Radiation: is the devil so black as he is painted?
Radiation: is the devil so black as he is painted?

The discovery of the neutron in 1932 can be considered the birth of nuclear physics. However, the subsequent invention of atomic bombs, and then the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the accident at the Japanese Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant, and many other factors influenced the formation of a logical chain: radiation means mortal danger. So what is the ominous danger of radiation, what you need to worry about, and what you should not agree with? Let’s look at this issue in more detail, including a look at some myths.

We feel radiation every day. The point here is not that it is far from us or close to Chernobyl. Almost everything in the world emits radiation – the sun, space, sky, earth, houses, people, and even bananas. But do not rush to draw premature conclusions.

To begin with, we will carry out a small educational program: the absorbed radiation is measured in “sievert” and its derivatives: “milli”, “micro”, etc. The average human dose per year ranges from 2.4 millisievert (mSv) to 3 mSv. The last thing everyone needs to remember: 1 mSv = 1000 microsievert (μSv).

If you sleep in the same bed with your loved one, then during the night, absorbing each other’s radiation background, you get a radiation dose of 0.05 μSv. A two-hour flight by plane is 20-30 μSv. But let’s compare this with something more dangerous. If you smoke one cigarette per day, then your dose of radiation will be 2.7 mSv in one year. Hospital fluorography is 0.6 mSv. A completely different level of radiation is in space – about 0.5 mSv per day. Just imagine: cosmonauts receive an annual dose of radiation for a month! But it is believed that the harmful level starts at 100 mSv, and the deadly level starts at 5000 mSv.

How does it work?

Imagine that radiation is a bullet that flies at an incomparably furious speed, that its particles can knock electrons out of atoms. One or two bullets will not cause you much harm, but if there are a lot of them, then they are already capable of damaging the molecules of the body. When there is too much damage, some cells are very likely to turn into cancer cells, and “broken” DNA will pass the wrong code to the next offspring. This is the tragedy of the situation, which leads to radiation exposure above normal. The outcome is fatal in critical cases. Moreover, it is painful.

But not all types of radiation are dangerous. Much depends on the half-life of isotopes and their breakdown power. The radioisotopes of alpha and beta radiation can not even overcome the outer layer of the skin, but if they get inside with dust, food or water, they can cause great harm. Gamma radiation still penetrates through, but it’s much more difficult for a person to get under it.

So what’s up with Chernobyl?

It is a well-known fact that the radiation background has decreased by 10 thousand times since the Chernobyl accident. But radiation spreads unevenly; it is insidious, cunning and unpredictable. Therefore, it settles where it wants and when it wants like dust. Some places in the 10-kilometer exclusion zone still remain extremely dangerous, that is why you can go to Chernobyl only with qualified specialists.

Nevertheless, today, almost everyone can visit Chernobyl and Pripyat, take a walk along the Arc, and even take a selfie against the backdrop of a new safe confinement, erected over with the 4th power unit.

The radiation background is approximately 0.29 μSv in Chernobyl. The figure reaches 2.79 μSv in some places near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. For you to understand, the mark does not exceed 0.14 μSv in Kiev. Scientists say that the background is gradually returning to past indicators, which were even before the Chernobyl accident.

In particular, the radiation level in the Zhytomyr region decreased, where a large spot of radiation was recorded. However, Pripyat and its nearest surroundings will remain uninhabited for another million years. There is too much radiation in groundwater, land and trees.

Radiation in Ukraine

The background radiation level in Ukraine is constantly fluctuating. Many factors influence this. However, 90% of the territory is normal. Elevated levels of radiation can be recorded near thermal power plants.

The coal used for the operation of the CHPP also contains radioactive elements such as potassium-40, uranium-238 and thorium-232. The irony is that harmful emissions from nuclear power plants are many times smaller and safer. Radiation levels can be detected even near granite slabs. It does not sound paradoxical, but it turns out that the massive dismantling of monuments to Lenin is a good way to deal with radiation.

Useful recipes to combat radiation

It constantly accumulating in the body. So, in the end, we recommend some useful recipes. To get rid of the accumulated radionuclides completely is practically impossible task, but our advice will help to activate the metabolism and accelerate the removal of all unnecessary from the body.

You need to use more antioxidants: vitamins A, C, E (red wine, grapes). Another useful products are sour cream, cottage cheese, milk, grain bread, bran, oatmeal, unprocessed rice, and prunes. Alginic acid also helps. It is found in brown seaweed and artificial caviar. But in order to feel the effect, they need to be consumed 100 grams every day.

Proteins and meat products contain essential amino acids that are not formed in the human body and must necessarily come from food. They activate the liver, participate in blood formation, increase immunity, and promote the full absorption of vitamins. Proteins contain sulfhydryl groups that take a “hit” of radiation on themselves.

Conclusions: radiation is everywhere. We receive a particular dose of it every day. But if we follow the diet, take care of our health and rest, then everything will be fine for each of us. Common sense, combined with a healthy lifestyle and proper balanced nutrition – this is not a panacea for all the troubles on earth, but it will definitely help to distinguish grains from the chaff and not “look for a black cat in a dark room, especially when it is not there”!