Radiation - Essay Example

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Describe three ways in which you may be exposed to radiation in your community in the next 12 months. Incorporate a reference from a source retrieved from the database link provided above. Provide 5 full sentences.
In our community, there exists various ways through which I…
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Radiation Describe three ways in which you may be exposed to radiation in your community in the next 12 months. Incorporate a reference from a source retrieved from the database link provided above. Provide 5 full sentences.
In our community, there exists various ways through which I could be exposed to radiation in the next 12 months. The first could be from exposure to the sun responsible for cosmic radiation as a result of solar flares. I could also be exposed to radon gas from enclosed environments such as home known to emit the radioactive alpha particles. Finally, I could be exposed to radiation from radio nuclides ingested into the body through food, say from crops that might have taken up radioactive isotopes from the ground or soil as noted by the US Environmental Protection Agency, EPA (2012). Therefore, both natural and artificial objects could expose me to radiation.
2. Describe three potential health effects from radiation exposure during your lifetime. Provide a module page number or a book page number as a reference in your response. Provide 5 full sentences.
Exposure to radiation poses adverse health effects, particularly when the duration of exposure is elongated and the intensity of radiation is high. Radiation could cause cancer as tissues get exposed to radioactive elements. Secondly, when foetuses are exposed to radiation, birth defects could occur which include smaller brain size or head, mental retardation or poorly formed eyes. Finally, radiation, particularly ultraviolet radiation from the sun, causes cataracts which are the leading cause of blindness (Nadakavukaren, 2011). The sievert, Sv, is the unit of radiation weighted dose which measures the harmful potential of radiation based on the type of radiation and also the sensitivity of the body organs and tissues involved.
3. Imagine that the LADWP decided to build a power plant on the vacant land at the northwest corner of Lassen and Zelzah.  For the purposes of this exercise, they are considering one of the following three options: a coal power plant that employs 100 people, a solar plant that employs less than ten full time employees, or a nuclear power plant that produces three times the amount of energy as the other two choices.
Provide 9 full sentences describing the pros and cons of the proposed options.  Focus on the environmental health issues and include at least 2 statistics in the response. The argument should be balanced and incorporate factual material from at least 3 journal articles from the database link noted above.
Should LADWP opt to build a coal power plant, they could benefit from its widespread availability which further protects the environment from the pollution that could result from its transportation had it been scarcely distributed. However, a coal energy plant would lead to immense air pollution because of generation of particulate matter in form of dust. In fact, Katoria, Sehgal and Kumar (2013) observe that 50,000 tonnes of coal could generate 250 tonnes of dust.
Therefore, the municipal utility could opt for solar power plant which has been credited with no production of greenhouse gases thus protecting the environment from global warming. Even so, the equipments used in solar energy plants require vast land hence mostly located in deserts. Habiba and Saha (2013) note that with this regard, solar energy could be disruptive to the fragile desert biota with the accompanying immense water demand by the solar power plant negatively impacting on the already scarce resource in the desert.
LADWP could therefore opt for a nuclear power plant, nuclear energy being the provider of 15% and 6% of world’s electricity and energy respectively (Xiang & Zhu, 2011). This option has the advantage of not emitting greenhouse gases known to harm the environment and further generates minimal waste as compared to the other sources of power. Nonetheless, the need to mine radioisotopes to supply the energy for the power plant poses the risk of polluting the environment with particulate matter and noise.
Environmental Protection Agency. (2012, April). Radiation: Facts, risks and realities. Washington, DC: Office of Air and Radiation.
Habiba, U. & Saha, S. K. (2013). Analysis of solar energy and solar power plants to neutralize the load-shedding problem in Bangladesh. American Journal of Environment, Energy and Power Research, 1 (2), 33 – 44.
Katoria, D., Sehgal, D. & Kumar, S. (2013). Environment impact assessment of coal mining. International Journal of Environmental Engineering and Management, 4 (3), 245 – 250.
Nadakavukaren, A. (2011). Our global environment: A health perspective (7th ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.
Xiang, H. & Zhu, Y. (2011). The ethics issues of nuclear energy: Hard lessons learned from Chernobyl and Fukushima. Online Journal of Health Ethics, 7 (2). Retrieved 8 May 2014 from Read More
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