Radiation can be used to save the life of a person through cancer treatments. Radiation can also be very deadly. It is no secret that society has done loads of questionable acts in order to try to understand this particular type of energy. Here are just some of the facts about radiation and some of the horrible crimes society has committed too.
1. Radioactive Denver
We are surrounded by background radiation emitted from natural sources. This radiation comes from the Earth, cosmic rays and from our own bodies. Although, we are exposed to it, there are some places on the planet that are known to be more radioactive than others.
People who live in Denver, Colorado get exposed to 4 times more cosmic radiation as the people who live at sea level, which gives them an additional 115 millirems of radiation yearly. That is the equivalent of about 4 chest X-rays.
Denver is definitely far from being earth’s most radioactive place. The thorium-packed sands of Kerala in India is known to give off 380 millirems of radiation yearly and the sands in Guarapari in Brazil exposes locals to a shocking 600 millirems yearly.
2. Flying Exposes One to Radiation
A high altitude is known to offer little atmosphere to shield flyers. Sadly, the body of the aircraft is not designed to protect flyers from the showers of electromagnetic energy. A flight from London to New York will give flyers around the same amount of radiation as getting a chest X-ray.
Casual flyers are not at risk, but pilots and flight crews have a higher risk of being exposed to radiation. As a matter of fact, flight crews and pilots are categorized as “radiation workers”.
3. The Undead Forest of Chernobyl
Within the Exclusion Zone that surrounds Chernobyl is a place called the “Red Forest”. This may sound silly, but this woodland is in a zombie-like state. The trees took on a reddish color after they absorbed excessive amounts of radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Every tree in the forest died after the accident, and most of the trees were chopped down and buried. But, the trees that remain do not show any signs of decomposition and remain in a zombie-like condition of being dead but still looking pretty much the same.
This particular anomaly is actually caused by the lack of decomposers (i.e. fungi, insects and microbes) in the area. The decomposers are hugely responsible for carrying-out the decaying process, but the population of the decomposers was greatly destroyed by radiation, and even after almost 30 years, the trees still look almost the way they did when they were bulldozed.
4. Soybeans Can Protect Us from Radiation
According to studies, Soybeans grown in areas with high radiation have 3 times more protein that is used to bind heavy metals (also known as cysteine synthase) and 32% more anti mutation compound (aldehyde dehydrogenase).
These adaptations do not only help soybeans survive the radiation-ridden environment, they also have the capability to protect people from radiation and enhance cancer treatments. As a matter of fact, the isoflavones found in ordinary soybean increases radiation’s capacity to kill-off lung cancer cells; this means that maybe the Chernobyl soybean with its higher concentration of radiation-fighting compounds, may do so even more effectively.
5. Sick Children Were Secretly Radiated by the Government
The United States government was responsible for sponsoring a variety of human radiation experiments on unsuspecting American citizens. Radioactive material was intentionally dropped over cities in the US. Radioactive oatmeal was fed to mentally challenged children, and people were injected with plutonium without their consent.
Children with cerebral palsy were radiated by the government between the period of 1955 and 1960. Because many of these children were abandoned by their parents, they became the guinea pigs of the federal government. Aside from being exposed to radiation, the children had to undergo painful tests. Around 1,400 kids ended up dying.