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Encyclopedia > Radioactive contamination
Pollution
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Air pollution
Acid rainAir Pollution IndexAir Quality IndexAtmospheric dispersion modelingChlorofluorocarbonGlobal dimmingGlobal warming • Haze • Indoor air qualityOzone depletionParticulateSmogRoadway air dispersion
Water pollution
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Soil contamination
Bioremediation • Herbicide • Pesticide
Radioactive contamination
Actinides in the environmentEnvironmental radioactivityFission productNuclear falloutPlutonium in the environmentRadiation poisoningradium in the environmentUranium in the environment
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Invasive speciesLight pollutionNoise pollutionRadio spectrum pollutionVisual pollution
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Related topics
Natural environment
The radiation warning symbol (trefoil).
The radiation warning symbol (trefoil).

Radioactive contamination is the uncontrolled distribution of radioactive material in a given environment. The amount of radioactive material released in an accident is called the source term. It has been suggested that Pollutant be merged into this article or section. ... Air pollution is a chemical, physical (e. ... The term acid rain also known as is commonly used to mean the deposition of acidic components in rain, snow, dew, or dry particles. ... An air quality measurement station in Edinburgh, Scotland The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a standardized index of the air quality in a given location, given in parts per billion. ... An air quality measurement station in Edinburgh, Scotland The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a standardized indicator of the air quality in a given location. ... Atmospheric dispersion modeling is performed with computer programs that use mathematical equations and algorithms to simulate how pollutants in the ambient atmosphere disperse in the atmosphere. ... Tetrafluoroethane (a haloalkane) is a clear liquid which boils well below room temperature (as seen here) and can be extracted from common canned air canisters by simply inverting them during use. ... Eastern China -- Dozens of fires burning on the surface (red dots) and a thick pall of smoke and haze (greyish pixels) filling the skies overhead. ... Global mean surface temperatures 1850 to 2006 Mean surface temperature anomalies during the period 1995 to 2004 with respect to the average temperatures from 1940 to 1980 Global warming is the observed increase in the average temperature of the Earths atmosphere and oceans in recent decades and the projected... Haze is an atmospheric phenomenon where dust, smoke and other pollutant particles obscure the normal clarity of the sky. ... Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) deals with the content of interior air that could affect health and comfort of building occupants. ... Global monthly average total ozone amount Ozone depletion describes two distinct, but related observations: a slow, steady decline of about 4 percent per decade in the total amount of ozone in Earths stratosphere since around 1980; and a much larger, but seasonal, decrease in stratospheric ozone over Earths... Particulates, alternatively referred to as particulate matter (PM), aerosols or fine particles, are tiny particles of solid or liquid suspended in a gas. ... Victorian London was notorious for its thick smogs, or pea-soupers, a fact that is often recreated to add an air of mystery to a period costume drama. ... Roadway air dispersion is applied to highway segments Roadway air dispersion modeling is the study of air pollutant transport from a roadway or other linear emitter. ... Water pollution is a large set of adverse effects upon water bodies such as lakes, rivers, oceans, and groundwater caused by human activities. ... Eutrophication is caused by the increase of chemical nutrients, typically compounds containing nitrogen or phosphorus, in an ecosystem. ... It has been suggested that Anoxic sea water, Oxygen minimum zone, and Hypoxic zone be merged into this article or section. ... Pumping of highly toxic (dark black) sludge, much seeps back into the ocean in the form of particles. ... Ocean acidification is the name given to the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earths oceans, caused by their uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. ... An oil spill or oil slick is the unintentional release of liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment as a result of human activity. ... Ship pollution is the pollution of water by shipping. ... Runoff flowing into a stormwater drain Surface runoff is water, from rain, snowmelt, or other sources, that flows over the land surface, and is a major component of the water cycle[1][2]. Runoff that occurs on surfaces before reaching a channel is also called overland flow. ... Thermal pollution is a temperature change in natural water bodies caused by human influence. ... Wastewater is any water that has been adversely affected in quality by anthropogenic influence. ... Waterborne diseases, according to the World Health Organization, are those which generally arise from the contamination of water by feces or urine, infected by pathogenic viruses or bacteria, and which are directly transmitted when unsafe water is drunk or used in the preparation of food. ... Water quality is the chemical and physical characterization of water. ... Standing water redirects here. ... Excavation of leaking underground storage tank causing soil contamination Soil contamination is the presence of man-made chemicals or other alteration of the natural soil environment. ... Bioremediation can be defined as any process that uses microorganisms, fungi, green plants or their enzymes to return the environment altered by contaminants to its original condition. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A cropduster spreading pesticide. ... This article about actinides in the environment is about the sources, environmental behaviour and effects of actinides in the environment. ... The environmental radioactivity page is devoted to the subject of radioactive materials in man and his environment. ... Fission products are the residues of fission processes. ... Fallout is the residual radiation hazard from a nuclear explosion, so named because it falls out of the atmosphere into which it is spread during the explosion. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Radiation Hazard symbol. ... // Radium Radium in quack medicine See the story of Eben Byers for details of one very nasty case which involved a product called Radithor this contained 1 mCi of 226Ra and 1 mCi of 228Ra per bottle. ... Uranium in the environment, this page is devoted to the science of uranium in the environment and in animals (including humans). ... Lantana invasion of abandoned citrus plantation; Moshav Sdey Hemed, Israel The term invasive species refers to a subset of introduced species or non-indigenous species that are rapidly expanding outside of their native range. ... This time exposure photo of New York City shows sky glow, one form of light pollution. ... Noise pollution, usually called environmental noise in technical venues, is displeasing human or machine created sound that disrupts the environment. ... Radio spectrum pollution is the straying of waves in the radio and electromagnetic spectrums outside their allocations that cause problems for some activities. ... Visual pollution is the term given to unattractive visual elements of a vista, a landscape, or any other thing that a person might want to look at. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. Â§ 1251, et seq. ... Kyoto Protocol Opened for signature December 11, 1997 in Kyoto, Japan Entered into force February 16, 2005. ... This act gave authority to Surgeon General to make programs to reduce or eliminate water pollution in rivers, underground rivers, and other waterways. ... This is a list of environmental organizations, organizations that preserve, analyze or monitor the environment in different ways. ... The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the United Kingdom government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities. ... EPA redirects here. ... Global Atmosphere Watchs logo The Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) is a worldwide system established by the World Meteorological Organization – a United Nations agency – to monitor trends in the Earths atmosphere. ... Greenpeace protest against Esso / Exxon Mobil. ... The National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are standards established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency that apply for outdoor air throughout the country. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Image File history File links Radiation_warning_symbol. ... Image File history File links Radiation_warning_symbol. ... Radioactive decay is the process in which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by emitting radiation in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves. ...

