|Biological Effects Of Radiation
The Biological Effects of Radiation
Whether the source of radiation is natural or man made, whether it is a small dose of radiation or a large dose, there will be some biological effects. Radiation causes ionizations of atoms, which will affect molecules, which may affect cells, which may affect tissues, and so on. Although most people tend to think of biological effects in terms of the effect of radiation on living cells, in actuality, ionizing radiation, by definition, interacts only with atoms by a process called ionization (Chandra p. 205). Thus, all biological damage effects begin with the consequence of radiation interactions with the atoms forming the cells.
Even though all subsequent biological effects can be traced back to the interaction of radiation with atoms, there are two mechanisms by which radiation ultimately affects cells. These two mechanisms are commonly called direct and indirect effects.
If radiation inter...