It takes a very high radiation exposure to cause ARS – more than 0.75 gray in a short time span (minutes to hours). • Equivalent to 18,000 chest x-rays distributed over the entire body in a short period of time. • This is rare, and comes from extreme events like nuclear explosions or accidental handling or rupture of highly radioactive source.

31. ACUTE RADIATION SYNDROME (from Large Exposures)

32. RADIATION CANCER RISK • Exposure to low levels of radiation does not cause immediate health effects, but can cause a small increase of risk of cancer over a lifetime. • The risk increases as the dose increases: the higher the dose, the greater the risk.

33. RADIATION CANCER RISK • Radiation doses are commonly expressed in millisieverts. • A dose can be determined from a one-time radiation exposure, or from accumulated exposure over time. • An individual would not get cancer from a uniform whole body exposure of 100millisieverts or lower.


35. EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES • Atomic bomb survivors or radiotheraphy patients, showed significant increase of cancer risk at doses above 100mSv. Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor

36. EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES • Children (pediatric CT scan) suggested that cancer risk may increase even at lower doses (between 50-100mSv).

37. EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES • Pre-natal exposure to ionizing radiation may induce brain damage in fetus following an acute dose exceeding 100 mSv between weeks 8-15 of pregnancy and 200 mSv between weeks 16-25 of pregnancy.

38. RADIATION EFFECTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT PLANT GROWTH • It gradually stops seed growth and sprouting, depended on the how much radiation is released. • Prolonged radiation can completely destroy the fertility of a plant.

39. RADIATION EFFECTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT ANIMALS • Radiation exposure has caused genetic damage and increased mutation rates in many organisms.

40. RADIATION EFFECTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT MARINE LIFE • High levels of UV radiation can cause a reduction in reproduction capabilities • It can also reduce the amount of food and oxygen that plankton produces. Fukishima accident effects on marine life

41. RADIOACTIVE DISASTERS THREE MILE ISLAND • The March 1979 accident at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant (USA) caused some people near the plant to receive very minor doses of radiation, well under the internationally recommended level.

42. CHERNOBYL • Immediately after the nuclear plant disaster in 1986, much larger doses were experienced. • 134 severely exposed workers and firemen, 28 of the most heavily exposed died as a result of ARS within 3 months of the accident. RADIOACTIVE DISASTERS

43. RADIOACTIVE DISASTERS HIROSHIMA & NAGASAKI • The United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively, with the consent of the United Kingdom, as required by the Quebec Agreement. The two bombings killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians, and remain the only use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict.


45. BATAAN NUCLEAR POWER PLANT It was considered as a solution to the 1973 oil crisis, in which the Philippines was affected. The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was built in the early 1980s but never went into operation because it sits on a tectonic fault and volcano. The Fukushima nuclear disaster gave pause to efforts to revive the plant. There have been proposals in 2009 and 2016 to operate the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.

46. HUMAN EXPOSURE TO RADIATION Natural radioactivity in the air 40% Radioactive gases released from stone, soil and building materials Direct radiation from traces of radionuclides in rocks and soil 30% Medical 15% Food & Drink 10% Cosmic 3% Others 2%

47. HOW CAN WE PROTECT OURSELVES FROM RADIATION? • LIMITING TIME In occupational situations, dose is reduced by limiting exposure time. • DISTANCE The intensity of radiation decreases with distance from its source.

48. HOW CAN WE PROTECT OURSELVES FROM RADIATION? • SHIELDING Barriers of lead, concrete or water give good protection from high levels of penetrating radiation such as gamma rays. • CONTAINMENT Highly radioactive materials are confined and kept out of the workplace and environment.

49. W.H.O. RESPONSE • WHO has established a radiation program to protect patients, workers, and the public against the health risks of radiation exposure under planned, existing and emergency exposure situations. • The programme covers activities related to radiation risk assessment, management and communication.

50. CONCLUSION • The health effects of exposure both to radiation and chemical cancer-inducing agents or toxins must be considered in relation to time. • There is cause for concern not only about the effects on people presently living, but also about the cumulative effects of actions today over many generations.

51. CONCLUSION • Some radioactive materials which reach the environment decay to safe levels within days, weeks or a few years, while others continue their effect for a long time, as do most chemical cancer-inducing agents and toxins.

52. RECOMMENDATION • The essential task for those in government and industry is to prevent excessive amounts of such toxins harming people, now or in the future. • Standards should be set in the light of research on environmental pathways by which people might ultimately affected.

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