Worksheet: The Dangers of Radiation
In this worksheet, we will practice identifying and describing the dangers involved in using radioactive sources.
Which of the following statements explains why irradiating food using gamma rays is a good method of reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses?
- AIrradiating the food will make it radioactive. Any pathogen transferred to the food after that will be killed by the radiation from the food.
- BIrradiating the food will make it radioactive. Radioactive isotopes are far more chemically reactive than nonradioactive isotopes. The chemical reactions between the radioactive isotopes and the cell walls of any pathogen on the surface of the food will kill the pathogen.
- CAny pathogens in the food will be killed by the radiation, but irradiating the food will not make the food itself radioactive.
- DIrradiating the food will cause any pathogen on the surface of the food to become electrically charged. This will cause the pathogen to be repelled from the surface of the food.
Which of the following statements explains why it is a good idea to store radioactive sources in lead-lined boxes?
- AMost radioactive isotopes corrode when exposed to sunlight; lead is very effective at blocking all wavelengths of sunlight.
- BStoring radioactive sources in lead-lined boxes prevents the sources from oxidizing.
- CLead is very effective at blocking radiation; storing radioactive sources in lead-lined boxes reduces the extent to which nearby objects are irradiated.
- DLead is the only element that does not chemically react with radioactive isotopes, so all radioactive isotopes must be stored in lead-lined boxes.
Which of the following statements explains why it is a good idea to wear gloves when handling radioactive sources?
- AWearing gloves prevents any of the radioactive material from transferring to your skin. While on your skin, it would continually irradiate your hand and could also transfer to anything else you touch, such as your food.
- BGloves block all of the radiation from the source, so wearing gloves prevents your hands from being irradiated.
- CWearing gloves prevents any substance on your hands from transferring to the radioactive source, which would reduce the purity of the material.
- DAll radioactive sources are highly chemically reactive substances. If you do not wear gloves while handling them, you will get severe chemical burns.
Which of the following statements is the correct definition of background radiation?
- ABackground radiation is any low-energy electromagnetic radiation.
- BBackground radiation is any electrically neutral radiation.
- CBackground radiation is low-level radiation from the surrounding environment which is not due to the deliberate introduction of radiation sources.
- DBackground radiation is any radiation from sources that have a half-life of less than 1 minute.
Which of the following is the correct definition of contamination?
- AThe exposure of water or food to radiation
- BThe exposure of an object or material to radiation
- CThe chemical reaction of radioactive substances with other substances
- DThe deposition of radioactive substances on the surface of or inside an object
- EThe death of living cells from exposure to high levels of radiation
Which of the following statements explains why irradiation using gamma rays is a good method of sterilizing objects such as medical tools?
- AExposing living cells to high levels of radiation kills them. Irradiating objects with high levels of gamma rays kills all living cells on them.
- BIrradiating objects with gamma rays causes any living cells on the surface of the object to become electrically charged. Electrostatic repulsion between the object and the living cells removes the cells from the surface of the object.
- CIrradiating objects with high levels of gamma rays causes them to heat up very quickly. The high temperature sterilizes the object.
- DIrradiating objects with high levels of gamma rays causes small electric currents across the surface of the object. These currents disrupt the cell walls of any living cells on the surface of the object, causing them to die.
Which of the following statements explains why ingesting a radioactive substance that has a long half-life and a high initial activity is dangerous?
- ARadioisotopes inhibit the activity of enzymes in the stomach and intestines. These enzymes are essential for digesting food.
- BRadioisotopes with long half-lives react strongly with nerve tissue. The substance would react with nerve tissue, destroying it.
- CWhile the substance is in your body, it will continually irradiate the cells of your organs. If the activity of the substance is high enough, this will kill the cells. It may also cause the cells to become cancerous if it doesn’t kill them.
- DRadioisotopes with long half-lives are also highly chemically reactive. The substance would react with the tissue of your organs, giving you severe chemical burns.
Which of the following statements is the correct definition of irradiation?
- AIrradiation is when an amount of a radioactive substance gets onto the surface of an object or gets inside an object.
- BIrradiation is when radiation passes through very dense materials.
- CIrradiation is when living cells die from exposure to high levels of radiation.
- DIrradiation is the exposure of an object or material to radiation.
- EIrradiation is the process of highly ionizing radiation gradually breaking down the material used to block the radiation.