Contents

Sources of contamination

Radioactive contamination is typically the result of a spill or accident during the production or use of radionuclides (radioisotopes). Contamination may occur from radioactive gases, liquids or particles. For example, if a radionuclide used in nuclear medicine is accidentally spilled, the material could be spread by people as they walk around. Radioactive contamination may also be an inevitable result of certain processes, such as the release of radioactive xenon in nuclear fuel reprocessing. In cases that radioactive material cannot be contained, it may be diluted to safe concentrations. Nuclear fallout is the distribution of radioactive contamination by a nuclear explosion. For a discussion of environmental contamination by alpha emitters please see actinides in the environment. A radionuclide is an atom with an unstable nucleus, which is a nucleus characterized of excess energy which is available to be imparted either to a newly-created radiation particle within the nucleus, or else to an atomic electron (see internal conversion) . The radionuclide, in this process, undergoes radioactive decay... Shown above is the bone scintigraphy of a young woman. ... General Name, Symbol, Number xenon, Xe, 54 Chemical series noble gases Group, Period, Block 18, 5, p Appearance colorless Atomic mass 131. ... // Nuclear reprocessing separates any usable elements (e. ... Fallout is the residual radiation hazard from a nuclear explosion, so named because it falls out of the atmosphere into which it is spread during the explosion. ... It has been suggested that Nuclear explosive be merged into this article or section. ... An alpha particle is deflected by a magnetic field Alpha radiation consists of helium-4 nuclei and is readily stopped by a sheet of paper. ... This article about actinides in the environment is about the sources, environmental behaviour and effects of actinides in the environment. ...


Containment is what differentiates radioactive material from radioactive contamination. Therefore, radioactive material in sealed and designated containers is not properly referred to as contamination, although the units of measurement might be the same.


Measurement

Radioactive contamination may exist on surfaces or in volumes of material or air. In a nuclear power plant, detection and measurement of radioactivity and contamination is often the job of a Certified Health Physicist. A nuclear power station. ... A person accredited by the American Board of Health Physics, the certification board for health physicists in the United States. ...


Surface contamination

Surface contamination is usually expressed in units of radioactivity per unit of area. For SI, this is becquerels per square meter (or Bq/m2). Other units such as picoCuries per 100 cm2 or disintegrations per minute per square centimeter (1 dpm/cm2 = 166 2/3 Bq/m2) may be used. Surface contamination may either be fixed or removable. In the case of fixed contamination, the radioactive material cannot by definition be spread, but it is still measurable. Look up si, Si, SI in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The becquerel (symbol Bq) is the SI derived unit of radioactivity, defined as the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second. ... A square metre (US spelling: square meter) is by definition the area enclosed by a square with sides each 1 metre long. ... Abbreviation: cpm The number of events detected in one minute by a radiation detector. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ...


