Radioactive pollution is caused by high energy invisible radioactive radiations which are emitted by radioactive substances.
Radioactivity is that property of certain unstable elements to emit alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays by undergoing spontaneous disintegration of their atomic nuclei. Radioactive substances are those unstable substances which emit invisible radioactive radiations (such as alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays) by undergoing spontaneous disintegration of their atomic nuclei. Radioactive pollution is very harmful for all organisms.
Sources of Radioactive Pollution
Sources of radioactive pollution can be divided into two types. These are:
- Natural sources of radioactive pollution
- Man-made sources of radioactive pollution
1. Natural Sources of Radioactive Pollution
These sources involve naturally occurring radioactive elements such as radium, thorium, plutonium, uranium 235, potassium 40 and carbon 14 etc.
2. Man-made Sources of Radioactive Pollution
These sources involve mining and refining of radioactive elements, production and explosion of nuclear weapons, nuclear power plants, improper disposal of nuclear wastes and preparation of radioactive isotopes.
Effects of Radioactive Pollution
Radioactive pollution can cause various health related problems in human beings. These radiations can cause loss of hair, tumors, skin cancer, leukemia, disturbance in metabolic activities of body, change in chromosome makeup and mutations.