We tend to think of radioactive contamination as just something that occurs in science fiction movies. It could be the result of a story line that causes many people to die and even for zombies to roam around the Earth. These sources of entertainment though don’t share the fact that radioactive contamination is a reality for people all over the world on a daily basis.
While there are proper disposal methods in place for radioactive materials there are times when they aren’t properly followed or accidents happen. The process involves all of that type of material being placed into a sealed container. Sometimes those forms of contamination though end up on a person’s skin, their clothing, or even into the soil.
Exposure to radiation can then be something that spreads quickly as the particles can be moved from one location to the next with ease. They often don’t have any physical appearance or odor. The movies often show radioactive materials being green and glowing but that isn’t the reality of it.
Radioactive Contamination: Effects
The most common means of radioactive contamination to occur is when someone takes a breath of air. If those types of contamination happen to be in the air then they will get into the body of that person. The particles are often spread around the environment when a person has them on the body or clothing. When they come into contact with new elements they can leave them behind.
When the radioactive material is on the soil it may be blown away with a gust of wind. Then it will be scattered around new areas. When it is underground it may be moved along with runoff water and find its way into the yard of a person, a public park, and even into the bodies of water. The types of contamination as well as the amounts of it in a given area will determine what the effects are.
Sometimes radioactive contamination can make a person very ill quickly. Other times though it will slowly cause health problems such as with the vital organs and breathing. Since the symptoms may not materialize right away it can be almost impossible to pinpoint the source of the contamination.
In many instances the radioactive materials have to be carefully diluted from their original form. That allows for it to be safe in the environment instead of a major risk. This type of process can be very complex though to design. It can be time consuming and expensive but it has to be done to help reduce the possible negative outcomes from radioactive contamination.
Keeping a watchful eye on radioactive contamination is a very serious matter. Industries that have this type of material to dispose of are given very specific guidelines. They should be routinely checked up on. Any spills or possible contamination should be immediately reported to the government.
Yet there are believed to be many times when such problems go unnoticed or they are simply covered up to avoid fines, clean up procedures, and negative publicity. The issue of nuclear weapons and testing is also a huge concern for many people. Studies show that if there were nuclear bomb to be released that a large number of people, animals, and plant life wouldn’t be able to survive.
Even with nuclear fallout shelters out there to help with reducing exposure to radioactive contamination it continues to be a huge concern. This is why most governments have taken steps to be able to counter any nuclear weapons that may be sent their way from others. That is the best way to help with taking away the chances of someone having such power and control over others. It has also helped to slow down the nuclear arms race that was once very dominant.