In these plants, the energy needed to boil water into steam is produced either by burning coal, oil, or gas (fossil fuels) in a furnace, or by splitting atoms of uranium in a nuclear power plant. Information obtained from such research studies has helped us understand the air, water, soil, plants, animals and other living organisms and how they are related. In fact, ultraviolet light (a form of radiation) is already used to disinfect drinking water in some homes. Applicaitons of Radioactivity in Medicine, Uses of quadratic equations in daily life. On the mammograph, areas that are of low density, such as fat, will appear translucent. Ionizing smoke detectors, using a tiny bit of americium-241, keep watch while we sleep. Additionally, research using low-energy radioactive sources has enabled medical practitioners to identify the components that cause diseases from pollutants such as cigar rete smoking in medical fields.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'allusesof_com-banner-1','ezslot_10',105,'0','0'])); Information from radioactive research studies has helped human beings do agriculture better intending to produce healthy food for consumption. Most educational institutions in America have a laboratory that can be used to carry out experimental research and health implications. In modern medicine, it is a standard medical procedure to perform an x-ray. Hence, they can observe the radioactive material in the body and draw a clinical diagnosis in the process. While nuclear power plants have many similarities to other types of plants that generate electricity, there are some significant differences. The most common of these medical procedures involve the use of x-rays — a type of radiation that can pass through our skin. Such mechanisms are used by people in the medical field to accurately deduce the death of a person regardless of the timespan. In fact, a person who spends a full year at the boundary of a nuclear power plant site would receive an additional radiation exposure of less than 1 percent of the radiation that everyone receives from natural background sources. The sensor is usually a photographic film plate, but sometimes it is an electrical transistor that transmits signals to a computer to conjure a digital image. However, radioactivity should be always used in controlled amounts as over exposure to radioactive elements can cause cancer, genetic mutation, and other potential health hazards to mankind. To learn more about radioactivity and its uses in different branch of science, read through the next sections. A household smoke alarm measures the movement of alpha particles across a small gap. Sterilization of medical instruments and food is another common application of radiation. An x-ray machine then produces small bursts of x-rays that are invisible but pass through the chest to a detector that is placed on the opposite side. They are different from x-ray canners because they show scans in color. Additionally, therapeutic forms of radioactivity can be used to reduce the pain that usually stigmatizes the patients. If they are used this way, the radioactive rays are used to kill cancerous tissue or reduce the size of a tumor in the brain or body. As a result, where we now use chlorine — a chemical that is toxic and difficult-to-handle — we may someday use radiation to disinfect our drinking water and kill the germs in our sewage. Radioactive materials also power our dreams of outer space, as they fuel our spacecraft and supply electricity to satellites that are sent on missions to the outermost regions of our solar system. Researchers also use Doctors to use radioactive substances to label substances that pass inside the bodies of people and animals. As a result, this form of energy has proven to be useful and competent in diagnosing and treating patients suffering from complicated diseases. Some of the significant health findings have come from universities, colleges, and other academic institutions. The beams are aimed at the tumour from many different directions to maximise the dose on the tumour but to minimise the dose on the surrounding soft tissue. Radioisotopes are chemically similar to stable isotopes consisting of the same elements. 6. An x-ray casts an image of the bone and other internal structures because of their higher density levels when compared to the skin. With the help of this technique, it can be located at any stage of the reaction. Experience has shown that, during normal operations, nuclear power plants typically release only a small fraction of the radiation allowed by the NRC's established limits. Manage Cookies. Without this mechanism, it would have been very challenging for women to be accurately diagnosed with breast cancer. Besides, we would not have understood how the pollution of plastic and other dangerous materials work. However, radioisotopes have proven to be useful in diagnostic procedures involving tracers. By using this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. This form of radiation has proved to be highly successful, mainly in delicate organs such as the brain and the heart. When x-rayed, our bones