Radiation and radioactive substances are used for diagnosis, treatment, and research. X-rays, for example, pass through muscles and other soft tissue but are stopped by dense materials.

This property of X-rays enables doctors to find broken bones and to locate cancers that might be growing in the body.

Doctors also find certain diseases by injecting a radioactive substance and monitoring the radiation given off as the substance moves through the body.

Radiation used for cancer treatment is called ionizing radiation because it forms ions in the cells of the tissues it passes through as it dislodges electrons from atoms.

This can kill cells or change genes so the cells cannot grow.

Other forms of radiation such as radio waves, microwaves, and light waves are called non-ionizing. They don’t have as much energy and are not able to ionize cells.

The increase in ultraviolet (UV) radiation on the surface of the earth due to depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer …

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