Chapter 16. Biological Effects of Radiation

All living species are exposed to a certain amount of natural radiation in the form of particles and rays. In addition to the sunlight, without which life would be impossible to sustain, all beings experience cosmic radiation from space outside the earth and natural background radiation from materials on the earth. Rather large variations occur in the radiation from one place to another, depending on mineral content of the ground and on the elevation above sea level. Man and other species have survived and evolved within such an environment despite the fact that radiation has a damaging effect on biological tissue. The situation has changed somewhat by the discovery of the means to generate high-energy ...

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