and other structures cast shadows because they are denser than our skin, and those shadows can be detected on photographic film. In the same way, researchers in the field of medicine use radioactive materials to research and study how our bodies work in the laboratories in the institutions above. One excellent example of radioactive materials used in screening for cancer is the mammograph. To learn more about the uses of radioactivity, read through this piece of writing. A CT scan is used to diagnose and screen the brain for tumors or cancerous cells. Nuclear physics has become an integral part of life. All around us, we see reflective signs that have been treated with radioactive tritium and phosphorescent paint. A radioactive isotope, also known as a radioisotope, radionuclide, or radioactive nuclide, is any of several species of the same chemical element with different masses whose nuclei are unstable and dissipate excess energy by spontaneously emitting radiation in the form of alpha, beta, and gamma rays. A high dose of gamma rays are used to treat various forms of cancer. Doctors, dentists, and hospitals use several nuclear materials and procedures to diagnose, treat, and monitor a wide array of internal processes and other medical conditions in humans. 5. can damage living cells. It is the most common machine that is used in radiation oncology, particularly for cancer treatment. Universities, colleges, high schools, and other academic and scientific institutions use nuclear materials in course work, laboratory demonstrations, experimental research, and a variety of health physics applications. When used in this way, they are most often intended to kill cancerous tissue, reduce the size of a tumor, or reduce pain. As a result, governments and health organizations recommend frequent screening to detect cancer early and start treatment, to reduce the chances of death. By subjecting the instruments and food to concentrated beams of radiation, we can kill microorganisms that cause contamination and disease. It is useful and prevalent among people who practice medicine. Radioactivity is also widely used for sterilizing food items. The effect is similar to placing a pencil behind a piece of paper and holding the pencil and paper in front of a light. Similarly, radiation is used to help remove toxic pollutants, such as exhaust gases from coal-fired power stations and industry. It can be very harmful - standing in the environment where objects are being treated by irradiation could expose people’s cells to damage and, Uses and dangers of radioactivity - Edexcel, Sample exam questions - radioactivity - Edexcel, Home Economics: Food and Nutrition (CCEA). Radiation can be used to treat or provide diagnostic information about the selected body organs. We depend on it to give us light, to help us groom and feed ourselves, to keep our homes and businesses running, and to power the many machines we use. To a more significant extent, medical practitioners use this to estimate the lifespan of people at different times and how to increase the former’s longevity. Recall our discussion earlier about the fission process in the making of a radioisotope. On the other hand, radioactivity is also widely used in the production of electricity in nuclear power plants. As a result, we use about one-third of our energy resources to produce electricity. Applications of radioactive materials have been used by research officers in medical fields to understand cancerous cells better. However, small amounts of these radioactive substances (mostly gases) become mixed with the water that is used to cool the reactor. These gamma rays penetrate the skin and destroy the cancerous cells. Similarly, nonstick cookware is treated with gamma rays to keep food from sticking to the metal surface. Radioactivity has its unique applications in the field of medical science. For additional information, see the following topics on this page: Hospitals, doctors, and dentists use a variety of nuclear materials and procedures to diagnose, monitor, and treat a wide assortment of metabolic processes and medical conditions in humans. Radiation is absorbed as it passes through materials. By measuring this difference, archaeologists are able to determine the object's approximate age. In addition, researchers use low-energy radioactive sources in gas chromatography to identify the components of petroleum products, smog and cigarette smoke, and even complex proteins and enzymes used in medical research. 7. Electricity can be produced in many ways — using generators powered by the sun, wind, water, coal, oil, gas, or nuclear fission. Measurements are conducted in a non-intrusive manner whereby the radiation emissions are measured without requiring the container to be opened or the item to be physically altered. Radiotherapy is used to treat various forms of cancers, while many diagnostic procedures also use radioactivity as the underlying working principle. Medical doctors and other practitioners use a mammography as a diagnostic and screening tool. There are specialized x-ray machines that are used in detecting unusual growth in the body.