Hazards

In practice there is no such thing as zero radioactivity. Not only is the entire world constantly bombarded by cosmic rays, but every living creature on earth contains significant quantities of carbon-14 and most (including humans) contain significant quantities of potassium-40. These tiny levels of radiation are not any more harmful than sunlight, but just as excessive quantities of sunlight can be dangerous, so too can excessive levels of radiation. Cosmic rays can loosely be defined as energetic particles originating outside of the Earth. ... Carbon-14 is the radioactive isotope of carbon discovered February 27, 1940, by Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben. ...


Low level contamination

The hazards to people and the environment from radioactive contamination depend on the nature of the radioactive contaminant, the level of contamination, and the extent of the spread of contamination. Low levels of radioactive contamination pose little risk, but can still be detected by radiation instrumentation. In the case of low-level contamination by isotopes with a short half-life, the best course of action may be to simply allow the material to naturally decay. Longer-lived isotopes should be cleaned up and properly disposed of. Radioactive decay is the process in which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by emitting radiation in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves. ...

Unintentionally released radiation can reach humans by a variety of means.
Unintentionally released radiation can reach humans by a variety of means.

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ...

High level contamination

High levels of contamination may pose major risks to people and the environment. People can be exposed to potentially lethal radiation levels, both externally and internally, from the spread of contamination following an accident (or a deliberate initiation) involving large quantities of radioactive material. The biological effects of external exposure to radioactive contamination are generally the same as those from an external radiation source not involving radioactive materials, such as x-ray machines, and are dependent on the absorbed dose. Pathways from airborne radioactive contamination to man This is a list of notable accidents involving nuclear material. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 kilometers (11 mi) above the hypocenter. ... Radiation Hazard symbol. ... In the NATO phonetic alphabet, X-ray represents the letter X. An X-ray picture (radiograph) taken by Röntgen An X-ray is a form of electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength approximately in the range of 5 pm to 10 nanometers (corresponding to frequencies in the range 30 PHz... Absorbed dose is a measure of the energy deposited in a medium by ionising radiation. ...


Biological effects

See also: Radiation poisoning Radiation Hazard symbol. ...


The biological effects of internally deposited radionuclides depend greatly on the activity and the biodistribution and removal rates of the radionuclide, which in turn depends on its chemical form. The biological effects may also depend on the chemical toxicity of the deposited material, independent of its radioactivity. Some radionuclides may be generally distributed throughout the body and rapidly removed, as is the case with tritiated water. Some radionuclides may target specific organs and have much lower removal rates. For instance, the thyroid gland takes up a large percentage of any iodine that enters the body. If large quantities of radioactive iodine are inhaled or ingested, the thyroid may be impaired or destroyed, while other tissues are affected to a lesser extent. Radioactive iodine is a common fission product; it was a major component of the radiation released from the Chernobyl disaster, leading to many cases of pediatric thyroid cancer and hypothyroidism. On the other hand, radioactive iodine is used in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases of the thyroid precisely because of the thyroid's selective uptake of iodine. A radionuclide is an atom with an unstable nucleus, which is a nucleus characterized of excess energy which is available to be imparted either to a newly-created radiation particle within the nucleus, or else to an atomic electron (see internal conversion) . The radionuclide, in this process, undergoes radioactive decay... // Toxic and Intoxicated redirect here – toxic has other uses, which can be found at Toxicity (disambiguation); for the state of being intoxicated by alcohol see Drunkenness. ... Tritium (symbol T or 3H) is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. ... General Name, Symbol, Number iodine, I, 53 Chemical series halogens Group, Period, Block 17, 5, p Appearance violet-dark gray, lustrous Standard atomic weight 126. ... For the generation of electrical power by fission, see Nuclear power plant An induced nuclear fission event. ... Chernobyl reactor 4 after the disaster, showing the extensive damage to the main reactor hall (image center) and turbine building (image lower left) The Chernobyl disaster was a major accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant on April 26, 1986 at 01:22 a. ... Thyroid cancer is cancer of the thyroid gland. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Means of contamination

Radioactive contamination can enter the body through ingestion, inhalation, absorption, or injection. For this reason, it is important to use personal protective equipment when working with radioactive materials. Radioactive contamination may also be ingested as the result of eating contaminated plants and animals or drinking contaminated water or milk from exposed animals. Following a major contamination incident, all potential pathways of internal exposure should be considered. In general terms, eating (formally, ingestion) is the process of consuming something edible, i. ... Look up absorption in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... An injection is a method of putting liquid into the body with a hollow needle and a syringe which is pierced through the skin long enough for the material to be forced into the body. ... // Personal protective equipment (PPE) refers to protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other gear designed to protect the wearers body or clothing from injury by electrical hazards, heat, chemicals, and infection, for job-related occupational safety and health purposes, and in sports, martial arts, combat, etc. ...


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