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Sources of ionizing radiation and cancer risk

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Describe alpha, beta, and gamma radiation when you analyze the effects of ionizing radiation on DNA to provide a chemical reason as to why this might cause cancer. Please include reference(s).

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Solution Summary

This solution explains what ionizing radiation is, why it creates a higher risk of cancer, and how is this related to DNA damage?

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Ionizing radiation is classified into three types, alpha, beta, and gamma. The distinctions between these three are pretty simple. Alpha is an emitted helium atom with two neutrons. It has high energy but is rather easily repulsed by thin layer and does not generally pose a threat to biological materials. Beta emission is the emission of a positron or an electron. Since this type of radiation produces much smaller particles, beta decay is slightly more difficult to shield against. Gamma radiation is the ...

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